Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eight Men Out (1988)


Never been a big fan of sports-centric films, but every once in a while I’ll watch one, just to see what all the fuss is about. My wife actually recommended this one to me and since I knew little about the whole “black sox” incident, it sounded like an interesting movie.


In 1919 the Chicago White Sox were set to win the World Series. They were the best baseball team thanks to players like Lefty Williams (James Read), Eddie Ciotte (David Strathairn) and Shoeless Joe (D.B. Sweeney). But after a heated debate with their owner of salaries, many of players discover that they can make more money from throwing the World Series than they can off of their normal income. They decide to go for it. All seems to go smoothly, until a couple journalists begin to dig a little deeper and find out just how dirty these White Sox were. John Cusack, Clifton James, Christopher Lloyd and Charlie Sheen round out the cast.

Good Points:

  • Costumes, sets and musical score really capture the period
  • Well-written and executed script
  • Some excellent performances

Bad Points:

  • Focuses much more on the scandal over baseball action
  • The scheme moves quickly and is fairly complicated
  • May be too subdued for some viewers


What a surprise this was. Not your typical underdog sports tale, instead Eight Men Out focuses on a more complex and dramatic story. The whole production is well executed, presenting the entire scam and the fallout from it in detail. At the same time we get to know more about the players who participated and how it tarnished “The Great American Pastime”. Excellent performances all around make this one well worth seeking out.

Scores (out of 5)

Visuals: 4

Sound: 3

Acting: 4

Script: 4

Music: 4

Direction: 4

Entertainment: 4

Total: 4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.


  1. Like you, I'm not normally a sports movie fan (OK, I admit it, I liked The Bad News Bears) but sometimes they work if they don't lose sight of the characters playing the game. I'll keep an eye out for this.

  2. Thought this a solid movie with an amazing cast. John Cusack and David Strathairn were great.

  3. Certainly worth checking out and I saw it on Netflix download while I was browsing the other day.