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Eight Men Out (1988)

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A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.

Director:

John Sayles

Writers:

Eliot Asinof (book), John Sayles (screenplay)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jace Alexander ... Dickie Kerr
John Cusack ... Buck Weaver
Gordon Clapp ... Ray Schalk
Don Harvey ... Swede Risberg
Bill Irwin ... Eddie Collins
Perry Lang ... Fred McMullin
John Mahoney ... Kid Gleason
James Read ... Lefty Williams
Michael Rooker ... Chick Gandil
Charlie Sheen ... Hap Felsch
David Strathairn ... Eddie Cicotte
D.B. Sweeney ... 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson
James Desmond James Desmond ... Smitty (as Jim Desmond)
John Sayles ... Ring Lardner
Studs Terkel ... Hugh Fullerton
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Storyline

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. Written by Patrick Lynn <pjustinl@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

1919. The year America saw major league baseball played a whole new way...underhanded. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eight Men Out See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,129,491, 5 September 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,680,515
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orion Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles bore such a striking resemblance to newspaper writer Ring Lardner, that he played the part himself. See more »

Goofs

During the first World Series game, the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th inning says Reds 1, White Sox 0. The score should have been tied 1-1.The Reds scored one run in the bottom of the 1st inning, and the White Sox scored one run in the top of the 2nd inning. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Cicotte: You said if I won 30 games this year there'd be a $10,000 bonus.
Charles Comiskey: So?
Eddie Cicotte: I think you owe it to me.
Charles Comiskey: Harry, how many games did Mr. Cicotte win for us this year?
Harry: 29, sir.
Eddie Cicotte: You had Kid bench me for two whole weeks in August. I missed five starts.
Charles Comiskey: We had to rest your arm for the series.
Eddie Cicotte: I would have won at least two of those games. You knew that.
Charles Comiskey: I have to keep the best interests of the club in mind, Eddie.
Eddie Cicotte: I think you owe me that bonus.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits of the movie, they are done against a blue cloudy sky up, then to the right and down to the bottom. Despite the ensemble cast, the most well-known leading and character actors at the time were credited first in alphabetical order, then lesser known actors that had roles that were just as large or larger were credited in pairs of two. Example: John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, and Charlie Sheen were credited first, due to their successes with The Sure Thing, Back to the Future, and Platoon, respectively, but in pairs, Michael Rooker, Kevin Tighe, and Richard Edson also had pivotal roles, but were lesser known. Charlie Sheen was already well-established, but had no more than a few minutes of screen time the entire movie, Christopher Lloyd and Richard Edson were always together playing gamblers, but Lloyd was a much more well-known actor and credited first. See more »

Alternate Versions

Five seconds were cut from the British theatrical release in order to obtain a "PG" rating. The film was later released uncut on video and the rating was upgraded ("15" for the earlier release and "12" for the DVD). See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

It could happen to you
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Words by Johnny Burke
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Eight
19 January 2005 | by active18yosSee all my reviews

Although I generally agree with Roger Ebert's reviews, I just can't understand how he was annoyed enough with this movie to give it a measly two stars. He claims that there wasn't enough exposition. I found everything explained satisfactorily, even for the non-fan or baseball history buff. And it is period-piece film-making at its finest. I cannot imagine a better telling of this story. And the baseball action is excellent. One factual error, though: Bucky Weaver (John Cusack) would never mention Babe Ruth as better (or even comparable) to Cobb, Speaker and Wheat in 1919 or 1920. It shocks me that Sayles kept that line. USA Today heralded "Eight Men Out" as the greatest baseball movie ever, and though there is some fine company, I find it hard to disagree.


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