7.8/10
12,948
125 user 23 critic

61* (2001)

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Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.

Director:

Billy Crystal

Writer:

Hank Steinberg
Reviews
Popularity
3,067 ( 305)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Pepper ... Roger Maris
Thomas Jane ... Mickey Mantle
Anthony Michael Hall ... Whitey Ford
Richard Masur ... Milt Kahn
Bruce McGill ... Ralph Houk
Chris Bauer ... Bob Cerv
Jennifer Crystal Foley ... Pat Maris ('61)
Christopher McDonald ... Mel Allen
Bob Gunton ... Dan Topping
Donald Moffat ... Ford Frick
Joe Grifasi ... Phil Rizzuto
Peter Jacobson ... Artie Green
Seymour Cassel ... Sam Simon
Robert Joy ... Bob Fitschel
Michael Nouri ... Joe DiMaggio
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Storyline

Aiming for one of the most famed records in sports history, a pair of very different baseball players hit home runs at an impressive rate. Roger Maris, a reserved sort, is much less popular than his hard-partying New York Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle, the player who many observers think will be the one to challenge Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in one season. But in the summer of 1961, Maris surges ahead of Mantle, making a run at Ruth's mark. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Why did America have room in its heart for only one hero?


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

61 See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Billy Crystal cast Barry Pepper for the movie after seeing him in Saving Private Ryan (1998) and noting the actor's uncanny resemblance to Roger Maris. See more »

Goofs

After the commissioner's decision to make separate records for the 162-game season, Roger Maris is answering questions while playing catch. When he stops to talk to the reporter (clearly breaking from playing catch), he had just thrown the ball to his partner. When he's done talking, he immediately throws the ball again to his partner, though he never received it during his break. See more »

Quotes

[after Maris hits #59, he sits down next to Mickey]
Mickey Mantle: What happened? I was on the john.
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Crazy Credits

The first set of credits lists Dominic Lombardozi; the second, Domenick Lombardozzi. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 17 July 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Nobody Knows Me
Written and Performed by Lyle Lovett
Courtesy of Curb Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

A Beautiful Friendship
13 December 2004 | by harbormoonSee all my reviews

First off, I'm a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and thus not much of a Yankees fan. However, this may be one of the best baseball movies, if not one of the best sports films, ever made; even though baseball fans know how the story ends, your emotions will be stirred and you will find yourself rooting for these two players whether or not you have a preference for pinstripes.

Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane steal the show as Maris and Mantle, two Yankee teammates that form an alliance to help carry them through the turmolterous race to break the single-season home run record of Babe Ruth in 1961. While everyone from the press box to the peanut vendor appears to favor seeing the lovable Mick, even the commissioner of baseball seems to have an agenda against the misunderstood Maris. Trying to eclipse a mark of a legend against such adversity proves to be no easy task for either player, and the film does a great job of demonstrating the pressure that each player experienced from his own angle.

Director and noted Yankees fan Billy Crystal obviously put his heart and soul into directing and producing this masterpiece and deserves credit for putting an honest face on the race to the home run record between these two legends. Most impressive was how much care was taken to make the actors appear to step comfortably into the roles of each player; Jane and Pepper appear and act so much like "the M&M boys" that it's spooky. Being a passionate fan of the game probably puts a bias on this review but, even if you don't know the difference between a squeeze play and a double play, it's a great story about friendship and facing odds.


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