Parents' Guide to

The Babe

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Biopic of baseball legend has lots of drinking, some sex.

Movie PG 1992 115 minutes
The Babe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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This biopic of one of the greatest baseball players of all time spends just as much time, if not more, on his exploits off the field as on the field. The Babe is entertaining primarily due to John Goodman's "big lug" portrayal of "The Great Bambino." A lust for life comes through in nearly every scene, be it in Ruth's legendary home runs, or in the middle of washing down copious amounts of food with copious amounts of beer. There are some wonderful moments of baseball conveyed on the screen; baseball fans will be thrilled to see historic moments reenacted.

The biggest problem with the movie, besides factual errors that will be sure to irk the baseball buff in any family, is how it spends far more time outside of Ruth's career in baseball instead of in. While the good Ruth did for kids, particularly orphans, is on full display, and a sense of depth in the character beneath the bon vivant facade in Ruth's constant talk of the meaning of "family," there's also a heavy emphasis on the more salacious aspects of Ruth's behavior off the field. What's particularly disappointing is that some of the milestones of Ruth's career, such as hitting 60 homeruns in one season, a record that remained in the books for nearly half a century, are mentioned in passing, typically in the form of fake black-and-white "archival" footage. It's not to say that Ruth's off-field behavior should be ignored, but for those expecting a baseball movie, The Babe is less about baseball and more about a man who never had a family and was spending his life trying to find one.

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