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Eight Men Out (1988)

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A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.

Director:

John Sayles

Writers:

Eliot Asinof (book), John Sayles (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jace Alexander ... Dickie Kerr
John Cusack ... Buck Weaver
Gordon Clapp ... Ray Schalk
Don Harvey ... Swede Risberg
Bill Irwin ... Eddie Collins
Perry Lang ... Fred McMullin
John Mahoney ... Kid Gleason
James Read ... Lefty Williams
Michael Rooker ... Chick Gandil
Charlie Sheen ... Hap Felsch
David Strathairn ... Eddie Cicotte
D.B. Sweeney ... 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson
James Desmond James Desmond ... Smitty (as Jim Desmond)
John Sayles ... Ring Lardner
Studs Terkel ... Hugh Fullerton
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Storyline

The great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 is the saddest team to ever win a pennant. The team is bitter at their penny pincher owner, Charles Comiskey, and at their own teammates. Gamblers take advantage of this opportunity to offer some players money to throw the series. (Most of the players didn't get as much as promised.) But Buck Weaver and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson turn back at the last minute and try to play their best. The Sox actually almost come back from a 3-1 deficit. Two years later, the truth breaks out and the Sox are sued on multiple counts. They are found innocent by the jury but baseball commissioner Landis has other plans. The eight players are suspended for life, and Buck Weaver, for the rest of his life, tries to clear his name. Written by Patrick Lynn <pjustinl@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The inside story of how the national pastime became a national scandal. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Eight Men Out See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,129,491, 5 September 1988

Gross USA:

$5,680,515

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,680,515
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Field of Dreams (1989), another depiction of the 1919 White Sox, was released a little over six months later. The films are credited with increasing public awareness and sympathy towards the team's plight. Public sentiment in favor of overturning "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's lifetime ban from Major League Baseball grew. See more »

Goofs

Ring Lardner unties his bow-tie on the train. Moments later, it's tied again. See more »

Quotes

Sport Sullivan: Look at those hands, ladies. You should have been a pug, Chickie.
Chick Gandil: I did some fighting in my time. Once I was fighting a guy, my eyes were all bloody but I landed a lucky punch. The next thing I know I'm steppin' on something and it's the other guy's teeth. The referee raised my hand and someone shoved fifty bucks in my shorts. "What does he get?" I asked. The referee says, "From the looks of this jaw, a liquid diet for six weeks." Now what we should have done is held each other up for thirteen ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the movie, they are done against a blue cloudy sky up, then to the right and down to the bottom. Despite the ensemble cast, the most well-known leading and character actors at the time were credited first in alphabetical order, then lesser known actors that had roles that were just as large or larger were credited in pairs of two. Example: John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, and Charlie Sheen were credited first, due to their successes with The Sure Thing, Back to the Future, and Platoon, respectively, but in pairs, Michael Rooker, Kevin Tighe, and Richard Edson also had pivotal roles, but were lesser known. Charlie Sheen was already well-established, but had no more than a few minutes of screen time the entire movie, Christopher Lloyd and Richard Edson were always together playing gamblers, but Lloyd was a much more well-known actor and credited first. See more »

Alternate Versions

Five seconds were cut from the British theatrical release in order to obtain a "PG" rating by removing a use of strong language. The film was later released uncut on video and the rating was upgraded to "15", which was subsequently downgraded to "12" for the DVD. See more »

Connections

Featured in Diamonds on the Silver Screen (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I Be Blue
Written by John Sayles and Mason Daring
Performed by Leigh 'Little Queenie' Harris
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The game's seedy underbelly
5 May 2017 | by Mr-FusionSee all my reviews

Costner had a line in "Field of Dreams" about Shoeless Joe Jackson as one of the guys who threw the '19 World Series; and when I was growing up (at the height of my baseball fandom), that line was the extent of what I'd known about the scandal. It's such a small piece of dialogue and it's meant to reflect those tarred players in no uncertain terms.

"Eight Men Out" has a different agenda, depicting Jackson and the other seven not just as gods in America's favorite pastime, but also working stiffs; guys who pulled in the numbers on the field while the suits in the backrooms counted all the money. It makes a little more sense that these men weren't greedy so much as undervalued. And they still got the short end of the stick even after the deal was made; Buck Weaver most of all, who never got a say during the trial.

It's an attractive movie (warm light, period detail) though not an ostentatious one; even the show-stoppng catches are done with a matter-of-fact deference.

And it's a great story.

7/10


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