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Eight Men Out

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Overview

Writer/director John Sayles' dramatization of the most infamous episode in professional sports -- the fix of the 1919 World Series -- is considered by many to be among his best films and arguably the best baseball movie ever made. This adaptation of Eliot Asinof's definitive study of the scandal shows how athletes of another era were a different breed from the well-paid stars of later years. The Chicago White Sox owner, Charlie Comiskey Clifton James, is portrayed as a skinflint with little inclination to reward ...
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Overview

Writer/director John Sayles' dramatization of the most infamous episode in professional sports -- the fix of the 1919 World Series -- is considered by many to be among his best films and arguably the best baseball movie ever made. This adaptation of Eliot Asinof's definitive study of the scandal shows how athletes of another era were a different breed from the well-paid stars of later years. The Chicago White Sox owner, Charlie Comiskey Clifton James, is portrayed as a skinflint with little inclination to reward his team for their spectacular season. When a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein Michael Lerner gets wind of the players' discontent, it offers a select group of stars -- including pitcher Eddie Cicotte Sayles regular David Strathairn, infielder Buck Weaver John Cusack, and outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson D.B. Sweeney -- more money to play badly than they would have earned to try to win the Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Sayles cast the story with actors who look and perform like real jocks, and added a colorful supporting cast that includes Studs Terkel as reporter Hugh Fullerton and Sayles himself as Ring Lardner.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
John Sayles once again does wonders with a large cast and a modest budget, convincingly re-creating 1919 Chicago and smartly offering a historical movie occupied by flesh-and-blood humans rather than historical icons. Matewan, his previous film, also told a story of labor woes, but the lines of sympathy in that film were clearer: the strikers were being abused, the strikebreakers were being used, and the mine owners were doing all the using and abusing. In Eight Men Out, White Sox owner Charlie Comiskey has little regard for his players' well-being, but their response or the response of a selected number to throw in with gamblers for the sake of a better payday, doesn't exactly place them in the labor hall of fame. On the other hand, Sayles paints these workers as more needy than greedy; pitcher Eddie Cicotte and infielder Buck Weaver, in particular, come off as anguished co-conspirators thanks to superb performances by David Strathairn and John Cusack. Eight Men Out doesn't offer the feel-good experience of Field of Dreams though they do share one character, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson or Bull Durham, but its honesty and faithfulness to the complexities of history ultimately make it a more valuable player in the history of sports films.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/3/1999
  • UPC: 027616777232
  • Original Release: 1988
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Buck Weaver
Clifton James Charles Comiskey
David Strathairn Eddie Cicotte
Christopher Lloyd Bill Burns
John Mahoney Kid Gleason
D.B. Sweeney "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Michael Lerner Arnold Rothstein
Charlie Sheen Hap Felsch
Gordon Clapp Ray Schalk
Don Harvey Swede Risberg
Michael Rooker Chick Gandil
Perry Lang Fred McMullin
James Read Lefty Williams
Jace Alexander Dickie Kerr
Richard Edson Billy Maharg
Bill Irwin Eddie Collins
Michael Mantell Abe Attell
Kevin Tighe Sport Sullivan
Studs Terkel Hugh Fullerton
John Anderson Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
John Sayles Ring Lardner
Wendy Makkena Kate Jackson
Maggie Renzi Rose Cicotte
Brad Armacost Attendant
Eliot Asinof Heydler
Clyde Bassett Ban Jonson
David Carpenter
Max Chiddester Nash
John Craig Rothstein's Lawyer
Dick Cusack Judge Friend
Jim Desmond Smitty
Barbara Garrick Helen Weaver
Jack George
Patrick Grant Irish tenor
Brad Griffith Reporter
Lee Anne Harris Singer
Michael Harris Writer
David Hinman Announcer
Merrill Holtzman Grabiner
Bill Jennings Chicago Umpire
Rich Komenich Jury Foreman
Tim Laughter Betting Man
Tom Marshall Browns Umpire
Jim Martindale Cincinnati Umpire
Robert Motz D.A.
Philip Murphy Jimmy
J. Dennis Newman Reds Player
Michael Preston New Jersey Fans
Eaton Randles Clerk
Bill Raymond Ben Short
B.J. Davis Enemy Fan
Dana Roi Woman in Bar
Steve Salge Reporter
Jim Stark Reporter
Tay Strathairn Bucky
Josh Thompson Winslow
Jesse Vincent Scooter
Robert Walsh
Julie Whitney Woman in Bar
Charles Siebert II Reds Catcher
Ken Berry Heckler
Brad Garrett PeeWee
Michael Laskin Austrian
Richard Lynch Writer
Randle Mell Ahearn
Stephen Mendillo Monk
Danton Stone Hired Killer
Nancy Travis Lyria Williams
Garry Williams
John E. Blazier Newspaper Reporter
Technical Credits
John Sayles Director, Screenwriter
Dan Bishop Art Director, Production Designer
Barbara Boyle Executive Producer
David Brownlow Sound/Sound Designer
Nora Chavoosian Production Designer
Gigi Coker Makeup
Mason K. Daring Score Composer
Cynthia Flynt Costumes/Costume Designer
Carrie Frazier Casting
Shani Ginsberg Casting
Avy Kaufman Casting
John William Kelette Songwriter
Jann Kenbrovin Songwriter
Turner Layton Songwriter
Susan Lyall Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary Marcus Asst. Director
Jerry Offsay Executive Producer
Jerry Offsay Producer
Sarah Pillsbury Producer
Peggy Rajski Co-producer
Robert Richardson Cinematographer
Midge Sanford Producer
Barbara Hewson Shapiro Casting
John Tintori Editor
Lynn Wolverten Set Decoration/Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    By far the greatest baseball movie ever made.

    By far this is the greatest baseball movie ever, as far as telling the truth and what really went on. This is a must see for all baseball or sports fans. Every aspect of the movie is top notch. Anyone who considers themself a baseball historian must see this movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I don't care if the MGM special edition DVD doesen't have any special features

    My brother had this movie on a video tape then I bought it on DVD for him for Christmas this year. His tape was flawed and I almost could not find the DVD to buy in any of the stores in my hometown so this might of been my best bet on purchasing it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This was an exellent film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 My brother got it on Video for Christmas a while ago. Even though it was a brand new copy , it was also a little worn out too. If it is still not playing the way we want it to play on our VCR , I will gladly replace our video with a sturdier DVD then it won't ware out as much as a tape plus it was just an exellent movie and that's why I'm giving it 5 stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2001

    one of the best sports movies ever

    Director Sayles has captured the atmosphere surrounding the Black Sox scandal phenomenally well. This is the best period-piece sports movie outside of ''Hoosiers'' and for my money, even better than ''Hoosiers.'' The scenes on the field are especially entertaining, and Shoeless Joe staring at a candleflame to focus his batting eye is a great movie moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews