There were so many GREAT movies in the 90s, some of them snuck past me.
As much as I loved movies, I was busy. My first love was soccer and I had to make varsity and letter all 4 years. That doesn’t happen without obsession and practice.
“A League of Their Own” was one such movie that I did not catch on its initial release. Had I heard about it, I don’t think that it would’ve been a movie that I would’ve been attracted to in theaters.
World War II era with no war scenes. Is it a sports movie? Is it a comedy? Tom Hanks is in it, really?
I honestly don’t even recall seeing a trailer for it or an ad on television. I know it did well, but I didn’t hear about it until I heard my mother downstairs laughing. Once or twice with an LOL from mom was normal. Three made it an event.
I went downstairs and asked her what she was watching.
I could tell she was annoyed. You know how you get when people interrupt your first viewing of a movie when you’re really interested.
“a league of their own…” she mumbled.
“It’s called A League of Their Own,” as she turned to look at me when she said that with a slight volume raise.
Her head snapped back as soon as she uttered the last word.
I took the hint, I went upstairs and outside into the yard and started playing soccer with my cousin.
So back then, we used to rent movies at the local mom and pop’s stores. Normally if you rented one, it was due the next day, but if you rented on a Friday, you could keep them until Monday.
So Sunday morning after church, I decided to pop it in. Mom was more than happy to watch it with me again as well as dad (he watched it with mom on Friday night).
What a great movie.
I remember my mother loving Ernie Capadino, the scout, played by the great Jon Lovitz. He has a very brief, yet great part with some of the best lines in the movie (one of them is at the top). He’s a curmudgeon, but he has a heart of gold.
Hanks delivers a very basic performance for him, but as always, he does well.
Lori Petty was born to play Kit Keller, Dottie Hinson’s (Davis) annoying, needy little sister. I feel like Petty watched all of the old Spike and Chester Looney Tunes from the days of old with the little dog that admired him and followed him around to prepare for her role.
Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell are serviceable for their parts.
Without Davis as Dottie…this movie wouldn’t work. Given her character, she’s a source of strength for everyone. She pipes the bullies (Madonna and O’Donnell) down, she builds up other’s self esteem, and she helps Jimmy Dugan (Hanks) find his passion again. All while still having a touch of slight disinterest about the entire baseball “stunt.”
The testament for a film is its quotes. This movie has an all timer in it. It’s probably top 10 worthy. I hear people say it all the time.
Laughter is one of the best sounds. My mom, like my father, has a great laugh. This movie is one of her favorite comedies. Not writing about it would just be wrong as it brings so much joy to her still.
Go see it if you haven’t…and shame on you for not.