Eight Men Out

September 2nd, 1988


Eight Men Out

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Still of John Cusack and Barbara Garrick in Eight Men OutStill of Christopher Lloyd and Richard Edson in Eight Men OutStill of David Strathairn in Eight Men OutStill of John Cusack and D.B. Sweeney in Eight Men OutStill of Charlie Sheen in Eight Men OutStill of John Mahoney in Eight Men Out

A dramatization of the Black Sox scandal when the underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 7.2/10 (9,872 voted)

Director: John Sayles

Stars: John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner

The great Chicago White Sox team of 1919 is the saddest team to ever win a pennant. The team is bitter at their penny pincher owner, Charles Comiskey, and at their own teammates. Gamblers take advantage of this opportunity to offer some players money to throw the series. (Most of the players didn't get as much as promised.) But Buck Weaver and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson turn back at the last minute and try to play their best. The Sox actually almost come back from a 3-1 deficit. Two years later, the truth breaks out and the Sox are sued on multiple counts. They are found innocent by the jury but baseball commissioner Landis has other plans. The eight players are suspended for life, and Buck Weaver, for the rest of his life, tries to clear his name.

Writers: Eliot Asinof, John Sayles

John Cusack - George 'Buck' Weaver
Clifton James - Charles 'Commie' Comiskey
Michael Lerner - Arnold Rothstein
Christopher Lloyd - 'Sleepy' Bill Burns
John Mahoney - William 'Kid' Gleason
Charlie Sheen - Oscar 'Hap' Felsch
David Strathairn - Eddie Cicotte
D.B. Sweeney - Joseph 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson
Michael Rooker - Arnold 'Chick' Gandil
Don Harvey - Charles 'Swede' Risberg
James Read - Claude 'Lefty' Williams
Perry Lang - Fred McMullin
Gordon Clapp - Ray Schalk
Jace Alexander - Dickie Kerr
Bill Irwin - Eddie Collins

Taglines: No player who throws ball games will ever play professional baseball again.

Release Date: 2 September 1988

Filming Locations: Bush Stadium - 1501 W. 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $1,129,491 (USA) (5 September 1988) (147 Screens)

Gross: $5,680,515 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Ken Berry, who plays a heckler and was the film's baseball coach, was an outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. He was called "The Bandit" because of his ability to take hits away from batters.

Anachronisms: Many of the newspapers are shown with headlines set in the differing varieties of the Helvetica typeface. Helvetica was designed in 1957.

[about their opponents]
1st Cincinnati Reds Player: These guys don't look so tough.
2nd Cincinnati Reds Player: Yeah, that's what Custer said when the Indians took the field.

User Review

One of the most under-apreciated films of the last 25 years

Rating: 10/10

This is probably the best film to be completely ignored by every major award in film in the last 25 years. For all that its about baseball players, it is NOT a baseball movie. The Black Sox scandal and its effect on baseball transcended baseball. The ensemble cast does a marvelous job, particularly Straithairn and Sweeney, who plays "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, one of the more tragic figures of the whole mess. In spite of taking money to throw the Series, Jackson went out and batted .375 for the Series. The Chicago payers in on the payoff (and one poor soul who didn't go along, but was approached) were banned from baseball for life. No less an authority than Ted Williams believes Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame. But I digress. The film goes into the motivations of the players, who were playing for a pittance and had no say over where they played. Thus they were perfect targets for the fix in the first place. Excellent and gripping film about human reactions to stress and temptation. Most recommended.


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