GREEN'S "USE YOUR HEAD... THAT'S THE LUMP THREE FEET ABOVE YOUR ASS" REVIEW:
It is 1943 and World War II is taking it's toll in the United States. With many of baseball's best players enlisting in the armed forces, the war is threatening to shut down the game for the duration of the war. Unless women could play baseball... Hmmmm, hey that's a great idea!!
Enter sisters Dottie Hindson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty), two Oregon farm girls recruited by scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) to play in a six team all girls league based near Chicago. Joining them are "All the Way" May Mordabito (Madonna) and Doris Murphy (Rosie O'Donnell in her movie debut). These four girls join the Rockford Peaches, managed by ex-alcoholic major leaguer Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks).
To me, this movie is a classic, one that can be watched over many times. It is a tribute to the AAGPBL (All American Girls Professional Baseball League) which operated from 1943-1954. There are many great liners in this movie, a witty script despite a very predictable story, adapted excellently by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Director Penny Marshall, of Laverne & Shirley fame, reunites with Tom Hanks and the guy who played Squiggy (David L. Lander) as the (uncredited) radio announcer guy. Marshall does a good job keeping the story interesting, despite the story limitations.
The cast is fantastic. Tom Hanks is good in virtually every role he plays. I can't think of a better actress to have played Dottie Hinson than Geena Davis, even though she was not the first choice for the role. This was the signature role of Lori Petty's career. According to IMDb, Madonna, who was being a primadonna, didn't have fun filming this movie, having to learn to play baseball and filming in Chicago. Bill Pullman and David Straithairn are also good in their small roles. Even those actresses whom you may not have heard of are great in their complimentary ballplayer roles.
This is a feel good movie that even the non-sports fan should like.
The version I watched was the basic DVD, containing no extras whatsoever. I'll be looking to upgrade my copy when the budget allows.
****½ out of *****
A League of Their Own (1992, PG, 128 minutes), starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and David Strathairn. Written by Kim wilson and Kelly Candaele. Screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Directed by Penny Marshall.