Jackie Robinson stars as himself in this inspiration classic. The movie chronicles his life, from youth, through his college career at UCLA, to his rise to a legend with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jack triumphs over racial injustices and emerges as nothing less than one of America's true heroes. Presented in color for the first time and beautifully restored, this is the definitive edition of The Jackie Robinson Story - it is released in conjunction with The Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Academy Award-winner Tommy Lee Jones ("The Fugitive," "The Client") stars as baseball legend Ty Cobb. A sportswriter is contacted by Cobb to write a white-washed version of his life story but, after discovering the dark and scandalous truth behind the legend, he must decide whether to write the real story or maintain the myth. Co-starring Robert Wuhl ("Good Morning, Vietnam," "Bull Durham") and Lolita Davidovich ("JFK," "Leap of Faith") and written by Ron Shelton ("Bull Durham," "White Men Can"t Jump"). The Hollywood Reporter calls this a "sharp-breaking and crackling film" with a "terrific" performance by Tommy Lee Jones.
Discovered while playing amateur baseball, Jerome Dean, a brash loudmouth with the skills to back it up, is signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and sent to play on a minor league Texas farm team. While in Texas, Dean meets and marries Patricia Nash, and before long is a starting pitcher for the Cards. Nicknamed 'Dizzy' for his colorful antics both on and off the field, his brother Paul, nicknamed 'Daffy' by the press, soon joins him on the team, and together they lead the Cardinals to victory in the 1934 World Series. Plagued by an arm injury that never fully healed, Dean is forced out of baseball and retreats into the bottle, neglecting everything including his wife. He finds a second career as a color commentator but never being properly educated, his use of uncommon and eccentric grammar gets him in trouble with schoolteachers who believe he's a bad influence on children. In a pre-emptive move Dean announces he will resign rather than hurt kids, but St. Louis rallies behind him and he keeps his job, becoming one of the most beloved broadcasters in baseball.
In director John Badham's congenial comedy, baseballers Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) and Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) lead a group of fellow black players defecting from the Negro League in 1939 thanks to their unethical, tightfisted team owners. The duo soon strikes out on their own, forming a barnstorming squad that squares off against their white counterparts in pickup games. Richard Pryor is among the familiar faces in the topnotch cast.
What do you do with a pitcher whose dominance has helped his team claim two world-championship banners? If the pitcher is burly lefty George Herman Ruth, you banish him from the mound, put a bat in his hand and watch him clout one record-setting home run after another. William Bendix suits up in Yankee flannels as the renowned pitcher-turned-outfielder and Sultan of Swat in a movie that mixes fact, fiction and more fiction in a way that makes it a bit of a novelty among sports biopics. Claire Trevor portrays the Babe's beloved wife. Fans of classic films and radio, plus baby boomers who were glued to the tube in the '50s will remember Bendix for his performances as the likable lunk and family man of The Life of Riley.