Tom Hanks Project – “A League of Their Own” Preview

30 Mar

leagueofown

We’ve now entered Tom Hanks’ absolute prime. 12 great films from 1992 to 2000 for which he earned five best actor Academy Award nominations and two wins. We want to give these greats as much coverage as possible, so we’re bringing back the Thursday preview* along with the Tuesday review for the next dozen films. “A League of Their Own” was the first Tom Hanks movie I ever saw. I vividly remember an extended family trip to the theater in 1992 and loving every minute of it. I don’t think I fully appreciated the genius of Hanks’ comedic performance, but I do remember thinking he was especially great at peeing. We’ll go through the special features on the Blu-Ray and get into our personal memories of this movie that used to play on cable three times a week in our adolescence** in this week’s preview of the instant classic.

*Sadly, my schedule delayed the posting of this preview — we’ll (read: I’ll) try to get timely with this.

**I don’t remember this happening for me, but I do remember our family sitting down together to watch this gem of a film on video (probably VHS).

On Wednesday night we watched the “9 Innings” documentary and the deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray and it got us extra excited to re-watch the film. We’ll save you the long form thoughts on the film for Tuesday, but here’s some interesting stuff we learned from the doc and some choices we’re glad they didn’t make from the special features.

olddottie

  1. The movie came about because Penny Marshall watched a documentary on women’s baseball and got the writers interested in writing it.
  2. Penny Marshall is Betty Spaghetti’s mom in real life.
  3. The women had to actually be able to play baseball to get cast in the movie.
  4. Rosie does a great Penny Marshall impression.
  5. Penny calls Madonna “Mo.”
  6. Hanks says Madonna’s throwing motion was like a choreographed dance. “step, step, twirl, throw”
  7. “Maybe we should move Mo to the outfield before she gets killed.” – Penny after Madonna started getting hit too often while playing the infield.
  8. Three girls got concussions learning to slide on a slip n slide.
  9. 3-4 noses got broken from balls going through old mitt webbing and hitting the girls in the schnoz.
  10. The cast got drunk with the old ballplayer ladies, who often drank them under the table.
  11. Tom Hanks’ character, Jimmy Dugan, is loosely based on real-life baseball sluggers Jimmie Foxx and Hack Wilson.
  12. Geena Davis did in fact catch the ball behind her back, but not bare handed.
  13. They overdubbed Geena Davis’ voice, but had an older actress play her.
  14. Spielberg called Penny Marshall to ask if it was Geena Davis playing the old Dottie in the film. She was proud that he couldn’t tell.
  15. Tom Hanks gained 30 pounds in preparation for his role. He attributed the weight he gained to a nearby Dairy Queen.
  16. When the Rockford-Racine World Series game was filmed, it was over 100 degrees outside.
  17. Hanks did bits to keep the extras entertained and did a cartwheel! In uniform!
  18. This is the first time Hanks pees in a movie.
  19. The pee lasts 53 seconds.
  20. A cow gave birth in a farm scene with Jon Lovitz.

We also watched the deleted scenes and realized how brilliantly this film was cut and edited together. There was a whole other storyline where Dugan kisses Dottie, which … just, no. They were always meant to be good friends and supporters of each other, and it really ruined the spirit of the thing for me, so I’m so glad they cut that part out. Also, there’s a part where they show Marla coming back from her wedding, and the girls find out she’s pregnant, but Dottie gets all distracted by Dugan trying to make up to her for his kiss and then Dottie ends up running right into Marla, who has to get carted off of the field. HORRIBLE. None of the deleted scenes were ones that should have remained in the movie — we totally approve of the final edit. A movie really is made in the editing and the deleted scenes really showed how close this movie was go going wrong, but it got everything right.

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5 Responses to “Tom Hanks Project – “A League of Their Own” Preview”

  1. Kelly Candaele March 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Hi you guys – Nice post. If you want your viewers to see the original A League of Their Own Documentary you can have them go to: http://www.ALeagueoftheirown.net I produced the doc about my mom and aunt who played in the league. And wrote the story for the movie. Thanks again, Kelly Candaele

    • Caitlin April 1, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks so much Kelly, that is so awesome! I tried clicking the link and it gave me an error, so not sure if there’s anything going on with the site but we’d love to check it out.

      • Kelly Candaele April 1, 2014 at 10:24 am #

        They were doing some clean up work on the site apparently – changing IP numbers – so it should be back up soon.

      • Kelly Candaele April 1, 2014 at 11:08 am #

        Should be up and running now.

      • Caitlin April 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

        It’s working, thanks again so much for reading and sharing!

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