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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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After America's (eventual) entry into the Second World War, Baseball was put on effective hiatus as it awaited the return of men from military duty. Chewing Gum millionaire saw a gap in the market and pioneered a Ladies baseball league. This film isn't a historical account of events, instead it uses it as inspiration for a fictional tale which manages to capture the spirit of the venture.

The film primarily focuses on sisters Dottie and Kit, and also former baseball star Jimmy Dugan whose dependency on alcohol cut short a promising career. The personal stories of the individual characters ensures that this isn't just a film about baseball, baseball is simply the common factor which brings a bunch of girls together and encourages them to chase their ambitions. With Kit feeling overshadowed by her sister's talents, Jimmy in with a chance of experiencing some of the glory he missed out on previously, and plenty of stars-and-stripe waving this could very easily have been a soppy cheesefest. However the regular humour and Tom Hanks' portrayal of Jimmy grounds the film in reality and threads everything together in a way which feels balanced and accessible, even if you care little for Baseball or the American Dream.

This is a feel-good film but it doesn't ignore the issues of the day, wives live in dread of receiving a telegram from the forces, and when one such moment does occur it's an emotional scene which unites the team and shows how strong they've become as a group. They also find that their Girls League isn't viewed as serious sport my many, including their coach at first, but through gutsy performances on the field they manage to fight against sexist views and a system which is more interested in their looks than their talent.

The acting in the film is sometimes criticised but I though all the performances were strong. It's clear that efforts are made to give as much screen time to Madonna as possible and but regardless of how she is viewed as an actress she is convincing in the role and a strong cast member. Geena Davies brings her character to life well and along with Tom Hanks is the one we can most relate to, the two are the most rounded of the ensemble and the most believable.

The DVD runs for two hours, but the bonus features contains deleted scenes which extend the film further. Although there's no option to watch them in the film as it would have before they were edited out, they are worth watching separately if you're a fan of the film as they add extra elements to the characters and alter some of the relationships slightly.

In a nutshell: A fictional story which probably contains as much truth as it does fiction. At times this is quite sentimental but it tends to not overdo it, some great performances and a witty script make this compelling film and an interesting snapshot of America in the 1940s.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 August 2011
It's 1943 and Baseball in the states has been decimated by all the men called up to join the services. Enter the ladies who themselves help to kick start a womens league to keep the Baseball fires burning.

The first thing any prospective first time viewer of this piece should note, is that it's not actually a film about Baseball. It's about friendships, challenges, and differing off shoots to the complications of war, it just so happens that it's the game of Baseball that brings it all together! Directed by Penny Marshall (Big), screenplay by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (City Slickers/Parenthood) and featuring Tom Hanks {wonderful as drunken coach Dugan} as the leading male, it's no surprise that A League Of Their Own booms with sentiment and no little amount of comedy. It is to me a very rewarding picture, the sort that wants you to chuckle along with it whilst noting the need for human interaction during a troubled time. The lady actors do great impressions of bona fide athletes, asked to parade in short skirts and entertain the watching public, these gals, led by the always engaging Geena Davis, deliver a sparky picture that never veers into maudlin territory. There are of course some sombre moments, but they are placed nicely by Marshall in the context of the films events, never trite, they serve more as tender vignettes to run alongside the frivolity on offer. Ultimately A League Of Their Own achieves its aims come the final credits, its not taxing and its not purporting to be an intelligent look at a period in history. It's asking us the viewers to feel heartened by what we just watched, and just maybe to give those girls back in the 1940s a piece of our respect, job done. 7/10
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on 1 November 2012
As my title suggests this is a review of the US Import Blu-ray release.
First, and most importantly, for UK buyers....this disc is REGION FREE!!! The back of the box states this and my region-locked player plays it fine.
There are lots of review for the actual film, so in this review I'm only going to focus on the blu-ray release.

The biggest question: Is this worth replacing on Blu-ray. Answer: A resounding YES!!
The picture on the DVD has never been great, and, while the image on the blu-ray isn't perfect all the time it gets damned close. The opening scenes in the present are the grainiest the film gets; but once the films goes into flashback the picture is excellent. Colours are bright and vivid and the blacks are deep. The film continues in this vein throughout with only a few scenes showing grain or soft focus issues.
Overall, if you're a fan this is a must-own and I'm very please I bought it.

Technical specs:
2.35.1 Widescreen.
Subtitles: Danish, English, Flemish, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedith, Turkish.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master 5.1, and the following in Dolby Digital Stereo German, Spanish, French, Japanese and a Commentary.
Extras: Hour long making of documentary, Commentary, Madonna's music video, deleted scenes.
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on 9 April 2001
Easily my favourite film of all time, something that everyone can enjoy, if not for the film itself, the sport, the genre, there's something for anyone! With a cast of acclaimed actors and actresses, it offers more than the average film and induces you into its tale of happiness, losses and fortune.
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on 18 April 2002
Since its release I have watched this film many times - at the cinema, on video, on TV and now on DVD - and every time it makes me tense and excited during the baseball games and tearful during the emotional parts. Geena, Tom, Rosie and Lori are great but for me it's Madonna's amazing performance in the dug out when she's told the league may close and she'll have to return to her poor, disadvantaged roots that steals the show! I always have to dry my eyes at that part! I could not recommend this movie enough!
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on 30 January 2010
This film is, in my opinion, worth watching. Madonna plays an understated yet moving role, as the good-time girl who is desperate to reach beyond her "10 cents a dance" lifestyle and move to something that would have been, but for the WW11, beyond her reach.

Tom Hanks and Geena Davies' acting is superb; as always.

This is a story that hints at the deliberate criticsm of anything that removed women from their perceived place; at home, in the kitchen and the bedroom, but out of public life and away from success. These were, then, goals for men, but most definitely not for women.

The "All American Girls' Professional Baseball League" women succeeded where, previously, only men had been ever considered. They were pioneers in every sense of the word. The film highlights the conflict between a deliberate and manipulative scheme to raise women's expectations during the war (this happened in England in the factories in WWII) and the aftermath of pulling the rug out from under women after the war, again, reflected by propoganda from the Government of England at the time.

I think this film beautifully illustrates the women players' agonies of missing their man who's away at war and fearing news of his death, their natural desire to settle down and have a family and the jarring between that and having talent that built hopes and dreams that extended far beyond the domesticity of the home environment.

This film/story may be old hat to many here and now, but in the 1940s, the ideas suggested were scary stuff. And this film is a reflection of what was happening at the time.

I've watched this film many times; each time more drawn to it than the last.

Brave women, a good story and quality actors and acting.

I think it's well worth a look.
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on 2 December 2012
where do i start a under rated tom hanks film for me. This is one of my favourite 90's movie with kindergarten cop it has sports it has a young tom hanks and a string full of beauties to wet your appetite lol. It start with geena davis and her sister living on a farm with there parents as geena husband is away at war and she just waiting for him to come home where her younger sister has different faults about leaving small town life and heading to the bright lights of the city. In the opening scene the two sisters are playing baseball at a local park and get recruited for the first all girl american league. Now i stop there as i don't want to give away to much but this is a must own if your a sucker for late 80's early 90's movies it heart whealming in places where the wifes wait on news on there husbands during the war, you also see great acting from tom hanks who plays a wash up professional baseball player turned coach also you get a young madonna before she turned ultra weird and didnt have the body of a 16 year old boy lol. So if you reading this don't wait no more just order it plus delivery from allyourmusic was quick.
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on 5 September 2005
Like so many films that have a sporting theme, "A League of their own" does follow a fairly predictable storyline. It has all the elements we've seen in so many films that have both gone before it and come after it; a team of nobodies, a rare old mixture of misfits and different personality types. There's the brass loud mouth, the sexy tart (with a heart of course), the plain shy one and so on and so on. The composition of the film is also pretty unsurprising with long montages of thrilling sports snippets and buddy-buddy hug scenes in the dressing room. Obviously the main difference this time is that the team involved is a female baseball team.
It's the Second World War and in fear that the draft of star Major League Baseball players into the armed forces will cause the league to be closed down, the main team owners decide to create an all female league to keep things going whilst the men are away. Scouts are sent around the country and one comes to a little farming community where he meets and signs up catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and her kid sister Kit Keller. The girls are formed into the Rockford Peaches and the soon start making the headlines, not only for their sporting prowess.
To only consider the film on its sporting merits though is to really miss the point. What it does throw up is an extremely important period for women when for basically the first time every the "fairer sex" was called up to serve their countries. Women poured into the factories and the workplace to keep the war machine rolling on and I think that the ladies realised what life and opportunities were now open to them. Was it any surprise that when the men came marching home the ladies resisted being packed away back into the kitchen.
The performances are great, Geena Davis is lovely as the "league's best player" and I'd never really realised what a beauty she is. Tom Hanks as the team's alcoholic coach is a bit of a change from his normal good guy he plays, here he's tobacco spitting and generally mean to his girls. There is some good atmosphere generated between Davis and Hanks and you are left to wonder "what if" it was Dottie's husband who didn't come back from the war. Lori Petty as Dottie's sister also puts in a fine performance and although he character is jealous and unfair you never loose sympathy with her and you do enjoy her final victory at the end. Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell as other team-mates put in great entertaining parts and also mention for Jon Lovitz as the talent scout who does a perfect line in sharp one-liners.
The ending is cloyingly sentimental and rather over the top, but it does work. My wife was in floods and something seemed to have got in my eye also as it was watering rather badly.
Great fun film and also very suitable for family viewing.
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on 22 February 2014
Bought this as a present for someone who had never seen it and had no interest in baseball but they loved this film. The acting by Hanks and Davis is amazing but Lori Petty steals the show!
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on 12 February 2013
Watched this with my 20 year old daughter, then bought it for my 80 yr old Mum. Yes its that good. Fab story telling and one of the best Geena Davis roles by far.
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