A League of Their Own

Movie review by
Ellen MacKay, Common Sense Media
A League of Their Own Movie Poster Image
Terrific story of women's baseball has great messages.
  • PG
  • 1992
  • 124 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 22 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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. Major themes include compassion and teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A League of Their Own is a tenderhearted tale of camaraderie based on the real-life 1940s All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Starring Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, it has strong messages of teamwork, compassion, and "girl power" and offers relatable female characters who throw fastballs right through the gender stereotypes of their day. Expect some innuendo and indirect sex talk (Madonna's character is referred to as "All the Way Mae") and a bit of swearing ("s--t," "penis with a hat on"), as well as drinking (Hanks' character is often drunk) and smoking. There's also some wartime sadness/stress, but ultimately this is a great story for tweens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMovieLover101 April 9, 2008

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... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 year old Written byScienceIn June 13, 2011

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 al... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bycraftysafdie April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old September 29, 2010
I loved this movie. some parts are inapropriat but in most part it teaches you a great lesson. than if you go for something and try to acheive it then chances a... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about women's role (or lack thereof) in most professional sports -- and their role in A League of Their Own. 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?

  • How do the characters in A League of Their Own demonstrate compassion and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Which characters are role models? Why?

  • 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?

Movie details

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