Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 in 61, 3 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 61 [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
In the pantheon of baseball movies, this one, 61*, is in my personal top five, and perhaps the top three. Billy Crystal, better known as a comedian or as host of the Academy Awards, took the director's chair for this film, and produced a story that was a grand insight into the personal and professional world of baseball during the era of Mantle and Maris. Produced very shortly after Mark McGwire broke the Maris record, Crystal framed the 1961 story with scenes from the McGwire run.
Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in the 1927 season, and Yankee stadium was still known, a generation later, as the house that Ruth built. In 1961, Ruth's longstanding record seemed secure. Mickey Mantle had inherited the status of 'Yankee favourite' from predecessors Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, but Roger Maris had narrowly beat him in the poll for MVP the previous year, all the more remarkable because Maris was a newcomer from the midwest. The sportwriters were divided in how they reported about the team, but almost all were more focussed upon Mantle until the runs began to stack up. However, the press (and often, it seemed, the fans) were still favouring Mantle, and sometimes booed Maris when he would hit a home run.
Crystal did a good job at showing the kind of personal stresses, both family and professional, that Mantle and Maris had to endure going through what should have been one of the most glorious seasons in baseball history. There was a kind of institutional resistance to anyone breaking Ruth's record, but even more resistance to Maris than to Mantle. This is embodied in the asterisk that followed the number 61 in record books (and the title of this film) - Ruth's season was several games shorter, and it was deemed 'unfair' for Maris to take the record, having not hit the same number of runs in the same number of games. Eventually the asterisk would be removed, but not before Maris' death some time later.
Good little touches like Maris' special eggs (which Mantle began to eat with reluctance, but came around when Maris said he hit home runs after eating them), scrap book collections shown periodically throughout the film, the song 'I love Mickey', and other audio-visual pieces of baseball memorabilia make this a baseball trivia-buff treat. The personal stories of the family lives, increasingly under stress as both players come within striking distance of the record, show details most likely fictional, but certainly understandable.
Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane star as Maris and Mantle, respectively, and both turn in great performances as the athletes. They both look like naturals on the field and in the locker room, and do a good job with the personal angle as well, Pepper playing the low-key Maris and Jane playing the hard-living Mantle. They both bear striking resemblance to the men they portray, Pepper especially so. Other performers include Anthony Michael Hall, Richard Masur, and Christopher McDonald in memorable supporting roles. Donald Moffat as the commissioner Frick is especially good. Jennifer Foley (actually, Jennifer Crystal Foley, Billy Crystal's daughter) turns in a good performance as Pat Maris, the long-suffering and supportive wife, struggling from half a country away to be strong for her husband as he faces the stress of success.
Any baseball fan will love this film. Those who aren't necessarily fans of baseball may find a new-found passion for the game.
The Yankee's retired Maris' number 9 in 1984. Maris' bat is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Perhaps some day, Maris will be, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country boy to hero, finally, 10 July 2008
This review is from: 61 [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Baseball has to me always been a minority sport. This movie changed all that. As director, Billy Crystal shows that every sport has some defining moment in its history. Brilliantly directed & equally superbly acted by Thomas Jane,Barry Pepper & the other actors in this movie. It gives a real flavour of what the pressure (of breaking the BABES record for Home Runs for a season) from the press must have been like for a young country boy moving to New York. The commissioner of baseball then changes the rules as he is a fan of the Babes & wants the record to stay with the Babe. A really absorbing, tense & dramatic end to the movie. I would recommend this movie to any sports fans out there who, like me said Baseball, kids game.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What nobody else could do, 24 July 2013
By 
This review is from: 61 [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Story of the 1961 baseball season of the New York Yankees as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle begin a race to break Babe Ruth's record of 60 homeruns in a season. The season has been lengthened from 154 games to 162 so there is concern as to weather the record would be a record or not.

The story is told in flashback as the 1998 baseball season is happening and Mark McGwire aspires to break Maris' record.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful When Ordering, 12 July 2011
By 
John Halton (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent movie, but the Blu Ray disc is Region A encoded and will not play on standard UK players.

I advised Amazon.co.uk of this some weeks ago, but notice that the product data has not been updated. Beware!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Movie, 27 Mar 2008
By 
Suzy (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 61 [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This is by far the greatest baseball movie i have ever seen brilliantly put together by the talented billy crystsl sees the story of the 1961 new york yankees baseball legends Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris as they try to beat Babe Ruth's record of 61 home runs in a single season. A excellent account of their personal lives struggles and pressures of the season on their families.
A must see movie for all yankees fans!!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

61 [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
61 [DVD] [2001] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] by Billy Crystal (DVD - 2001)
£4.58
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews