Reviewed by: Ryan Kelly
These are the golden days of baseball… the heros, the legends, the young fans, and scandal. Based on the true story of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, “Eight Men Out” paints a picture of a sports/money crazed society which is not much different than that of today.
1919 was brought the first baseball scandal to light in the eyes of its fans. The Chicago White Sox were the best team ever, led by an inspiring manager, held together by great players, loved by the fans, but owned by miserly Charles Comiskey. Comiskey, who pays his players a less than generous salary, sends his team flat champagne after winning the pennant. After promising his lead pitcher a $10,000 bonus during the series if he would win 30 games, Comiskey benched the pitcher after 29 games. This situation creates a perfect opportunity for some crooked cash holders to present a plan: If the players throw the World Series, each will receive $10,000 cash. Most of the players, hungry for cash, and even hungrier to hurt Charles Comiskey, fall for this scheme and plan to throw the World Series.
The deal turns sour, however, when the cash holders don’t come through with their promises. A few teammates, who think it would be wrong to throw the series, play their hardest. The newspapers hear of this scandal and spreads the word that not all baseball players are honest. The “Black” Sox Scandal is talked about daily in the media as the fans, crushed to hear this news, try to keep faith in the team they have come to love.
The movie climaxes with a court investigation of the White Sox team in regards to the scandal.
“Eight Men Out” shows how greed controlled many people… the players, the owner, and other city people. The movie finishes with a slightly happy ending for some, but leaves the viewer with a sense that evil was triumphant in the end.
There is no sex or violence in “Eight Men Out”, but it does have scattered obscenities. While “Eight Men Out” was ok, it failed to touch the heart like some other sports films. For a great family sports movie, rent the video “Hoosiers” from your local video store.