During World War II when american males are fighting the war, most of the jobs left vacant because of their absence were filled in by women. The owners of the baseball teams, not wanting baseball to be shut down during the war, decides then to start an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the AAGPBL. Scouts are sent out all over the country to find women players. Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz), a AAGPBL scout, passes through Oregon and finds a woman named Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis), who is a natural baseball talent. He approaches her and asks her to try out but she’s not interested. However, her sister, Kit (Lori Petty) who wants to get out of Oregon tells Ernie she´s interested and ready to join. But he agrees only if she can get her sister to go. Eventually Dottie decides to go with Kit to the tryouts, mostly due to Kit´s wish to get out of Oregon and to play ball which she loves. They both end up on the same team, The Rockford Peaches with several other colourful characters such as Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell) and “All the Way” Mae Mordabito (Madonna). Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), a former player who had to end his career early due to injures and his problem with alcohol, is chosen by the owner to coach The Rockford Peaches. Initially he thinks the whole idea with a female baseball league is a joke and puts more effort into finding the next drink than actually coach. But, Dottie and the other girls manages to open his eyes to their skills on the field and he warms to the job. As the months go on the league gains not the attention it needs and they face a shut down. But, Ira Lowenstein (David Strathairn), the AAGPBL general manager believes in the girls and fights for their existence. However, they need of figure out what to do to attract the audience…

The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was a women’s professional baseball league founded by Philip K. Wrigley which existed from 1943 to 1954. During the league’s history, over 600 women played ball. The storyline was inspired by the career of baseball legend Dottie Collins. During WWII, Collins played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and pitched 17 shutouts during her six-year career. The film portrays the league as initially unpopular and unprofitable, until demeaning gimmicks are used to attract male audiences. In reality, the league was popular and profitable from the start, largely because it played in towns in the upper Midwest that had no way of watching a live baseball game. Eventually, the league grew into a ten-team two-division league. The advent of televised baseball games in the early fifties, however, would lead to the demise in the popularity of the league. Geena Davis joined the production as a late replacement for Debra Winger, days before filming was due to start. Davis’s character was supposed to be one of the greatest female baseball players in America, and the cast had been doing baseball training for months. Within weeks, Davis had mastered the game, and was regularly beating all her co-stars. The movie’s line “There’s no crying in baseball.” was voted as the #54 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). I like “A League Of Their Own” due to the fact it brings up a true historic sport happening which has a place on the screen and in the history books. It´s a classic tale of fighting for a dream under hard circumstances, solidarity, friendship, comradery, hope, longing and the love for the sport. There´s a good balance between the actors and actresses (even if I didn´t particularly like Rosie O’Donnell´s quite annoying character and Lori Petty´s constantly jealous Kit). I miss Geena Davis on the silver screen. She has that little extra. Tom Hanks is good as Jimmy as well. Yes, some dramatic takes on the story wasn´t of my liking, but it doesn´t really drag down the movie.
(3 out of 5)

MPW-17448