Parents' Guide to

A League of Their Own

By Ellen MacKay, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Terrific story of women's baseball has great messages.

Movie PG 1992 124 minutes
A League of Their Own Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 13+

Great story, but too much sex talk for my kids

While this was a good movie, with a great cast and a heartwarming story, there was far more sexual innuendo and crude speech than other reviewers have mentioned. "I'm going home to give my wife a pickle tickle." "Women are for sleeping with after the game, not coaching during the game!" "What if when I run on the field my uniform comes open and my bosoms hang out?" "Do you think there are men in America who haven't seen your bosoms?" One woman teaches her teammate to read using a romance novel. She sounds out, "He grabbed her creamy, white breast," then the first character says, "It gets really good after this." The movie was full of this kind of dialogue, not to mention drunken kissing in a bar and a young boy asking a woman to take him in the back seat and make a man out of him. Great movie, but I was very uncomfortable with my ten year old watching.
age 10+

Opens the door to discussions about sexism, then and now

This movie was a lot of fun to watch, and gave us lots to talk about afterward. As other reviews have mentioned, there are crude words and jokes throughout, and Tom Hanks is drunk for much of the movie. (His drunkenness not incidental--it's a central plot point.) I agree with the other reviews that, although some of this goes over kids' heads (nobody calls gonorrhea "the clap" anymore), parents do need to know that a lot in the movie will prompt questions and/or giggles. ("What did she say?" "Why are they laughing?") The movie also has a lot going for it, including giving kids a window into the kind of sexism that existed in the 1940s. Our kids found it sometimes amusing and sometimes amazing what kinds of stereotypes existed about women back then. One of the best things about the movie is showing the kind of courage and thick skin it takes to move a society away from stereotypes. There are also things in the movie that demonstrate the kind of sexism that was acceptable at the time the movie was made.... and which reinforce gender perspectives that some may now find outdated or even inappropriate. Here are two to consider: The Madonna character ("all-the-way May") is written and portrayed with a commendable strength. She also fits and reinforces the stereotype of the "easy" girl who, off the field, is known by everyone as "the one who sleeps around." Some would argue that--in the movies and in real life--there is not an equivalent male stereotype, despite the fact that guys also "sleep around." If you agree with that argument, it may be an interesting discussion point for your family. There is also a running joke in the movie about how others believe that one of the female players is so terribly and awfully ugly. To my wife and I, these jokes came across as not really a way of showing that, in the 1940s, beauty mattered more than skill. It was mostly a "gag" that the writers and costume designers used to make fun of the girl's appearance and get some cheap laughs. (A related joke is that Tom Hanks "accidentally" kisses the chaperone who--ha ha--is so ugly he screams when he realizes what he's done and complements her on her portrayal as the the witch in the Wizard of Oz.) Well, of course cheap laughs are part of what you get with a comedy movie :-) But these in particular may also provide an opportunity to talk about whether those jokes are really that funny, especially to the character in the movie who is treated sometimes as if she is wearing a scary Halloween mask. (BTW the movie treats this same issue in a more nuanced and less mean-spirited way when it focuses on how the two sisters on the team have to deal with perceived differences in attractiveness and skill.) I know this sounds like I wouldn't give the film four stars but, as I said at the top, we liked watching the movie and enjoyed talking about it even more with our two daughters. My comments are really just magnifying a few potential blemishes that others have not mentioned.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21 ):
Kids say (64 ):

Everyone loves a good story about the teamwork and triumph at the heart of America's favorite pastime, and this film adds the twist of women struggling to prove themselves as athletes in the 1940s. There are many funny and poignant moments, and the Peaches are an interesting bunch from various backgrounds (including Rosie O'Donnell as an outspoken former bouncer and Madonna as a sultry taxi dancer). Tom Hanks is hilarious as manager Jimmy Dugan, and this is some of the richest character work he's done to date.

Tweens will probably enjoy A League of Their Own, though they may lose interest during the maudlin epilogue that's set 40 years later, when the AAGPBL is finally recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate