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Major League (1989)

aka Major League

"A comedy with bats and balls."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 107 mins · English, Japanese, Spanish · R (USA)

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gave

good

I see this more as an romantic coemdy that a sports-movie, and as such it is fairly good.

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Cast:

Small Jake Taylor
Small Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn
Small Roger Dorn
No_movie_poster Rachel Phelps
Small Lou Brown
Small Lynn Wells
Small Willie Mays Hayes
Small Pedro Cerrano
No_movie_poster Suzanne Dorn
Small Harry Doyle
Small Eddie Harris
No_movie_poster Haywood
No_movie_poster Charlie Donovan
Small Longshoreman
No_movie_poster Pepper Leach

Crew:

No_movie_poster James Newton Howard Music
No_movie_poster David S. Ward Screenplay
No_movie_poster Reynaldo Villalobos Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Dennis M. Hill Editor
No_movie_poster Irby Smith Producer
No_movie_poster Mark Rosenberg Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Chris Chesser Producer
No_movie_poster Joanne Zaluski Casting
No_movie_poster David S. Ward Director
No_movie_poster Dennis M. Hill Editing

Taglines:

"A comedy with bats and balls."

Plot:

Rachel Phelps, a former Las Vegas showgirl, has inherited the Cleveland Indians baseball team from her deceased husband. She wants to move the team to the warmer climate of Miami. In order to do this, she must reduce the season's attendance at Cleveland Stadium to under 800,000 tickets sold, which will trigger an escape clause in the team's lease with the city of Cleveland. After she moves the team, she would also be able to release all the current players and replace them with new ones. She instructs her new General Manager Charlie Donovan to hire the worst team possible from a list she has already prepared. The list includes veteran catcher Jake Taylor, who has problems with his knees and was last playing in Mexico; incarcerated pitcher Ricky Vaughn; power-hitting outfielder Pedro Cerrano, who practices voodoo to try to help him hit curve balls; veteran pitcher Eddie Harris, who no longer has a strong throwing arm and is forced to doctor his pitches; and third baseman Roger Dorn, a one-time star who is under contract but has become a high-priced prima donna. As manager, Phelps hires Lou Brown, a career minor league manager of the Toledo Mud Hens who works in the offseason as a tire salesman.

At spring training in Tucson, Arizona, the brash but speedy center fielder Willie "Mays" Hayes crashes camp uninvited, but is invited to join the team after displaying his running speed. Spring training reveals several problems with the new players. Vaughn has an incredible fastball but lacks control. Hayes is able to run the bases quickly but hits only pop flies, and Cerrano, despite his tremendous power, cannot hit a curveball. The veterans have their own problems: Dorn refuses to aggressively field ground balls, afraid that potential injuries will damage his upcoming contract negotiations, and it becomes clear that Taylor's bad knees will be a season-long concern. On the final day, when Brown is to cut the team down to 25 players, Dorn plays a practical joke on Vaughn, making him believe he was cut, resulting in a locker-room brawl.

After the team returns to Cleveland before the season begins, Taylor takes Vaughn and Hayes out to dinner but comes across his ex-girlfriend Lynn, who is dining with her current beau. Taylor believes he can try to win her back by proclaiming that he has a major league job again, but is disappointed to hear that she is already engaged.

The Indians' season starts off poorly with Vaughn's initial pitching appearances ending in disaster, his wild pitches earning him the derogatory title "Wild Thing." On a rare occasion when Vaughn does throw one for a strike, it is hit well over 400 feet by the New York Yankees' best hitter, Clu Haywood. Brown discovers that Vaughn's eyesight is poor, and after Vaughn is given glasses he becomes very accurate. "Wild Thing" remains Vaughn's nickname, and he becomes the team's ace. The team begins winning and is able to bring their win-loss percentage to .400. Phelps realizes this is not bad enough to stall attendance and decides to demoralize the team further by removing luxuries, such as replacing their team jet airplane with a dilapidated prop-plane, later replacing that with a bus. However, these changes do not affect the Indians' performance and the team continues to improve. Donovan reveals Phelps' plan to Brown who then relays the same news to the players, telling them that if the team plays too well for Phelps to void the lease, she will bring in worse players in the offseason who will. Taylor says that, since they have nothing to lose, the team should get back at Phelps by winning the pennant. Brown gives the team an incentive by removing one portion of a dress on a cardboard cut-out photo of Phelps taken during her showgirl days for every win the team achieves.

The team plays very well down the stretch of the season, and eventually clinch a tie for the division by beating the Chicago White Sox on the last day of the season. This forces a one-game playoff with the division's co-leaders, the Yankees. Prior to the playoff, Taylor continues to try to woo Lynn back and they share a night together. Vaughn learns that he will not be the starting pitcher for the game and goes to a bar to mope, where he encounters Suzanne Dorn. On the television broadcast of the Indians' victory party, Suzanne had seen her husband leave the team's hotel lobby with another woman; she retaliates by luring Vaughn to sleep with her. Vaughn is unaware of who she is until she tells him when she leaves Vaughn and Taylor's shared apartment.

Taylor advises Vaughn to keep his distance from Dorn for most of the game by staying in the bullpen. The game remains scoreless until the seventh inning when Harris gives up two runs. Cerrano comes to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and misses badly on two curveballs. He angrily threatens his voodoo god Jo-bu and proclaims "If you not help me now. I say Fuck you Jo-Bu, I do it myself," then hits a two-run home run off a curveball on the next pitch to tie the game. (Ironically, Harris -- a devout Christian -- now keeps Cerrano's voodoo doll at his side while warming up.) In the top of the ninth, the Yankees are able to load the bases for the power-hitting Clu Haywood, and Vaughn is called in to relieve Harris with the crowd going crazy. Vaughn and Taylor are concerned when Dorn comes over to the pitcher's mound, but he only urges Vaughn to strike the next batter out. While Taylor taunts Haywood from behind home plate, Vaughn strikes out his nemesis on three straight fastballs to end the inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Hayes manages an infield single and subsequently steals second. Taylor is next to bat, and after signaling back and forth with Brown, points to the bleachers, calling his shot. However, Taylor bunts instead, catching the Yankees infield off-guard. Despite his weak knees, Taylor gets to first base. Instead of stopping, Hayes rounds third and heads for home plate, catching the Yankees off-guard again. Hayes slides safely into home, giving the Indians the win on a walk-off single. As the team celebrates, Dorn punches Vaughn in the face but then helps him up to continue the celebration. Jake finds Lynn in the stands, who raises her left hand to show that she is no longer wearing an engagement ring.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1989-04-07 : United States of America

DVD : 2002-09-24