A League of Their Own
What parents need to know
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?
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.
Families can talk 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 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?
|Theatrical release date:||July 1, 1992|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||June 4, 2002|
|Cast:||Geena Davis, Madonna, Tom Hanks|
|Topics:||Sports and martial arts, Book characters, History, Misfits and underdogs|
|Character strengths:||Compassion, Teamwork|
|Run time:||124 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||some mild profanity|