Baseball movies I have seen

by Alberto-7 | created - 17 Jan 2014 | updated - 12 Jan 2019 | Public

A short list of the baseball films I have seen. I have only included fiction films.

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1. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)

PG | 110 min | Comedy, Sport

Tired of the slave-like treatment of his team's owner, charismatic star Negro League pitcher Bingo Long takes to the road with his band of barnstormers through the small towns of the Midwest in the 1930's.

Director: John Badham | Stars: Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Rico Dawson

Votes: 1,517

Funny treatment of a serious subject. Billy Dee Williams is amazing in this as is Richard Pryor but James Earl Jones steals the show. The film has lush cinematography and a real feel for the 1930s. I consider this to be one of the top 3 baseball movies of all time.

2. Elmer, the Great (1933)

Not Rated | 72 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport

Country bumpkin Elmer Kane joins the Chicago Cubs as the greatest hitter in baseball. His skill with a bat takes the team to the World Series, but on the way to the championship he has to deal with gamblers and crooked pitchers.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Joe E. Brown, Patricia Ellis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd

Votes: 381

Joe E. Brown is very funny but the film takes a long time to get going.

3. It Happens Every Spring (1949)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Sport

A scientist discovers a formula that makes a baseball which is repelled by wood. He promptly sets out to exploit his discovery.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Ray Milland, Jean Peters, Paul Douglas, Ed Begley

Votes: 1,484

Silly baseball movie with a very silly premise. That being said, Ray Milland plays for laughs. The baseball sequences are good. Look fast for Alan hale Jr. as one of Milland's students.

4. The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

Approved | 77 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the negro leagues and the major leagues.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Minor Watson, Louise Beavers

Votes: 1,031

Low, low budget biopic with Jackie Robinson playing himself. Well staged baseball sequences plus a natural performance by Robinson make this well worth watching, just don't expect anything resembling 42's budget.

5. The Comrades of Summer (1992 TV Movie)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Sport

To teach a team of Russian wanna-be baseball players the finer points of the all-American game is no easy task, but for a grudgingly resentful, recently fired baseball manager from the ... See full summary »

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace | Stars: Joe Mantegna, Natalya Negoda, Michael Lerner, Mark Rolston

Votes: 332

Average made-for-TV film with a funny performance from Joe Mantegna. Many, many schmaltzy moments balanced, thankfully, by quite a few funny moments.

6. Mr. Baseball (1992)

PG-13 | 108 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport

Jack Elliot, once a great baseball player, is forced to play in Japan where his brash, egotistical ways cause friction with his new teammates and friends.

Director: Fred Schepisi | Stars: Tom Selleck, Ken Takakura, Aya Takanashi, Dennis Haysbert

Votes: 9,594 | Gross: $20.88M

Tom Selleck is great and the film a lot of fun but this should have been much, much better. The baseball sequences are top notch and Selleck's nightmare at the start of the film is hilarious as is the TV commercial he makes in Japan.

7. Bull Durham (1988)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport

73 Metascore

A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.

Director: Ron Shelton | Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson

Votes: 45,178 | Gross: $50.89M

The best baseball movie of all time with terrific performances from Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon. A funny, charming, realistic view of minor league baseball.

8. Major League (1989)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Sport

62 Metascore

The new owner of the Cleveland Indians puts together a purposely horrible team so they'll lose and she can move the team. But when the plot is uncovered, they start winning just to spite her.

Director: David S. Ward | Stars: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton

Votes: 58,876 | Gross: $49.80M

Easily the best of the Major League trilogy with funny performances from the entire cast, especially Wesley Snipes as Willie Mays Hayes.

9. Major League II (1994)

PG | 105 min | Comedy, Sport

The Indians are now a World Series contender. But last year's hunger is now replaced with complacency, and bad decisions by the new owner threaten to tear the team apart.

Director: David S. Ward | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert

Votes: 24,059 | Gross: $30.63M

So-so sequel has little of the spark from the first film. The cast look like they would rather be elsewhere. The "comedy" is now reduced to cartoonish bits. Skip this one.

10. Major League: Back to the Minors (1998)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Sport

Gus Cantrell is a major league pitcher in the twilight of his career. He contacted by Roger Dorn, General Manager of the Minnesota Twins, and offered the role of managing the Buzz, the ... See full summary »

Director: John Warren | Stars: Scott Bakula, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Takaaki Ishibashi

Votes: 6,844 | Gross: $3.55M

Nothing special entry in the series that uses every cliche in the book. Still, Scott Bakula is charming and Ted McGinley silly as all hell.

11. Field of Dreams (1989)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

57 Metascore

An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the 1919 Chicago White Sox come.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan

Votes: 102,983 | Gross: $64.43M


12. A League of Their Own (1992)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

67 Metascore

Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry.

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna

Votes: 87,203 | Gross: $107.53M

Funny, energetic film with a great performance from Tom Hanks.

13. Brewster's Millions (1985)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

37 Metascore

A minor league baseball player has to spend thirty million dollars in thirty days, in order to inherit three hundred million dollars. However, he's not allowed to tell anyone about the deal.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Richard Pryor, John Candy, Lonette McKee, Stephen Collins

Votes: 33,904 | Gross: $38.80M

Silly but a lot of fun. John Candy is great as always.

14. 42 (2013)

PG-13 | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

62 Metascore

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers and faces considerable racism in the process.

Director: Brian Helgeland | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, T.R. Knight, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie

Votes: 80,017 | Gross: $95.00M

Great biopic with some intense performances. A terrific movie.

15. College (1927)

Not Rated | 66 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

To reconcile with his girlfriend, a bookish college student tries to become an athlete.

Directors: James W. Horne, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Anne Cornwall, Flora Bramley, Harold Goodwin

Votes: 4,101

Buster Keaton tries every sport imaginable including baseball with hilarious results.

16. Rhubarb (1951)

Passed | 94 min | Comedy, Family, Sport

Rich, eccentric T.J. Banner adopts a feral cat who becomes an affectionate pet. Then T.J. dies, leaving to Rhubarb most of his money and a pro baseball team, the Brooklyn Loons. When the ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Lubin | Stars: Ray Milland, Jan Sterling, Gene Lockhart, William Frawley

Votes: 561

Silly, silly film. Look fast for Leonard Nimoy as one of the baseball players.

17. The Bad News Bears (1976)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

83 Metascore

An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league.

Director: Michael Ritchie | Stars: Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Vic Morrow, Joyce Van Patten

Votes: 19,288 | Gross: $42.35M

I saw this 35 years ago and don't remember much, which isn't a good sign.

18. The Pinch Hitter (1917)

48 min | Comedy, Sport

Shy Joel Parker seems bound for nowhere, until Abbie Nettleton enters his life. With her prodding, Joel goes from timid nobody to a baseball star with bravura.

Director: Victor Schertzinger | Stars: Charles Ray, Sylvia Breamer, Joseph J. Dowling, Jerome Storm

Votes: 8

Typical, hokey, silent melodrama is overacted to the maximum. Still, it contains a great (but predictable) ending. The baseball sequences are OK for the era and Charles Ray is fine in the lead role but this is not a great baseball movie by any stretch of the imagination. Sylvia Bremer as the love interest is also OK.

19. Fear Strikes Out (1957)

Approved | 100 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

True story of the life of Jimmy Piersall, who battled mental illness to achieve stardom in major league baseball.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Norma Moore, Adam Williams

Votes: 1,593

Intense, gut-wrenching film about a baseball player who has a mental breakdown because of the pressure. Anthony Perkins is very good in portraying a tormented soul but he is poor in the baseball scenes. Karl Malden as the father who pushes his son to the edge by heaping ridiculous pressure on him, is also very good. This is a rare 1950s film that talks about mental illness and it doesn't talk down to the audience. Overall a real solid film. If only Perkins was a little better in the baseball scenes it would be that much better.

20. Safe at Home! (1962)

Not Rated | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Young Hutch Lawton brags to his Little League buddies that his dad knows Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Forced to "put up or shut up" Hutch goes to spring training camp where he is lectured... See full summary »

Director: Walter Doniger | Stars: Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, William Frawley, Patricia Barry

Votes: 308

Cute kid's movie about a young boy who boasts he knows Mickey Mantle and Roger Marris and then has to travel to Ft. Lauderdale during Spring training to see if he can meet them and convince them to come visit his team. Harmless little film with Marris and Mantle appearing as themselves. They are both less stiff than you would think. William Frawley steals the show as a grumpy Yankees coach. The film also has gorgeous black and white photography and terrific Florida locations. A fun little film.

21. Kill the Umpire (1950)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Sport

An umpire-hating ex-baseball player loses many jobs because his passion for watching ball games during working hours but he decides to combine business with pleasure by becoming an umpire himself.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: William Bendix, Una Merkel, Ray Collins, Gloria Henry

Votes: 467

Hilarious comedy with William Bendix as a hothead who becomes an umpire despite himself. Written by Frank Tashlin who later directed many Jerry Lewis films. This one plays like a Warner Brothers cartoon which isn't surprising since Tashlin got his start in those cartoons. The final chase sequence is appropriately frantic. Alan Hale Jr. has a very small role in this.

22. Baseball Bugs (1946)

Approved | 7 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

Bugs plays every defensive position against the Gashouse Gorillas.

Director: Friz Freleng | Stars: Mel Blanc, Bea Benaderet, Frank Graham, Tedd Pierce

Votes: 1,621

Ok, I realize this is only a short but how could I leave it out? Bugs plays every single position in a game against the Gashouse Gorillas. A classic Looney Tunes cartoon with the greatest cartoon character of all time. Brilliant !!

23. Big Leaguer (1953)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Family, Sport

John Lobert runs a training camp in Florida for the New York Giants. Every year, he evaluates the hopefuls to pick the best for a minor league contract. They all have dreams and talent, but... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Vera-Ellen, Jeff Richards, Richard Jaeckel

Votes: 289

Corny, clichéd look at the New York Giants training camp for baseball hopefuls. Silly movie with next to no plot and two-dimensional characters but it still has an innocent energy that you find in movies of that era. Edward G. Robinson does what he can with the corny script but even he can't inject much into this. Only for baseball film diehards and fans of Robinson.

24. Long Gone (1987 TV Movie)

110 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Story of the Tampico Stogies, a low minor-league baseball team, and its star player and manager, Stud' Cantrell, as they battle for the league championship amidst the corruption and racism of the American south.

Director: Martin Davidson | Stars: William Petersen, Virginia Madsen, Dermot Mulroney, Larry Riley

Votes: 929

Cute but cliche-ridden film gets by on its charm, and boy is it charming. Terrific cast that includes William Petersen, Virginia Madsen, Dermot Mulroney and Teller (of Penn and Teller fame). Winning performances, a fun and sassy script and terrific period detail make this a winner. Joel Murray has a small role as one of the baseball players.

25. One Run Elmer (1935)

Approved | 19 min | Short, Action, Comedy

Elmer owns a gas station out in the California desert. Soon he has a business rival in Jim, who opens up another station, and is also trying to steal Elmer's girlfriend. She plays both ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Lamont | Stars: Buster Keaton, Lona Andre, Dewey Robinson, Harold Goodwin

Votes: 133

Hilarious Buster Keaton two-reeler plays like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It has terrific gags including Buster getting revenge on a nasty umpire in his own unique way.

26. Soul of the Game (1996 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, History, Sport

Black baseball greats, Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson, vie to be the first afro-American major leaguer, only to see the outspoken rookie, Jackie Robinson, be chosen.

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan | Stars: Delroy Lindo, Mykelti Williamson, Edward Herrmann, Blair Underwood

Votes: 886

Well made TV movie about Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson contains a terrific performance by Delroy Lindo as Paige and a nuanced one by Blair Underwood as Robinson. The film has a very nice feel for the 1940s and is quite well done. Edward Hermann is also good as a pragmatic Branch Rickey. Definitely worth seeing.

27. Dealin' with Idiots (2013)

Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy

43 Metascore

Faced with the absurd competitiveness surrounding his son's youth league baseball team, famous comedian Max Morris decides to get to know the colorful parents and coaches of the team better... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Garlin | Stars: Jeff Garlin, Steve Agee, Gina Gershon, Jami Gertz

Votes: 1,201 | Gross: $0.02M

Very lightweight film dealing with how ridiculous parents, coaches and officials get when their kids are involved in Little League baseball. The film runs out of steam midway through. Most of the characters are simply caricatures and the ending is trite. Jeff Garlin is ok as the main character as is Jamie Gertz as an annoying baseball parent. The rest of the cast does what it can with the thin script. Don't bother with this one.

28. Girls Can Play (1937)

Approved | 59 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Foy Harris (John Gallaudet) is a bootlegger selling illegal booze and also running a girl's professional softball team and is romancing the team's catcher Sue Collins (Rita Hayworth). The ... See full summary »

Director: Lambert Hillyer | Stars: Julie Bishop, Charles Quigley, Rita Hayworth, John Gallaudet

Votes: 59

This little B picture is so much fun. The performances are great, the dialogue is snappy and the baseball angle works well. You can categorize it as a murder-mystery-sports-comedy-romance(a heck of a mix but it works). The bonus is seeing a very young Rita Hayworth as the gangster's girlfriend. Julie Bishop is just as good as the female lead and Charles Quigley quite charming as the male lead(newspaper reporter). Boy, they don't make films like this anymore. Well worth your time.

29. The Babe Ruth Story (1948)

Passed | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

The famed slugger is played by Bendix, who resembles Ruth slightly in looks and not at all in baseball ability. The film traces the "life and times" of Ruth, including his famous "called ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: William Bendix, Claire Trevor, Charles Bickford, Sam Levene

Votes: 910

Oy! Overly schmaltzy movie with more drama than a soap opera. Bendix is Ok in an impossible role. Some of the situations the film puts him in are ridiculously contrived. I don't know the real story of Babe Ruth but I am sure this film made up 85% of what is shown. Seriously, don't bother.

30. 61* (2001 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 129 min | Biography, Drama, History

Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle race to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record.

Director: Billy Crystal | Stars: Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Anthony Michael Hall, Richard Masur

Votes: 13,204

Well made biopic focusing on Roger Maris chasing Babe Ruth's home run record. The period detail is quite good and the cast solid. Barry Pepper holds his own as Maris and is ably backed up by the supporting cast. 7 baseball bats out of 10.

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