Tuesday, April 22, 2014


"I'd just like to point out that every newspaper in the country has picked us to finish last"
This month marks the 25th anniversary of David S. Ward’s MAJOR LEAGUE.
A sports comedy sprinkled with a fair amount of drama, MAJOR LEAGUE told the story of a crooked owner who puts together a team-to-lose so she could dwindle attendance low enough to relocate the team out of Cleveland. David S. Ward, who had won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the THE STING in 1973, had a talent for writing underdog stories. MAJOR LEAGUE broke the old mold of standard small-team underdogs going up against a Goliath by making the team have to battle from within. The move paid off, and MAJOR LEAGUE was No. 1 box office hit in 1989 and was met with favorable reviews.

Although taking place in Cleveland, MAJOR LEAGUE was shot in Milwaukee with the Brewers’ home stadium standing-in as the home of the Cleveland Indians. The cast was stellar; Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger were united after their work in the Oscar-winning PLATOON (1988)…and the rest of the cast included many former major leaguers, including famous play-by-play announcer Bob Uecker. Rene Russo and Wesley Snipes were virtual unknowns before appearing in MAJOR LEAGUE, as was Dennis Haysbert…who would go onto fame in the television series 24, Michael Mann’s HEAT (1995), and the voice of the Allstate marketing. The rest of the case included Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, Chelcie Ross, and Charles Cyphers.

MAJOR LEAGUE had always been a favorite of this Blogger, not only because it is a joy to watch, but because it knows how to tell a good story. Just like any good war movie, MAJOR LEAGUE succeeds because it takes characters from different walks of life and lets them react to each other. The film has an aging veteran, a cocky rookie, a rich snob, a God-loving man, a voo-doo worshiper, and a greedy owner…a great variety of archetypes which is the salt of all moviemaking. That is why MAJOR LEAGUE is a classic sports film. Yes it is goofy at times, but above all else it is exactly what sports is all about: Fun.

"Wild thing, I think I love you!"

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