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61*
61
Actors: Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Anthony Michael Hall, Richard Masur, Bruce McGill
Director: Billy Crystal
Genres: Drama, Television, Sports
UR     2001     2hr 9min

Summer, 1961: Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle are on pace to break the most hallowed record in U.S. sports, Babe Ruth's single-season 60 home runs. It's a big story, and the intense, plain-spoken Maris is the bad guy: sports...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Anthony Michael Hall, Richard Masur, Bruce McGill
Director: Billy Crystal
Creators: Billy Crystal, Carl S. Griffin, Charles J. Lindsay, Joe Seldner, Nellie Nugiel, Robert F. Colesberry, Hank Steinberg
Genres: Drama, Television, Sports
Sub-Genres: Drama, All Made-for-TV Movies, Baseball
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/11/2001
Original Release Date: 04/28/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 04/28/2001
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 9min
Screens: Color,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Annelle K. (Psalm150) from LITTLE ROCK, AR
Reviewed on 12/1/2011...
Boring, boring, boring. It is unrated, but should carry at least PG-13 rating for bad language, etc. Not a family friendly film.
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
EJ N. (FXANM8R) from CAMPBELL, MO
Reviewed on 8/24/2009...
This is a great movie. Berry Pepper and Thomas Jane do an excellent job portraying Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle respectively. The may it starts and ends in modern day during the Sosa and McGwire homerun race make it even more fun to watch. Billy Crystal did an excellent job directing the feature. Very well made.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Calvin D. from TRINIDAD, CA
Reviewed on 10/12/2008...
A good 'insiders' look at the 1961 season and the run to the record of 60 home run in a single season. This is the story of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle and how they each approached the record. A good view if you are a baseball fan.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Julia R. (julia) from GERMANTOWN, MD
Reviewed on 9/23/2008...
Even if you care or know nothing about baseball you will enjoy this film.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

An out-of-the-park homerun for Billy Crystal. Great film!
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 09/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I love baseball films. I even like "Bull Durham" for which I take a lot of flack at home, where Red Sox Baseball is sacred and we have to listen to the "Curse of the Bambino" tape as a ritual every Spring. Even though I had to abandon any love for the Yankees when I moved to New England, I still enjoy Yankee history--having followed Mantle and Maris as a kid.

This film, to a Baby Boomer like me, is like listening to a bard recite the stuff of legend. And Billy Crystal, who knows enough baseball that he consulted with Ken Burns on his monumental documentary, does a fabulous job telling the story of Maris and Mantle's race to break the Babe's homerun record in 1961.

The cast is absolutely superb, with actor Pepper looking so much like Maris I could hardly believe it. And Thomas Jane takes on Mantle's persona incredibly well. In one scene, the way he folded the baseball cap's bill and how he held the angle of his head -- suddenly Thomas Jane WAS Mantle. It was downright eerie. The acting, the script, the supporting cast were perfect.

Of course Crystal cleverly ties the 1961 record race with Sosa and McGwine's homerun race in the 90's, with Mrs. Maris reprising the bittersweet role of the Babe's widow, watching nervously as the most treasured achievement of her late husband is threatened. This device, following the widows of the greats was a fantastic way to tie the threads of history together, from the Babe, to Maris, up to McGwine. This is probably the best baseball film I've seen, surpassing even "The Natural" and "Field of Dreams", both of which I love.

Here's a spoiler-- not in the film: Maris is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame! He never batted over .300 , and you just don't get into the Hall without that stat. Absurd."
Grand slam
Steven Hellerstedt | 08/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"61* belongs on the top-shelf with the great non-fiction sports movies like BRIAN'S SONG and EIGHT MEN OUT. This is Billy Crystal's love letter to the 1961 Yankees, and to his credit it doesn't blink or flinch in its treatment of that greatest of childhood heroes, Mickey Mantle.
In 1961 Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle took aim at Babe Ruth's record of 60 home runs in a season. Barry Pepper plays the young and reclusive Maris with a haunting sadness, Thomas Jane plays the charismatic Mantle with an easy going honesty that masks an emotionally and physically injured young man. Pepper is a dead-ringer for Maris, and both actors get under the skin of the characters they're portraying. There are times when you forget they're not really Maris and Mantle. Couple their performances with 61*'s meticulous attention to detail and you've got a baseball fan's dream movie.
The dvd comes with a commentary track with director Billy Crystal, text biographies of Maris and Mantle, and a `making of' documentary. You should watch the movie before the documentary, since it contains a lot of scenes from the movie.
"
A Baseball Classic
06/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Upon its release, 61* immediately became a classic. The baseball scenes are the best of any movie ever. You never feel like you're watching actors. But the key to the movie is its realism. Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper are extraordinary as Mantle and Maris, respectively. Everything from their batting stances to the way they stand in the lockerroom is perfect. And older baseball fans will love seeing Yankee Stadium at its finest, complete with Bob Shephard as himself. In the broadcast booth comes more of 61*'s subtle brilliance. Behind Mel Allen and Phil Rizzuto is a WPIX 11 sign, which was the Yankees' flagship station for 40 years. It may not seem like much, but it is just part of the painstaking efforts to make the movie as real as possible. What many baseball movies lack is dialogue from broadcasters. They tend to say the score, situation, etc., but rarely tell stories, which---as any baseball fan knows---is how most air time is spent. 61*, however, features several moments where Rizzuto talks about lasagne he ate at a restaurant, wishing happy birthdays to fans, and joking about how the outfielders positioned themselves when he was batting. Baseball fans should eat that stuff up. The movie has minor flaws---Bob Cerv began the season with LA, for instance---but nothing that detracts from its overall greatness. Everyone involved in this movie, from Billy Crystal to all the actors, did their best to recreate the most famous season any sport has ever seen. If you are a baseball fan, you absolutely must see this movie. If you're not a baseball fan, you should still see it. Fifty years from now, 61* will be as much a classic as Field of Dreams or Bull Durham."