Eight Men Out

1988, Movie, PG, 119 mins


Gripping account of the 1919 "Black Sox" baseball scandal, when eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of "fixing" the World Series. Working from one-time Philadelphia Phillies farmhand Asinof's assiduously researched book, writer-director Sayles has fashioned a convincing account of the scandal, underlaid with an unconventional (by Hollywood standards) workers-vs.-owners critique.

Sayles not only depicts the circumstances that led to the fix (most notably Sox owner Charles Comiskey's legendary tightfistedness), but he also re-creates the games in great detail, making the best possible use of an athletic cast tutored by former White Sox outfielder Ken Berry. Among the players Sayles concentrates on are: pitcher Eddie Cicotte (David Strathairn); third baseman Buck Weaver (Cusack), who spent the rest of his life protesting his innocence; and the legendary "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (D.B. Sweeney, whose own baseball career was ended by a motorcycle accident and who spent five weeks with the minor-league Kenosha Twins learning to bat left-handed for the role). The fine ensemble cast also includes Chicago journalist Studs Terkel, as sportswriter Hugh Fullerton, and Sayles himself, as Ring Lardner. leave a comment

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Eight Men Out
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