A Comedy with Bats and Balls.
"...the rare sports-themed comedy to balance goofiness and dynamic game atmospherics seamlessly... Brian Orndorf, DVD Talk
|The new owner of the cleveland indians wants to move the team to florida and a losing season is her only winning ticket.|
"...the mix of humor and pennant races is hard to beat. Doug Pratt, DVDLaser.com
"...all the things "Bull Durham" was--hip, irreverent, sexy. Hal Hinson, The Washington Post
"Underrated baseball film has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. James Plath, DVD Town
"For sheer crowd-pleasing fun it belts one high into the left-field bleachers. Variety
When the widow of the owner of the Cleveland Indians realizes that she is stuck with a small stadium in a cold climate, she decides that a move to a Southern, warmer climate is called for. Unfortunately the only way she can unload her stadium is due to low attendance, so she needs to plan for a losing and lackluster season. The team of misfits and losers that she has hired, though, decide that if they really pull through, they may not wind up in last place and not be the losers that the owner thinks that they are. This offbeat baseball comedy, starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen and Rene Russo, was a surprise 1989 hit.
Cast & Crew
Cleveland Indians owner Rachel Phelps puts together the worst team she can possibly find, in the hopes that audiences will stay away and she can break her lease and move the team to Miami. Of course, the team of losers catches on to the scam and, with new-found motivation, conspire to foil her plans.
New York Times
"...[MAJOR LEAGUE] has the wit to make fun of it[self] now and then....Wonderfully unpretentious..."
"...The cast is attractive..."
Los Angeles Times
"...An amiable and amusing hot weather diversion....Ward directs his actors as adroitly as he has written from them....MAJOR LEAGUE has its own ingratiating charm..."
FilmCritic.com 9 of 10
A baseball nerd like me loves Major League because the action scenes look realistic. No one throws the ball like a three-year-old or swings the bat like a drunken teen making a pass at his prom date, though Tom Berenger needs work on his bunting. The storyline involves real teams playing in real stadiums...For those who wish ESPN never existed, Major League is easy to love because it's very funny and its characters are likeable beyond their athletic ability. For a movie that focuses on a sport that has long ceased to be the national pastime, anyone can love Major League...The concept -- a lovable bunch of rogues come together as a team -- has been used repeatedly. Two years later, for example, the success of Major League spawned a lame football version, Necessary Roughness. What that movie didn't have, its far superior predecessor has in abundance, starting with the cast. Berenger is not a comedian, but he is charming...It's an eclectic cast featuring everyone from Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes to classier actors like Dennis Haysbert and James Gammon, who steals every scene he's in as the old-school manager. Ward, who wrote The Sting, gives every main character a distinct personality and the dialogue to match. Berenger may be the most fleshed-out character here, but he's certainly not the only we enjoy watching. Snipes is so exuberant here that it's a shame he's stopped taking roles where he has to smile...Ward's work is impressive because he makes us laugh like idiots while capturing the joy involved in playing sports. When played right, team sports aren't just highly trained athletes performing for the masses, they're a physical form of bonding. That's why Hoosiers and A League of their Own are terrific, while Mr. 3000 and For Love of the Game play on TV while most of us sleep. That hard-to-grasp quality makes Major League timeless.
- Pete Croatto
Apollo Movie Guide 8 of 10
Major League is too simple to be a homerun, but it's a hard line drive to the right field corner that becomes a better than solid stand-up double. Your basic hodgepodge squad of outcasts and wannabes banding together to defy the odds, the film is a prime example of a formulaic sports movie. But with a rambunctious cast of hooligans, Major League sets itself apart from the rest of the sporting pack...When the film was made in 1989, the Cleveland Indians were the joke of Major League Baseball. Their audience was a scattered bunch of faithful diehards who often wore paper bags over their heads in shame. Major League emphasizes this fact by focusing on their inept play and inability to fill up their stadium with fans. It's common for us to hear about sports team owners crying and complaining about how -- if things don't got their way -- they're going to call the moving company and head to somewhere sunny...Underdogs and sports go well together. That's why nearly all sports movies follow along the same lines with the protagonist leading his team and facing immense odds. The Replacements, Slap Shot, The Longest Yard, even respected international fare such as Lagaan, follow this formula with precision. Major League doesn't stray from it much, either. But what makes this movie funny is the memorable characters the story surrounds itself with. Wesley Snipes plays Willie Mays Hayes, a cocky and suave amateur trying to fake his way onto the team. Better still is bad boy Charlie Sheen as a relief pitcher aptly dubbed Wild Thing for his lack of control, both with his arm and with his rebel attitude. Look up and down the Indians' line-up and you'll find a group of crazy characters who hover just above stereotypes to remain memorable...Major League is no classic, but it is a good example of the way light formulaic genres can be exploited for a little fun and a bunch of cheap laughs.
- Ryan Cracknell