Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Our Favorite Baseball Movies
With the crack of the bat and visions of “peanuts and crackerjack” dancing before our eyes, Baseball season has begun!
So, without further adieu, here’s a short list of MOVIEGUIDE®’s favorite baseball movies of all time. The list focuses on the most family-friendly baseball movies, so, if one of your favorite modern classics is missing, it’s because the movie has some problematic content. Also, there are a couple older movies, such as the acclaimed 1973 baseball movie, BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY, which is rated PG and stars Robert De Niro in one of his more appealing roles, that we have not reviewed.
PRIDE OF THE YANKEES: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +3 – 1942: This is one of the greatest sports movies about courage, honor and faith. It stars Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig, the “iron man” of baseball, who was forced suddenly to leave the Yankees after a brilliant career because of the disease that bears his name. It will make even the most hard-hearted athlete cry, especially the last scene where Gehrig says goodbye to his fans at a tribute in Yankee Stadium.
IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +2 – 1947: One of the funniest baseball movies, IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING stars Ray Milland as a scientist who invents a concoction that repels wood. So, the scientist takes his concoction and becomes a star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1 – 1994: ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD is the endearing story of a 11-year-old boy who prays that God will help the hopelessly inept California Angels baseball team win the pennant. The film portrays an uplifting, positive message of faith and the courage to depend on that faith, even when feelings tell us otherwise. Beautiful special effects and a positive portrayal of angels and God are marred by one minor sexual innuendo and a small amount of offensive language.
THE SANDLOT: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1 – 1993: In THE SANDLOT, a young boy becomes friends with eight boys who are devoted to playing sandlot baseball and has some exciting adventures with them as they try to recover a cherished baseball from a mysterious, dangerous building that adjoins their lot. THE SANDLOT humorously depicts the trials of growing up, and the joys of playing baseball with your friends when you grow up. Although marred by a few mild obscenities and a couple “OG” exclamatory profanities, THE SANDLOT is wholesome, classic family entertainment which will encourages viewers to laugh and rejoice. Karen Allen (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK) gives one of her best, most endearing performances as the hero’s mother.
THE ROOKIE: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1 – 2002: Despite a lifetime of missed opportunities, pitcher Jimmy Morris now has a chance to leave his small-town high school coaching job and pursue his life-long dream to try out for the Minor Leagues, and maybe be chosen for the Majors. Containing heartfelt storytelling and excellent performances, especially by Dennis Quaid in one of his most heartwarming roles, THE ROOKIE extols the virtues of family, blessings, commitment, hope, and prayer.
42: Quality: * * * * Acceptability: -1 – 2013: 42 tells what happens when the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team signed the first black player in the Major Leagues, Jackie Robinson, in 1947. 42 is an inspirational, superb movie showing how the Christian faith of both Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson helped end racism in professional baseball. However, there is a fair amount of foul language and some racial epithets, so caution is advised, especially for children.
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