This 1992, classic movie is still wildly entertaining today. It has a star-studded cast featuring Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, and Tom Hanks. Penny Marshall (of Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley fame) directed the film.
The story is loosely based on the real All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and the 1943 Rockford Peaches (an Illinois women’s baseball team). However, the characters are fictionalized, but this does not stop from making an entertaining and compelling movie about a real women’s professional sports team.
The movie was a huge success in 1992, and hit #1 at the box office. The story of two sisters from Oregon leaving the farm to play baseball during the WWII era doesn’t sound like a predictable box office smash, but it proved to be full of enough sassiness, sex appeal and sports lore to seduce audiences worldwide. The film grossed over 130 million on a 40 million dollar budget.
Catcher, Dottie (Geena Davie) and her pitcher, sister Kit (Lori Petty) share an intense loyalty and sibling rivalry. The film orbits around these central characters with the Peaches Manager and alcoholic former baseball great Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), and tough talking Doris (Rosie O’Donnell) and All the way Mae (Madonna) providing plenty of drama.
While the girls can play serious ball, they are still sexed-up in short skirts to bring in audiences. Dottie actually catches a ball while doing the splits to capture the cover of Life Magazine and ensure the continuation of a struggling women’s league. There is conflict, competition, but also an amble share of camaraderie. The film is fun but has depth and tells an interesting story.
The story is told in a poignant book-ended flashback, and reveals the special moments and lifelong bonds of “sisterhood” both on the playing field and within a family. This classic is well worth watching with a cold soda and a bucket of warm buttered popcorn.