Top 5 Baseball Movies
Baseball season is upon us! To celebrate the start of the season and Top 5 Tuesday, how about we tally up our top 5 baseball movies? I think there might be more movies about baseball than any other sport. Unless we’re counting Bruce Willis shooting things as a sport. I’m sure everyone would have a different list of their top 5, but for what it’s worth, here’s ours…
1. Field of Dreams (1989) – Kevin Costner is the Marlon Brando of baseball movies, so it just didn’t seem fair to have both of his baseball movies in our top 5. For all intents and purposes, let’s say that Costner’s other great baseball film Bull Durham shares the number one spot. Field of Dreams combines two of America’s favorite pastimes: baseball and daddy issues. Ray Kinsella’s journey from cynic to believer is a truly epic story that speaks to everyone, whether or not you’re a baseball fan. The only downside is that you’ll never walk past another cornfield without thinking of a disembodied voice telling you, “If you build it, he will come.”
2. The Natural (1984) – Robert Redford was born to play the role of baseball prodigy Roy Hobbs. Or maybe Redford is just so good that any role he plays seems like it was made for him. He brings the character of Hobbs to life in this beautiful, Oscar-nominated film about the rise of a “natural” talent. Glenn Close and Robert Duvall offer great supporting performances in this awe-inspiring story about a man with a gift for the game.
3. A League of Their Own (1992) – When the men are away, the women will play. That’s right—women can play baseball too. At least when the men are off at war, I guess. This movie is great for so many reasons. Tom Hanks, for one. He is hilarious as the curmudgeonly coach of the all-female Peaches, especially when he utters his famous line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Gina Davis is fabulous as the older of two sisters whose rivalry takes the Peaches to the championship. And did I mention Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna were in it too?
4. Angels in the Outfield (1994) – A baby-faced Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a foster kid who sees angels (specifically Christopher Lloyd) helping out his favorite baseball team. If you don’t like this movie, you probably don’t have a soul. It’s the perfect combination of funny, cheesy, and heart-warming that only the ’90s could pull off. Danny Glover plays the cynical coach whom Gordon-Levitt tries to convince of the angels’ divine intervention. A pre-stardom Matthew McConaughey also has a small role as one of the players. All in all, it’s an adorable movie that shows the purity of the game from a kid’s point of view.
5. Fever Pitch (2005) – This romantic comedy about a teacher who’s obsession with the Boston Red Sox gets in the way of his budding relationship with a workaholic played by Drew Barrymore hit theaters months after the Sox won the World Series in 2004, their first championship in 86 years. As a Red Sox fan myself, I’m a little biased. I remember the joy of seeing this movie in theaters and reliving the glory of the Sox’s epic victory. The best part of this movie was the fact that they literally had to rewrite the ending because they hadn’t counted on the Sox actually winning the World Series. Scenes for the new ending were actually filmed at the World Series when the Red Sox won. Fallon and Barrymore ran onto the field during the celebration at the end of the game and filmed the final scene for the movie. In a surprising turn, the real ending turned out to be better than Hollywood’s.
Honorable Mention: Moneyball (2011) – Brad Pitt’s Oscar-nominated film probably deserves to be higher, but it’s not even a year old, and I think a real mark of a great sports film is if it holds up over time (which I’m sure this one will). Most sports movies are about underdogs, and Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s were some of the underest dogs baseball has ever seen. Based on the book by Michael Lewis about the true story of Beane’s team and how it revolutionized baseball, the real wonder of Moneyball is that they were able to take a book about statistics and turn it into a moving, engrossing, and totally accessible film. But I guess when Aaron Sorkin is adapting the screenplay, it’s silly to expect anything other than greatness.
What do you say, folks? Are you excited for baseball season to start up? Or do you only care about baseball when it’s the subject of a movie about angels or ghost-infested cornfields? Tell us your favorite baseball movies below, or tweet us!
Posted on April 10, 2012, in Film, Top 5 and tagged A League of Their Own, Angels in the Outfield, baseball, Fever Pitch, Field of Dreams, Moneyball, sports movies, The Natural, Top 5 Tuesday. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.