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"Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!"
As all the best baseball stars went off to fight the good war, something had to be done to get baseball stadiums busy. One man's solution: Create the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. This is their story.
To be more concise, A League of Their Own is a 1992 film directed by Penny Marshall, starring her brother Garry, and featuring Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz. It is a fictionalized telling of the founding of the aforementioned baseball league and its struggles to stay relevant after the war ended. The main focus is the Rockford (Ill.) Peaches, headed by drunkard former baseball player Jimmy Dugan, and Kit and Dottie, two sisters who join the team.
Not to be confused with the British sports panel show of the same name.
This film features examples of:
Jimmy Dugan: Does he know how good you are?
- Big Damn Heroes: Dottie returns just in time for the final game of the world series. Subverted in that they lose.
- Big Game
- Billing Displacement: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna are listed as the three main actors in promotional material, and home video, despite the fact that the characters Dottie and Kit are clearly the main stars, and Lori Petty has a much larger role than Madonna (Although Madonna also contributed the movie's theme, "This Used to Be My Playground").
- Boisterous Bruiser: Doris. Makes sense, since she was a bouncer at a strip club.
- Book Ends: The elderly Dottie attending the league's induction into the baseball hall of fame.
- Bottomless Bladder: Jimmy subverts this.
- Call Back: The iconic "THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!" rant quoted above comes after Evelyn bursts into tears when manager Jimmy Dugan rips her for missing the cutoff (wo-)man on a throw from the outfield. During the final game of the World Series, she makes the identical error, allowing Racine to score their first run. She finally gets it right in the climactic scene when she fields Kit's base hit deep in the gap and uncorks an excellent throw to the cutoff man, but Kit's still safe.
- Evelyn burst into tears after Jimmy screamed at her, "Start using your head! That's the lump that's three feet above your ass!" Later:
Jimmy: So, let's play hard, let's play smart, use your heads.
- Chick Flick -- or rather, a Deconstruction of the very term.
- Confessional: "That's the second time he's dropped that bible[...] Mae, what'd you say?" "Everything."
- Deadpan Snarker: Ira Lowenstein has some good moments:
- "That was some good coaching. I particularly liked that play in the fifth inning where you scratched your balls for an hour"
- And, in the same scene: "Hey Jimmy if I paid you a little more could you be just a little more disgusting?"
- Death Notification: One of the girls gets a telegram telling her that her husband was killed in action. The man delivering the telegram somehow didn't realize that he never bothered to find out which woman on the team was supposed to receive the letter, causing some angst.
- Did Not Do the Research: A minor thing--but the road trip that Dottie and her husband go on at the end of the movie would have been impossible during World War II gasoline rationing.
- Down to the Last Play: Inverted in that it's the Opposing Sports Team that wins on the last play.
- Executive Meddling: The producers wanted Jimmy and Dottie to hook up in the end. They also pushed for Dottie to save Jimmy from his drinking. The director responded with a single scene on the bus where Jimmy ends the conversation saying it was "time for a drink." Dottie takes his flask and hands him a soda.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Dottie and Kit in the worst way.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Kit towards Dottie somewhat.
- I Am Not Right Handed: "Okay, Marla, now hit lefty."
- I Was Quite a Looker: All of the Peaches
- Jackie Robinson Story
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jimmy Dugan
- Also Ernie Capadino, though not the same number of karats.
- Meaningful Echo: Dottie and Kit's argument about hitting high fast balls turns endearing at the end.
- Men Don't Cry: Or, more precisely, real BASEBALL PLAYERS don't cry, as the page quote states.
- Mood Whiplash: A Western Union Man barges in on the Peaches as they ready for a game to bring news that one of their husbands has died in the war. But he takes so long in finding out who that Jimmy shoves him out and delivers the telegram to its intended recipient, Betty, himself.
- Whipped back in the next scene, where Dottie is openly weeping in her room, knowing what happened to Betty could have happened to her, too, when the door opens, revealing her husband Bob, discharged after being injured. The joy and relief on Dottie's face is palpable.
- Never Learned to Read: Shirley.
Shirley: Her. M - mi - mil - mil - milky, milky. White, white. Milky white.
- Newsreel: "Betty Grable has nothing on these gals!"
- Nobody Poops: Gloriously averted in the scene where Tom Hanks takes an extraordinarily long pee.
- It's so long Mae pulls out a stopwatch. "He ain't done yet!"
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jimmy Dugan represents Jimmie Foxx, who managed the Fort Wayne Daisies in the real league, and Walter Harvey the candy bar magnate founder was inserted in place of P.K. Wrigley, the gum magnate founder of the real league.
- Playing Against Type: Tom Hanks to some extent. Jimmy Dugan eventually proves to have a heart of gold, but he's arguably the sleaziest character Hanks has ever played.
(Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy)
- Recycled: the Series: had a six episode run in 1993 as a half hour Sitcom.
- Refused by the Call: The league scout has no real interest in Kit only recruits her because her older sister won't join without her. This builds up resentment on her part (she had already spent her life in her Dottie's shadow) that culminates when the Dottie goes to the bosses saying they just can't play on the same team anymore (hoping to be traded) and accidentally gets her little sister shipped off to another team.
- Save Our League
- Sibling Rivalry: Dottie and Kit. It doesn't help that everything Dottie tries to rectify the situation makes things worse (Memorably, when she tells Ira she's thinking of quitting because of the pressures of being on the road, Ira trades Kit to Racine.)
- Spoiled Brat: Stillwell.
- Statuesque Stunner: Dottie is easily the tallest of the Peaches, and as many of the characters will attest, one of the prettiest
- Stay in the Kitchen: A radio commentary plays over the tryout montage stating that the league is a gross perversion of women and they should all be ashamed of themselves and go home. Later, when the league is in danger of being shut down, Ira asks Harvey if he just expects them to all go back to their kitchens.
Ira: Is that it? Sorry Rosie, put your rivets away and get back in the kitchen?
- Team Mom: Dottie.
- Throw It In: During his scene on the farm, Lovitz kept getting interrupted by the cows' mooing, prompting him to ad-lib, "Will you shut up?!"
- The Unfavourite: Kit views herself as this within her family.
"You ever hear Dad introduce us to people? 'This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie's sister.' Should've just had you and bought a dog!"
- Unnecessary Roughness: Kit does this as part of an Indy Ploy to win her team the championship.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story/Did Not Do the Research: The real AAGPBL did not play regulation baseball, but rather a sort of baseball/softball hybrid. The ball was larger than a baseball (but smaller than a softball) and the bases were closer together (but still farther apart than a softball diamond). Also, while Racine did win the World Series, it was a five-game series, not seven.
- Written in Infirmity: A consequence of Method Acting: None of the actresses wanted a stunt double, so they did many of the stunts themselves. Their injuries were written into the film.
- In the scene where Dottie catches a fast-pitch from Doris bare-handed, one of the real players from the league (and a consultant) claims this was a tennis ball with a baseball skin covering it, to help avoid hurting the actresses unnecessarily.