A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.
Release Year: 1988
Rating: 7.2/10 (9,872 voted)
Stars: John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner
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.
Writers: Eliot Asinof, John Sayles
George 'Buck' Weaver
Charles 'Commie' Comiskey
'Sleepy' Bill Burns
William 'Kid' Gleason
Oscar 'Hap' Felsch
Joseph 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson
Arnold 'Chick' Gandil
Charles 'Swede' Risberg
Claude 'Lefty' Williams
No player who throws ball games will ever play professional baseball again.
Release Date: 2 September 1988
Filming Locations: Bush Stadium – 1501 W. 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $1,129,491
(5 September 1988)
Did You Know?
Ken Berry, who plays a heckler and was the film's baseball coach, was an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. He was called "The Bandit" because of his ability to take hits away from batters.
Many of the newspapers are shown with headlines set in the differing varieties of the Helvetica typeface. Helvetica was designed in 1957.
[about their opponents]
1st Cincinnati Reds Player:
These guys don't look so tough.
2nd Cincinnati Reds Player:
Yeah, that's what Custer said when the Indians took the field.
One of the most under-apreciated films of the last 25 years
This is probably the best film to be completely ignored by every major award
in film in the last 25 years. For all that its about baseball players, it
is NOT a baseball movie. The Black Sox scandal and its effect on baseball
transcended baseball. The ensemble cast does a marvelous job, particularly
Straithairn and Sweeney, who plays "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, one of the more
tragic figures of the whole mess. In spite of taking money to throw the
Series, Jackson went out and batted .375 for the Series. The Chicago payers
in on the payoff (and one poor soul who didn't go along, but was approached)
were banned from baseball for life. No less an authority than Ted Williams
believes Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame. But I digress. The film
goes into the motivations of the players, who were playing for a pittance
and had no say over where they played. Thus they were perfect targets for
the fix in the first place. Excellent and gripping film about human
reactions to stress and temptation. Most recommended.