A League of Their Own Is Still Beloved

A League of Their Own. Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

A League of Their Own is a beloved comedy which not only celebrates women in baseball but continues to serve as an inspiration to women today.

The 1992 baseball classic recently recieved an upgrade to 4K Ultra HD.  This came in part due to the film being included in the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1.  Columbia has a vast library but this is an inspiring film to include.  It comes with a downside in that the collection is also the only way to get the film on 4K UHD.

Book-ended by a new All-American Girls Professional Baseball League exhibit opening in 1988, the film quickly flashbacks to 1943.  This is where we see Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty) just before they are recruited by Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) in Oregon.  Ira Lowenstein (David Strathairn) is the league’s general manager.  Dottie and Kit soon join eight others on the Rockford Peaches roster including Mae “All the Way Mae” Mordabito (Madonna) and Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell).  A former Cubs slugger, Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), manages the team.

I’m not going to really dive into the plot here.  It’s about how a group of people united together over their love of baseball.  It just so happens that this particular group makes a run a World Series run.  Though the run almost happens without Dottie when her husband, Bob Hinson (Bill Pullman), comes back from the war.  The script certainly gets us good with an unfortunate tease.  Even though Dottie has you thinking that she’s going to give up on the team when they need her the most, she makes the right decision to play in one of the most important games of their season!

One piece of trivia.  Walter Harvey is a stand-in for Philip K. Wrigley.  Similarly, Harvey Field is the legendary Wrigley Field.  In the film, Harvey starts up the league as a way of trying not to lose income with the men fighting overseas.  The actual Wrigley did champion the league in real life.  My guess is that the filmmakers couldn’t obtain the license to use his likeness.

Behind the camera, Penny Marshall helps bring the right sensitivity to make the film work.  I’m not sure that a male director could give us the same type of film.  Oh, they could certainly try alright but only Penny Marshall could make this film.

The story doesn’t end when the film comes to an end after some two hours.  No, you can see more of the story in A Secret Love on Netflix.  I say this because the film is inspired by real events and lesbians did play in the league.  Granted they remained closeted at the time.

The film also helped to put the league back on the map in terms of public consciousness.  When the film opened in 1992, the digital era had not really come into existence.  The only way anyone could learn the history was really by way of books.

If you have the opportunity to get the limited 4K UHD set, make sure to check out the bonus features.  The bonus content includes deleted scenes, a feature about the film’s legacy, 3 episodes of the TV series, a Madonna music video, and an hour-long documentary, Nine Memorable Innings.

DIRECTOR:  Penny Marshall
SCREENWRITERS:  Lowell Ganz & Bobaloo Mandel
CAST:  Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, and Bill Pullman

Columbia Pictures opened A League of Their Own in theaters on July 1, 1992. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.