A League of Their Own (1992) is a delightful film about the All American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s. Along with a spate of other baseball films like Bull Durham, Moneyball and Field of Dreams, it disproved the theory that sports films somehow spelt ‘box office disaster’. The key to the success of films like A League of Their Own was that it wasn’t invariably just a baseball movie.
In short, A League of Their Own is a story of the human spirit and how a group of talented young woman, recruited from across the United States, pulled together to make a team. Beyond the interesting story of how the league was formed, it was also a tale of sibling rivalry between two sisters, played by Geena Davis and Lori Petty, which inevitable comes to a climax in the films finale. But importantly, the film also takes a look at the climate of sexism of the early 40s and the chauvinistic attitude of men, who believed baseball was not a sport for women.
One of the most memorable scenes from the film involves the ever-reliable Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, a down-and-out ex-player turned coach and one of his young protégés, Evelyn Gardner, played by Bitty Schram. In the lead up to the scene, Evelyn makes a blunder in one of Rockford’s games that cost them dearly and Dugan (Hanks) is not happy. When Dugan calls over Evelyn, diplomacy is quickly thrown out the window as he explodes in a verbal tirade. Evelyn does her best to compose herself but can’t which leads to one of the film’s greatest lines, “There’s no crying in baseball.” It is a scene that is both awkward and funny. It highlights the fine line Dugan must tread in his role as coach as he attempts to shape the Rockford Peaches into a winning team. Although he later comes to admire the young women under his tutelage, this scene shows, the pressure he is under and his inability to accept losing or failure, arguably a reflection of his own insecurities and a stellar career he ruined by being a roaring drunk.
Photo Credit: The header movie still image from the film A League of Their Own is presumably owned by Columbia Pictures. I make use of the image under the rationale of ‘fair use’ to help illustrate arguably one of cinema history’s greatest scenes. It also enables me to makes an important contribution to the readers understanding of the article, which could not practically be communicated by words alone. I am not the uploader of the You Tube clip.