A League of Their Own

 
Terrific tweens-and-up story of women's baseball.
  • Review Date: July 7, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 124 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Women support women at a time before the value of female athletic talent was routinely recognized and appreciated. The league isn't integrated, and in one scene we see that there are women of color who would have been excellent ball players.

Positive role models

The individual players work hard to play well and root for each other to succeed. A married player stays away from nightlife because she's faithful to her husband, who is fighting abroad. The coach, who disdains coaching women, starts out drunk but gradually shapes up as he comes to admire, respect, and help the women on his team.

Violence

A player incurs a large bruise after sliding into a base. Teammates fight, but no one is injured. The war's effect on the home front leads to some tense moments.

Sex

Men admire the girls in their skimpy uniforms. "All the Way Mae" pursues dates and exploits her feminine charms.

Language

 "S--t," "ass," "bitch," "bimbo," "goddamn," and "kiss my ass." The coach says that an ump looks like a "penis with a hat on."

Consumerism

The coach drinks a Coca-Cola.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Jimmy Dugan is frequently drunk; references to his being fired in the past for drunken behavior. Players smoke cigarettes. Shy Marla belts out a tune on stage when her teammates give her alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A League of Their Own is a 1992 movie based on the 1940s All-American Girls League. There is some indirect sex talk ("All the Way Mae") and mild profanity ("s--t," "penis with a hat on"), as well as drinking (the coach is often drunk) and smoking that make the movie somewhat questionable for younger kids, but tweens will like the spirit of camaraderie and the well-shot baseball games. The players model impressive team spirit while the movie tells the little-known true tale of women's wartime baseball.

What's the story?

Set in the 1940s, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN focuses on the exceptional circumstances surrounding the All-American Girls League. As in most baseball movies, the film follows the skills and friendships that develop among the Peaches, but in this case viewers also learn of the unique difficulties for a women's league in the midst of pre-feminist America. With guidance from their somewhat unstable and reluctant manager (Tom Hanks), Dottie (Geena Davis), Kit (Lori Petty), Doris (Rosie O'Donnell), Mae (Madonna), Marla (Megan Cavanagh), and the rest of the team face tough training sessions, mocking spectators, and other challenges as they try to win fans and beat opposing teams at a time when women were supposed to look pretty and bake cakes. And just when they achieve success on the playing field, the war ends, the male baseball players return home to the U.S., and the Peaches are abruptly abandoned by management and fans alike.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Everyone loves a good story about the teamwork and triumph that lies at the heart of America's favorite game, 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 this movie, 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about women's role (or lack thereof) in most professional sports. Do you think women could compete equally on men's teams? Why, or why not?

  • To keep the game popular with fans, the players flaunted their femininity. Do you think this was all in good fun, a sign of the times, or somewhat demeaning to great athletes?

  • Why are underdog movies so popular? Name some other movies that feature losing teams that learn to work together and succeed. What qualities allow underdogs to win?

  • Do you consider the women to be role models? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 1, 1992
DVD release date:June 4, 2002
Cast:Geena Davis, Madonna, Tom Hanks
Director:Penny Marshall
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Drama
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Book characters, History, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:124 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild profanity

This review of A League of Their Own was written by

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byMovieLover101 April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

A nice little film about a womens baseball league

I enjoyed this film. It was quirky and cute, yet daring. Early Hanks is great with good supporting cast. I thought I was going to dislike it since these type of movies are "Not my thing", but I was suprised. Great family film to watch with the kids on a Sunday evening.
Parent of a 10 year old Written byScienceIn June 13, 2011
age 10+
 

A Baseball Classic

So few baseball movies of interest and appropriate for the tweens. This one was LOVED by my 10-year-old son who found the humor, message, and baseball plays all entertaining. He was remembering things to me the following day -- something he's never done before. You'll need to deal with the drunk of a manager, but even he redeems himself in the end. Language was nothing more that a bit crude, but certainly funny and memorable for the 10+ boy.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bycraftysafdie April 9, 2008

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