Two sisters join the first all-female American baseball league
and help to turn it into a national phenomenon against all odds.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Directed by Penny Marshall
Written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel
Starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, Madonna,
Rosie O'Donnell, Megan Cavanagh, Bitty Schram, Ann Cusack, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Bill Pullman, Jon Lovitz
During World War II, the majority of young American men were away at war in Europe and Japan. At home, women served their country in different ways. They worked in factories, many of them getting paychecks of their own for the first time. In the wide world of sports, President Roosevelt and a few businessman saw an opportunity to boost American morale. They created the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, giving hundreds of women an opportunity to play the game professionally and make their mark on sports history. The league only lasted eleven years, but its legacy is still felt today, thanks in no small part to this endearing film.
A League of Their Own takes a lot of liberties with historical fact, but the spirit remains the same. We follow Dottie Hinson (Davis) and her younger sister Kit (Petty). Dottie is a talented player who is chosen by a scout to be part of the league, and Kit is her slightly less talented sister who feels trapped in her sister's shadow and spends the entire movie reminding her of it. Frankly, her character is so annoying and irredeemable that she might've tanked the movie had everything else not been so good. Dottie becomes a star, helping the league be taken seriously by chauvinistic baseball fans and sponsors. We also get a hilarious performance by Tom Hanks, who plays Jimmy Dugan, the manager of the Rockford Peaches who goes from cantankerous drunk to likable leader.
A League of Their Own is an enjoyable, funny, and, at times, intense baseball movie. Penny Marshall does a great job balancing the horrors of war from the perspective of those waiting for the news at home with a Sandlot-esque baseball comedy that has a big heart. This has become a sports classic thanks to the great performances, the solid story, and the history behind it.