A League of Their Own by Penny Marshall Film Commentary

Last Updated: 16 May 2023
Essay type: Movie Analysis
Pages: 10 Views: 53

Of the most amazing things that films can do is that they may be able to influence our way of thought, our way of life, to be overall a better person. For many years the film industry has made movies for entertainment but also for the way society may look on things. Many films have been done on sports to show or portray a certain aspect of how life used to be. The actors and directors express their themes through highly planned acting to make the film become alive and full of character. Films with sports being a major role do not necessarily mean that they are about sports but are actually showing another stage of life. Sports are used to show the main focus of the directors intent through A League of Their Own, Remember the Titans, and Hoosiers.

A League of Their Own is a film directed by Penny Marshall which starts out in 1988 with a reunion of the All American Girls Professional Baseball (AAGPB) Where Dotti Hinson goes to see her old friends from the league. There we turn back in history with the war going own and starting of a professional girls baseball league. While playing in a softball game a scout, Jon Lovitz, scouts out Dotti Hinson (Geena Davis) and asks her to play in the league, however, he didnt want her kid sister Kit Keller(Lori Petty) In the end they both end up going to Chicago for tryouts. After making the team both are put on the same team and start playing for the Georgia Peaches.

The star of the movie along with Geena Davis, is Tom Hanks who plays an run-down baseball giant who wasnt sent to the war because of an injury to his knee. The owner of a candy bar(Gary Marshall) hires Jimmy Dugan (Hanks) to coach the all girl team. While Dungan does nothing on the bench to help the team, Hinson takes over. After a while Jimmy Dungan wakes up and starts to manage the team and the team continues to prosper. The league runs into trouble and the owners want to pull out of the league. However, due to Dotti Hinson the league thrives in popularity. Then the threat of the leagues dismissal comes to the ending of the war. The movie ends with little sister Kit getting traded and both Dotti and Kit in the World Series. Kits team wins and Dotti goes back home with her returned from war husband to Oregon, then with the ending of the opening of the AAGPB spot of history at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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A League of Their Own shows the values of women and their role to society back in the 1930s as the housewife and other similar roles of society at that time. With the war going on and the men out at war, women were starting to be brought into the work force to produce the labor that was originally done by the man. Some of these things are portrayed with parents of Dotti and Kit when they are listening to the radio and a distinguished woman talks of the news of the world and states of the all womens league.

She is disgusted with the fact of womens baseball and shows the type of thinking of women back in that time; such as being in the home as a house wife and definitely not on the baseball diamond. They were also taken to a beauty school to learn or become refined as a lady. They were taught to talk like a lady, act like a lady, or even sit or drink tea like a lady. They also were not allowed to wear regular mens baseball uniforms but however, a dress which would definitely not be appropriate for baseball.

Penny Marshall in A League of Their Own also shows of women being free of the dominating role of which society portrayed of women. Many of these scenes are done through them coming together as a family and doing something that had never been done, playing professional baseball. Also, this freedom is showed when they go to a bar and their slug hitter gets a little tipsy and begins singing horrible, while All the way May (Madonna) is dancing with tons of guys along as with the other girls. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave 3 stars and said Marshall shows her women characters in a tug-of-war between new images and old values, and so her movie is about transition- about how it felt as a woman suddenly to have new roles and freedom.

The musical score becomes a major influence to the viewer at the end of the film as they look back at the history of womens baseball. The music is a generalized score to help with the overall emotional atmosphere. Boyd Petrie from Respects Film Reviews says about Penny Marshall: As for the writing, it is quick and witty, especially Jon Lovitz's lines. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel have written a wonderful script with great characters. Of course, the directing must have had something to do with it and Penny Marshall puts a charm in the film that is hard to miss. This is probably on of her best films to date. Overall the feel and look of the film gives us a feeling that women are important and liberty of they can be what they want to be in life.

In Remember the Titans, directed by Boaz Yakin, gives us a whole hearted performance of directing. Jeff Vice from Deseret News said, Yet, unlike so many of recent productions, the film has real heart and a worthwhile purpose for existing. In this he is talking about the racial differences that are put into the film. Denzel Washington stars as high school football coach Herman Boone, who finds himself in a somewhat unenviable position in 1971-era Alexandria, Va. Boone has just been handed the job for the T.C. Williams Titans, a powerhouse in the high-school football ranks. It's a school and community divided, since his hiring has forced out longtime Coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton). Meanwhile, legislature-mandated busing has led to a newly integrated student body, which has caused more people to be mad.

However, Boone is still determined to make the best of this worsening situation. First, he asks Yoast to stay on and serve as his defensive coordinator. Then, he tries to bring together his contentious, racially divided players with a training camp.

To nearly everyone's surprise, the team returns to town as a team. But Boone still faces some lingering resentment from Yoast, who seems ready to pounce at the first mistake he makes. If that isn't bad enough, there are those in the community determined to make his coaching career a short one, including school board members who have all but said that Boone will be out if he loses. In the end, the T.C. Titans win the state championship and Boone is congratulated by both ethnic races.

Remember the Titans gives us a look of racial differences that were happening in 1971. Coach Yoast loses his job because of the Federal order of desegregation in schools and to affirm this action, he is replaced by Coach Boone. Coach Boone is hesistant about taking this job, but for reasons such as family and a need of an income, he accepts.

Coach Yoast is obviously upset, but is offered an assistant job by Boone, to avoid bad mixture between both races. Several times during the movie players, including the team captain are forced to accept the new formation of coaches. Gary Butier, (team captain) comes to Coach Boone with the formula of half of your people can play. However, during the football camp they are forced to deal with the different racial teaching that they have been taught, but become a team. However, when the team returns to school, they become separated again because of the sheltered environment that they had at camp they hadnt resolved completely the differences.

Many times during the film it gives us a struggle with Coach Yoast. Coach Yoast being the Caucasian coach and having his job taken away, he decides that what he thinks isnt important as what is best for the boys. He has an inner struggle with himself as of what he should do. One of the final games in the high school tournament, he is told that if Coach Boone loses one game that next year hell be the head coach again and get into the High School Football Hall of Fame. Coach Yoast then sees that the game is being unfairly called and that the referees where being paid off to call the game in favor of the other team.

Coach Yoast has a very important decision to make; one, keep quite let the boys lose and take the fame and the glory and being the coach next year and being accepted into the Hall of Fame, which is what the daughter ums for inside; or two, do the right thing and throw everything that you have done in your life for high school football in jeopardy. Coach Yoast does the right thing but pays the burden. He no longer will be the head coach nor be part of the Hall of Fame. Remember the Titans shows more than just football, but the way life has changed all of us inside.

Famous Critic Roger Ebert comments, "Remember the Titans" has the outer form of a brave statement about the races in America, but the soul of a sports movie in which everything is settled by the obligatory last play in the last seconds of the championship game. Whether the Titans win or lose has nothing to do with the season they have played and what they were trying to prove. But it has everything to do with the movie's sleight of hand, in which we cheer the closing touchdown as if it is a victory over racism.

Although there were much positive influence in the film they also mentioned of its faults. Own Gleiberman says, Except that the film can hardly wait to get all corny and back slappy. The players become instant best buddies, engaging, at one point, in a locker room sing along of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (a great song that should be banned from movies as a feel good soul tonic). The jock lite camaraderie is like something out of a telephone commercial: It's reach out and touch your fellow linebacker.

The film Hoosiers directed by David Anspaugh is a basketball movie that gives us the feeling of Indiana Basketball during the 1950s. The high school coach had passed away where a new high school coach would be needed to fill his position. Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) was hired and is a personal friend of the Principal. During the movie, Coach Dale is faced with many new challenges that happen around small rural cities, he has a town meeting in which the town can get to know him and tell him what they think he should do as coach.

The teams star player is not playing because of the vice principals planning of him getting an academic scholarship. He then starts practices where the town sheriff, barber, and other citizens are watching his every move. His players are raw and without discipline and he determines that they need to be corralled into his manners. One of these inicidents happens when he demands that they pass 4 times before every shot, and due to a disobedience of Ray, Coach Dale plays with only 4 players making him the town laughing stock. He is then almost forced out of his job, but is rescued by the star player, Jimmy, coming to play basketball.

This movie is also about second chances as Coach Dale had once coached college basketball, but because he hit a player was expelled from the NCAA and also high school basketball in New York. He also, decides during the film that he would give a second chance to Shooter(Dennis Hopper) who plays the town drunk who knows everything about basketball. Dennis Hopper has this typecasting role as described by James Monaco in How to Read a Film where he explains that actors are sometimes used in such a form a certain amount of times that society will only accept him or her in that form. Shooter ends up helping the team into the semi-finals of the state tournament. In the end, the team overcomes the adversity of the small city team against the Goliaths of Indiana.

Hoosiers also is a very emotional film, this is due to the musical score edited into the film. Maurice Raft in his book All About the Movies says, A musical score can influence the audience, even more than the acting. However, one critic James Southall of the Thats Entertainment Records comments on the soundtrack For the most part, we are in vile, keyboard and drum machine territory. The main theme, a kind of rah-rah sports anthem, would probably sound absolutely terrific if arranged for a full orchestra - but performed as it is on keyboards, its only endearing quality is its enthusiasm, which dents even my hard exterior at times.

The film Hoosiers focuses on this small urban life. Roger Ebert also knows about small town sports as he stated in his review about Hoosiers, I was a sportswriter once for a couple of years in Downstate Illinois. I covered mostly high school sports, and if I were a sportswriter again, I'd want to cover them again. There is a passion to high school sports that transcends anything that comes afterward; nothing in pro sports equals the intensity of a really important high school basketball game. "Hoosiers" knows that. This is a movie about a tiny Indiana high school that sends a team all the way to the state basketball finals in the days when schools of all sizes played in the same tournaments and a David could slay a Goliath.

The struggle though the town meeting of Coach Dale as he didnt mesh with the town society. The struggle he faced with fulfilling the expectations of the towns people. The overcoming feeling that a coach feels is what this sports movie exposes. The small town life of that team knowing that youre the hero of the town if you win, but the despicable trash if you lose.

I myself played high school sports and when we traveled to the small town of Kingman, AZ, I was amazed on how the referees were treated if the town thought that they made a bad call. If the town lost the whole town talked about it, and we had to fight for seats in their gym because everyone was there. In the movie, it shows that when the Hickory H.S. Huskers makes it to the finals of the Indiana State Basketball Championship, the entire town shuts down to hear the game on the radio. The overall feeling of this movie gives us that feeling of really living in that town where basketball is treated like a god.

The film industry influences us continually through sports films by showing different aspects of life. This is shown through these movies: A League of Their Own with womens rights, Remember the Titans with racism in the early 1970s, and Hoosiers of high school sports in small towns. The way we feel about movies makes us feel influences us in our feelings toward real life situations and can even help us understand the way of life. This gives us a gentle way of facing our social problems but yet lets us know of their existence and makes us do something to resolve these problems. I love the movies and the way films can help me understand the history of our nation.

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A League of Their Own by Penny Marshall Film Commentary. (2023, May 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/a-league-of-their-own-by-penny-marshall-film-commentary/

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