Category Archives: Mount Rushmore Lists

My list of 4 that belong on Mount Rushmore.

1984 Mount Rushmore Of Movies

In a year that had several cult classic movies I have narrowed this down to my top 4 in no order.

Amadeus

  1. Amadeus–Tom Hulce nails his role as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who is one of the if not the best composer in the history of our world.  F Murray Abraham is also great as Antonio Salieri, I highly advise you to see this movie if you haven’t already.

Natrual

  1. The Natural.  Might be the greatest baseball movie ever made.  if not it’s in the top 3.  The cast is hall of fame caliber with Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs our lead character.  This trio of female supporting actresses Barbara Hershey, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger all are instrumental in telling this story.  With Wilford Brimley playing Hobbs’ manager, Michael Madsen as the player fatally killed while crashing through the wall giving Hobbs his chance, Robert Prosky as the evil minded judge and last but not least Robert Duvall who plays the nosy sports writer looking for a story these actors all gave an A plus performance.

Red Dawn

  1. Red Dawn–When the Russians and Cubans invade a small California town a group of kids fell into the woods and try to overtake the captors.  The young hollywood cast is a who’s who of young talent.  With Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C Thomas Howell and Jennifer Grey hollywood’s brightest young stars were on display.

Terminator

  1. The Terminator–The birth of a hugely successful franchise starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by James Cameron was an instant classic movie.  Very smartly done with Linda Hamilton as the target to be terminated.  The seeds were sown for many more movies over the next 30 years.  Arnie had the classic line “I’ll be Back.”

Notes–Tom Hanks had his Bachelor Party and also fell in love with fish.  Eddie Murphy both shined with Beverly Hills Cop and signed with Best Defense.  We had Friday the 13th part 4 and t yet another blockbuster by Harrison Ford in the sequel to Raiders Of The Lost Ark in “Indiana Jones And The temple Of Doom.  We had Ghost Busters, Johnny Dangerously, Gremlins and Ralph Macchio was the Karate Kid.  Kevin Bacon got Footloose, Drew Barrymoore started fires and Chuck Norris was Missing In Action.  We had the original Police Academy and we all had a Nightmare On Elm Street, and Michael Douglass and Kathleen Turner were Romancing The Stone.  We had a Revenge Of The Nerds and another Star Trek movie and Prince gave us Purple Rain.  Mickey Rourke was the Pope Of Greenwich Village and let’s not forget Molly RIngwald’s birthday in  Sixteen Candles.

Mount Rushmore Movies 1983

1983 Mount Rushmore Movies

 

This year was chock full of great movies.  Narrowing it down was hard not because there was so many classic movies but because there wasn’t 4 classic ones.  Just a year with a lot of great movies.

jedi

Return Of The Jedi.

The most anticipated Trilogy to come out ever extending the decade of Harrison Ford’s brilliance to yet another year.  What we though was the last of this series was only the beginning as we found out years later.

scarface

Scarface

Say Hello To My Little Friend.  Al Pacino was brilliant as Tony Montana which created yet another cult classic movie.  Drugs Sex and Salsa.

trading places

Trading Places.

Eddie Murphy had his second straight blockbuster as he and Dan Aykroyd traded places.  Brilliantly smart comedy also starring Jamie Lee Curtis.  Classic lines and classic performances as Aykroyd showed his range as a bankable actor.

NL Vacation

Vacation

Probably the height of Chevy Chase’s brilliance.  Fletch may be a bit better.  There was 3 sequels that went from acceptable to bad.  Plus the remake out this year with Rusty taking his family to Wally World.  But the original Vacation was classic.  Cousin Eddie played brilliantly by Randy Quaid was a nice side kick to Chase’s Clark.

 

 

Notes.  Sean Penn and Esai Morales were Bad Boys.  Tom Cruise broke out with “All The Right Moves” and “Risky Business.”  Rodney Dangerfield and Joe Pesci made Easy Money.  National Lampoons had Class and we met Cujo the killer dog and Christine the killer car.  John Travolta Stayed Alive.  Matthew Broderick almost started a War while playing a video game.  Peter Billingsley shot his eye out in “A Christmas Story.”  We also had a Big Chill with a huge list of household names, The Black Stallion should not have returned as well as Porky’s.  We had Jennifer Beals strut her stuff in Flashdance, Jaws came out in 3D, Burt Reynolds continued to crank out less than stellar comedies and Richa Pryor was in Superman 3.  And another movie with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

1982 Mount Rushmore Of Movies

This year saw 4 of the most iconic movies in American history.  The rest are iconic in their own right.  But these 4 movies have been seen many times over and are still wildly popular today.  It was also the year of the sequel as many movies returned to continue their stories.

220px-E_t_the_extra_terrestrial_ver3

ET

This Steven Spielberg classic just might be the most loved and widely recognized family movie of all time.  It made a star of Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore especially.  I don’t thik there is a sole on Earth who was alive in the 80’s or 90’s to have not watched this movie.  Spielberg did not release this movie on VCR to video stores right away.  The story of a boy who befriends an alien who is trying to find his way home.  The love Eliot has for this alien and the desire he has to protect him and get him home makes this movie what it is.

 

Annie

The story of Daddy Warbucks who adopts Little Orphan Annie.  The iconic movie with the red headed freckled girl and the millionaire who saves her from the orphanage.  This converted musical has a hall of fame cast with Bernadette Peters, Carol Burnett, Tim Curry and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks.

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Tootsie

Dustin Hoffman at his best playing a woman acting on a soap opera because he can’t find work as a man.

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An Officer And A Gentleman

Richard Gere as the marine, Louis Gossett Jr who brilliantly plays the drill sergeant and Debra Winger who plays Gere’s girlfriend who is desperately looking for love.  The story was great.  The acting was even better.  Gere became a star.

 

 

Notes.  This was the year Eddie Murphy officially became a star in 48 Hours.  Harrison Ford continued his run with the Blade Runner.  Richard Pryor was the Toy.  Sean Penn was Jeff Spicoli in the cult classic Fast Times Of Ridgemont High.  Sly overcame the death of manager Mickey and became best friends with Apollo Creed in Rocky 3.  The original cult classic Bob Clarke’s Porky’s came out.  We had the Fonz in Night Shift and Dolly Parton has the Best Whore House in Texas.  Goldie Hawn and Burt Reynolds were Best Friends.  We had sequels to Airplane and Amityville and Death Wish and Star Trek.  Jim Henson brought out the Dark Crystal.  We had the third installment of the Friday the 13th series.  Grease had their own sequel without John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.  We also had Halloween 3 which had nothing to do with the original story and no Michael Myers.  We had the original Poltergeist and the laughable and lovable comedy The Last American Virgin.  There was also Tron, The World According To Garp and we had the birth of Rambo in First Blood.

1981Mount Rushmore Of Movies

Clash Of The Titans–One of my all time favorite movies about the Greek gods and the Roman times.  You all know the story of how Zues played Laurence Olivier impregnates Danae who was imprisioned by her own father King Acrisius.  Once he finds out he sends his daughter and new born son Perseus out to sea in a wooden coffin.  Zeus gets angry and kills Acrisus and has Poseidon “Unleash the Kraken to destroy Argos.  As Perseus played by Harry Hamlin grows into a man in Seriphos, Calibos who is the son of the sea goddess Thetis is set to marry Princess Andromeda who is heir to the rich city of Joppa.  But Calibos has angered the gods by reducing the Wells Of The Moons to swamps and has hunted and destroyed nearly all of Zeus’s flying horses except for Pegasus.  As punishment Zeus turns him into a hideous monster effectively ending his engagement to the Princess.  From here we know the story.  Thetis drops Perseus in Joppa where he hears of Andromeda’s tale and wins her hand in marriage.  Thetis throws a curse down on Joppa where Andromeda will be sacrificed to the Kraken to save Joppa.  But Perseus who was showered with gifts from Zeus embarks on a journey to get the head of Medusa who can kill the Kraken.

 
Besides Olivier and Hamlin Burgess Meredith plays Ammon who is a true friend and ally to Perseus.  Ursula Andress plays Aphrodite and Maggie Smith plays Thetis.  This was a classic adventure movie and it’s too bad they had to remake it.
 
History Of The World–This movie was from the comedic genius Mel Brooks and looks into some of the most historic times in the History of The World.  From the Stone Age to the Old Testament, to the Roman Empire to the Spanish Inquistion to the French Revolution Brooks slap stick comedy with a whole bunch of brilliant actors makes this movie funny and enjoyable.  To Moses getting robbed as he parted the sea to the Ceasar’s Main Room to the Cavemen discovering music this movie has it all and will be a classic for years to come.  Of course Brooks teased us with a sequel as Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded in the Tower of London before he had a chance to start the second volume.
 
WIth Orson Welles as the narrator there was no shortage of star power.  With Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Gregory Hines, Sid Caesar, Bea Arthur, Paul Mazursky, Hugh Hefner, Barry Levinson, Ron Carey, Art Metrano, Jackie Mason and many more.  Seems like everyone had a cameo or bit part in this historical movie.
 
Raiders Of The Lost Ark-The latest blockbuster in the decade of Harrison Ford.  This was his decade as seemingly he was in a high profile and successful movie every year this decade.  With Raiders it launched a second iconic franchise for Ford as he portrayed Indiana Jones.  In fact this franchise was renewed in 2008 when a then 66 year old Ford came back to play the famous Dr. Jones.  Ford at one time had 5 of the highest grossing movies of all time.  To put that into prospective and how popular those movies were it would be like the same person starring in the same superheroes movies all the time but Ford would have drawn more money than any of them if those movies came out now.  In the series Indiana Jones is a archaeologist who searches for famous treasures while fighting off the rival and bad guys who want to make money off these treasures.  Armed with only a whip and his wits and with George Lucas’s magic these movies are still popular today.  
 
 
 
On Golden Pond–Although I have never seen this movie it did have 10 Oscar nominations with a all time cast.  It is deserving of being on this list as another movie that is still talked about today.  With Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Dabney Coleman this movie which was originally a play was received with high praise before hitting the theaters.  Perhaps I should go see it.
 
 
 
 
 
Notes from 1981.  Halloween 2 came out and picked up where the first one left off.  Not as good as the first movie but still a very good horror film.  We also had the second straight movie with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in Neighbors.  Kurt Russell escaped from NY and we had alot of Body Heat.  Jason appeared as the killer in Friday the 13th Part 2.  We had an American Werewolf in London, Burt Reynolds continued his run of money makers with the Cannonball Run and Sharkey’s Machine and Ringo Starr played a Caveman.  Jim Henson brought his creations to the big screen in the Great Muppet Caper.  The Postman Rang Twice and there was Pennies From Heaven, Reds and Stripes.  

1980 Movies Mount Rushmore

I recently heard Craig Carton say he was asked to put together his Mount RUshmore of 1980’s movies.  I don’t usually agree with him but he was right in saying that is impossible to do because of the number of cult classics as well as just pure great movies in that decade.  So what I will do in a new weekly segment is have a new Mount Rushmore post for a variety of different topics.  I will start with 1980’s movies starting with 1980 and do each year.  I will also move onto other areas.  Thanks Carton.  You just inspired me to put this together.

1980

The 80’s was a great decade.  Alot of great sports, great fads and great movies.  When I looked up the list of all the movies made in 1980 that is American movies made I saw some interestng stuff.  Some movies that are worth mentioning but not on the Mount Rushmore list.  I will list those out later and also give you some notes and tidbits.  So my 1980 Movies Mount Rushmore list in no specific order is:

Caddyshack

 

  1. Caddyshack.  The first cult classic comedy of the 1980’s.  This movie still plays well now in 2015.  With some of the greatest comedic actors in our history all at the top of their game.  Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight butt heads throughout this movie.  Chevy Chase was into his peak as a comedic actor.  Even Danny O’Keefe was good in this role.  But stealing the show was Bill Murray’s portrayal of iconic grounds keeper Karl Spangler who is one of the best movie characters of all time.

 

Raging Bull

  1. Raging Bull.  Robert DeNiro playing Middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta was spot on.  All the way to the weight gain.  His movie partner brother Joe Pesci was also brilliant playing what else Jake’s brother.  Cathy Moriarty played the beautiful Vicki LaMotta and captured the pain and anguish of being married to such a violent, jealous and abusive man.  Of course Frank Vincent is never far behind DeNiro and Pesci as he played Salvy.

 

The Shining

  1.  The Shining.  Jack Nicholson quite possibly at his psychotic best in this movie.  There wasn’t really much to this plot  other than Nicholson playing writer Jack Torrance who goes to a secluded ski lodge to write a book as he takes a job as the care taker while the lodge is closed for 5 months.  Built on a ancient native American burial ground we find out this place is haunted.  The previous caretaker killed his family.  Torrance’s young son starts to see things like the elevator full of blood and uses mental powers to bring back the chef Halloran to try to save them.  This movie gets stranger and scarier as it goes along.  From the ghosts and the little girls to room 237 to REDRUM.  Shelley Duvall plays the wife of Torrance who at the end of the movie escape with their son while they leave Jack who tried to kill them to freeze in the hedge maze.

 

9_to_5_moviep

  1.  Nine To Five.  Although I am not a huge fan of this movie it did spin off into a TV show and a Broadway show and launched careers.  it is still wildly popular today which is the definition of a cult classic movie.  The movie stars Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman.  Parton was launched into the mainstream after this movie came out.  Fonda and Tomlin are both well respected actors as is Coleman who portrays that boss we all love to hate ho gets his in the end.  Again I am not a huge fan of this movie but it is beloved and has made careers of those associated with it.

 

Notes.  This was the year the very first Friday the 13th movie came out where Jason’s mother was the killer.  The Empire Strikes Back also came out and was the highest grossing movie of the year.  As pat of the most successful movie franchise of all time Empire was probably the least favorite of the original Episodes 4-6 but that does not mean it wa not a great movie.  We also saw some of the greatest comedic duos on the ig screen.  We had the original Blues Brothers of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi and in  Stir Crazy we had RIchard Pryor and Gene WIlder.  George Burns was in Oh God Book II, Robin Williams was Popeye with Duvall as his Olive Oil.  The original Airplane also was a 1980 Movie.  Clint Eastwood was in Any Which Way You Can.  For the kids from this year we had Brooke Shields in the Blue Lagoon.  Already with Star Wars under hsi belt this becam the decade of Harrison Ford as you will see in the future years as Ford was the dominant figure of the 80’s at one time having 5 of the top grossing movies of all time.  We also had the second installment of Smokey and the Bandit starring Burt Reynolds.  Goldie Hawn was Private Benjamin which also spawned  TV Series.  The Coal Miners’s Daughter which is a biopic about Loretta Lynn starring Sissy Spacek in the title role also was released in 1980.

 

 

Mount Rushmore Baseball Movies Non Fiction

MOUNT RUSHMORE BASEBALL MOVIES NON FICTION For my Mount Rushmore of Baseball movies Non-Fiction a lot of people who know me will be surprised by my choices. Unlike the Fiction list these movies don’t always have to be entertaining as long as the story being told is the truth and is also interesting. These movies aren’t a laugh a minute although Hollywood does put a little bit of humor in the movies. We all know the story is not 100 percent accurate but they never are. But the movies I have selected all have both and the first movie on my list is one where I am sure not everybody has seen before. I highly suggest watching this movie.

SOUL OF THE GAME

soul

This movie is about the Negro League for the one year that Jackie Robinson played in it prior to signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. But unlike 42 it does not center on Jackie. The three main characters are Robinson played by Blair Underwood, Satchell Paige played by Delroy Lindo and Josh Gibson played by Mykelti Williamson. Paige was the flamboyant drawing card and most popular player in the league. He would often leave his team for the day to go play for another team who needed a home game sell out to prevent the team from folding. As you will see in the movie he did it a few times. He takes Robinson under his wing. Gibson is widely known as the best player to ever play in the league. He is a home run hitter every bit as good as Babe Ruth. The movie centers on the trio as Robinson behind the scenes meets with Dodgers owner Branch Rickey to become the first Negro player to break the color barrier. Of course Paige and Gibson want to be the first player and each thinks they deserve to be the one based on their talent and the number of years played in the Negro Leagues. Once it comes out they resent Robinson who only played one year in the Negro League and had not proven to be better than the other two. Robinson himself wonders that to Rickey. Rickey explains to Robinson that he needs a player disciplined enough to take all the hatred thrown his way while he makes his way through the season. Robinson who was a college grad and served in the armed forces had the qualities Rickey was looking for. Gibson was a loudmouth drunk who would never be able to deal with the hatred without opening his mouth to fight back. Paige was much too flamboyant to be the first one to break through. As Robinson said it himself in the movie do we want Gibson to be the first player in who we know is a drunk that would ruin it for the rest of us. History showed the right person was picked. But this movie shows the admiration the fans have for the Negro players while still not seeing them as equals.

COBB

cobb

Arguably one of the best players to ever play the game and some even think he is the best. This movie was based on the book written by Al Stump. Robert Wuhl was great as Stumpy but no one could have competed with the performance by Tommy Lee Jones as Tyrus Raymond Cobb. This is very much a two man movie as Stump travels with Cobb and learns all about the good, the bad and the dark sides of the man.  We see Cobb as a brilliant business man as he gains a small fortune in the stock market.  He gave Stump the ultimate stock tip by saying Coke is about to come out in cans.  Stump thought he was crazy.  We see the bad side as Cobb was very racist and also hated people who didn’t acknowledge his greatness.  We see his generous side as he buys longtime teammate Mickey Cochrane a suit and we discover he was sending him money.  We also see that his family hates him and how he was mostly alone at the end of his life. Stump who was writing 2 books the one Cobb wanted and the one he wanted ultimately becomes a drunk by the end of the movie as travelling with the legend has taken it’s toll on him.  Stump wrestles with the decision to tell the truth about this legendary player or tell another story which does not dismantle the legacy of this great player.  As Cobb told Stump “You have never been this close to greatness in your entire life”.

EIGHT MEN OUT

eight men out

This is the story of the Black Sox(White) of Chicago who threw the 1919 World Series. Owner of the White Sox is Charlie Comiskey played by Clifton James. Commie as he is known by is notorious for being a very cheap man towards his players. The White Sox were huge favorites to win the World Series against the Reds and were widely known as the greatest team ever.  Back then there wasn’t a real commissioner of baseball and the league was policed or not policed by the owners.  Commie would order his manager to sit out players late in the season so they wouldn’t reach the performance bonuses in their contract.  His reason was that we need you rested and healthy for the playoffs.  This didn’t sit too well with the players and even the manager Kid Gleason played by John Mahoney.  There is a scene in the movie where Commie gives his players cases of champagne for winning the pennant.  The bottles were flat.  Meanwhile up in his office he has bubbly champagne with reporters and other executives.

The players were fed up and the opportunity to blow a couple of games for money was thrown around.  I don’t believe they were supposed to blow the whole series but once it started it was impossible to stop.  Especially when the gamblers knew they had bribed the players.  There was an all star cast put in place to play the Blacksox.  Charlie Sheen played Oscar Felch, David Strathairn played ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte, Michael Rooker played Chick Grandal, John Cusack played Buck Weaver who never took any money and DB Sweeney played Shoeless Joe Jackson who took money but was the best player in the series.  As the series went on it was up to the pitchers Cicotte and Lefty Williams to blow the games on their own.  The position players were hesitant to make themselves look bad.  Once the pitchers got it started some of the other bribed players followed suit.  The monkey wrench was Dickie kerr.  Who won his two starts to keep the series going.  In a best of 9 series with the BlackSox down 4 games to 2 Cicotte told Gleason he can’t miss as Gleason was about to replace him before the game.  All of this was happening as the players were stiffed on the money they were promised and decided to play for real.  Cicotte wins game 7 and now it was Lefty Williams’ turn and as the story goes his wife’s life was threatened.  So the Black Sox lost but now there are legal issues and possible jail time.  Commie pushed for Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis to be commissioner to help clean up baseball.  Little did he know that Landis would decimate his team.  The players avoid jail time but Landis throws them out of the league forever.  Buck Weaver tries for years to clear his name but he failed.  Great movie and a piece of baseball history.

61*

61

This movie really makes you appreciate Roger Maris and even Mickey Mantle.  As for Maris played by Barry Pepper as the reluctant player chasing Babe Ruth’s single season home run record we see how tormented he is with everything around him.  Roger just wants to win and play ball and be humble and quiet and sit in the back ground.  He never asked for the attention.  But still this is a record no one wanted him to break.  From the Yankee fans and even his own team mates who felt Mantle should be the one to break it.  Then there is Ford Frick who was the Babe’s ghost writer declaring the asterisk be put in place if the record is not broken in the same amount of games as Babe did it in.  Maris was getting death threats against him and his family and he was constantly heckled by fans home or away.  Everything he said was taken out of context.

Mickey Mantle was played by Thomas Jane.  The movie also showed the Mick in a different light.  He was a womanizer which we all knew.  He was a partier who drank too much but we all knew that too.  He also had demons.  The males in his family all died young so Mickey lived his life to the fullest his way.  Even if it meant not taking care of his body.  He was saddled as the next great Yankee after Joe DiMaggio who was not willing to step aside so easily.  His knee injury early in his career while it did not diminish him but it did rob something from him.  Always playing hurt he was the care taker of the Yankee legacy and was loved and respected by his teammates and the fans no matter what he seemed to do.

The movie shows the relationship between the two as they chased the greatest single season record in sports history while playing in the house that player built.  Mickey even moved in with Roger and Bob Cerv.  They wanted it quiet with no women and only a couple of beers at a time.  This was a hard adjustment for Mickey as we understood the pressures he lived with and played with.  Roger would often wonder why can’t the people love him and Mickey.  Mickey would realize just what burden Roger had on his shoulders and they formed a bond chasing that record.  Roger would constantly tell Mickey to take care of his body better and Mickey would try to understand why Roger had so many issues with the press.  Any case once these two let each other into their lives professionally and specifically personally we see the bond that is being formed.

This movie was brilliantly created by life long Yankee fan Billy Crystal.  Much like his movies this one had highs and lows and plenty of laughs too.

Mount Rushmore Baseball Movies Fiction

Mount Rushmore Baseball Movies Fiction

Baseball movies that are Hollywood created are the best.  They are so unbelievable and made up for our entertainment.  However some of them are believable.  For the Love Of The Game is totally believable but it did not make my list.  Also another Kevin Costner movie Field Of Dreams also did not make my list.  This is more of a dramatic movie that is a real tear jerker.  The first baseball movie on my Mount Rushmore of Baseball movies fiction is another Kevin Costner film that I could totally believe is true.  I am not going to review each movie but instead give a brief plot summary.

 

BULL DURHAM

Bull Durham

Who didn’t love this movie.  It is funny and I believe it is realistic.  Costner was brillians as the aging catcher brought back down to A Ball to tutor Ebby Calvin Laloosh the hot shot rookie pitcher who needs to grow up mentally.  Tim Robbins also was brilliant as Nuke.  Annie Savoy is the lifetime groupie who picks one player a season to teach them life lessons and maturity.  She gave him the nickname of Nuke.  Susan Sarandon nailed this part too.  The movie centers around the maturation of Nuke as Crash gives him wisdom about the game of baseball and the game of life.  Annie also does it too but in a much different way.  The cast isn’t known outside of Robert Wuhl as one of the coaches who also played against Crash but they are very much side effects to the three main characters who dominate the movie.  There is plenty of laughs and memorable scenes in this movie.  As you know Crash and Annie help Nuke get promoted to the show and as the Bulls release Crash he finally gets Annie then leaves to hit his last homerun before retiring.  It would seem that Annie’s days as the Summer fling are over as Crash is destined to become her only man.  However Crash will be in high demand as a minor league manager.

Classic movie that launched the careers of Costner, Robbins and Sarandon.  Robbins and Sarandon became a real life couple for many years after this movie.

THE NATURAL

The Natural

If you want star power The Natural had that.  Also it was a great story.  Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs a baseball player who was taught everything about the game from his father.  His father dies of a heart attack by a tree that was split open by lightning.  Young Hobbs makes a bat he named Wonderboy.  A copy of that bat is hung in my man cave at home.  Robert Duvall plays MaX Mercy the sportswriter who spends the whole movie trying to find out the real story behind Hobbs.  Pop FIsher brilliantly played by Wilford Brimley is the manager and co owner of the New York  Knights and Red Blow played by Richard Farnsworth is his assistant coach.  Then we have Michael Madsen who plays Right Fielder Bump Bailey who is on the take from the Judge and partial owner of the team played by Robert Prosky and lastly Joe Don Baker who plays Babe Ruth or “The Whammer” as he is known  in the movie.  Glenn Close plays Iris the childhood sweetheart of Hobbs, Barbare Hershey plays Harriet Bird the woman who changes Hobbs’ life forever and Kim Basinger who plays Memo Paris and is the niece of Pop and the woman who seduces Hobbs to try to make him lose games.

To quickly sum it up Hobbs leaves his small town country home for a tryout with the Cubs.  But before he goes he gets Iris pregnant.  On the way to Chicago he meets the Whammer and at a Carnival he strikes him out on 3 pitches.  Harriet Bird who has shot 2 prominent athletes latches on to Hobbs cause he said he is going to be the best ever.  Harriet shoots Hobbs.  16 years later Hobbs returns to baseball and makes the Knights who are in last place.  Pop has to win the pennant to keep the team but Bump their best player is on the take.  After a couple of weeks Pop finally lets Hobbs at least take batting practice and he hits every pitch out of the park.  Later that day Bump drops a fly ball and Hobbs pinch hits for him and knocks the cover off the ball.  Now Hobbs in in the news and Iris living in Chicago with her son who we find out later on that is Hobbs’ kid hears his tale.  Bump is given one last chance to play better otherwise he will be on the bench plays great but kills himself running through the wall in pursuit of a fly ball.  Now Hobbs is the starting right fielder and the team turns it around immediately.  During batting practice with Max watching(Max knows Hobbs from somewhere but he can’t remember where) Hobbs fires a fast ball which breaks the rope and Max now realizing where he knows Hobbs from is gone.  Memo starts dating Hobbs and he slumps badly until he goes to Chicago and sees Iris and turns It around again.  You can see the love they still have for each other.  The Knights go back on a roll and tie for the pennant with three games left.  Memo poisons Hobbs and he misses three games which leads to a one game playoff.  Hobbs’ gets his stomach pumped and they find the silver bullet from 16 years earlier.  He is told to retire immediately or risk his stomach blowing up.  The judge bribes him for the final game.  Hobbs plays the game and gives the money back.  He finds out Iris’ son is his and he hits the game winning home run and Pop keeps the team and Hobbs, Iris and their son return to the farm where they grew up.

THE BAD NEWS BEARS

Bad_news_bears_1976_movie_poster

A movie about little league baseball players which is one of my personal favorites.  Just ask my mom who would see me watch the movie then rewind it and watch it again and again.  Walter Mathau plays former major league pitcher Morris Buttermaker. Buttermaker is an alcoholic who drinks during practice and the games is paid by Toby Whitewood’s father to manage the team.  The Bears are bad early on in the season until Buttermaker brings in a female pitcher Amanda Whurlitzer played by Tatum O’Neal.  Buttermaker dated Amanda’s mother and he taught her how to throw a curve when she was younger.   Jackie Earle Haley plays Kelly Leek the bad ass guy from the neighborhood who just happens to be the best ball player around.  Once Kelly and Amanda join the team everything turns around.  They get all the way to the championship game against the hated Yankees and in a tie game Buttermaker empties his bench for the first time all season and blows the game but he remembers what is most important.

This movie is laughs all the way through as the Bears have all sorts of characters.  From the little loud mouth and balls Tanner Boyle who is tiny but always willing  fight.  To the fat catcher Mike Engleberg who is always eating and always lazy.  To the incumbent pitcher with the thick glasses Rudy Stein.  To Ogilvie the nerdy guy who has no ability but is the ultimate stat man and team scout. To Ahmad who wants to be Hank Aaron to Loopus who is small and wimpy and gets taken advantage of by everyone.  Vic Morrow plays Roy Turner who is the manager of the Yankees and becomes so consumed with winning he drives his son Joey away after hitting him during the game.  Joey was also not nice to the Bears but by this point even the Bears felt sorry for him.  This movie which is a cult classic spawned 2 sequels, one Television series and a remake of the original if which I will never watch.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE

Major league

Another movie that is not realistic but fun and entertaining to watch.  Also with plenty of stars.  A quick plot summary is Rachel Phelps played by Maragret Whitton inherits the Cleveland Indians from her husband who just passed away.  Phelps hates Cleveland and her whole goal is to make the team bad enough so she can relocate the team to Miami. She gets rid of their best players and makes the Manager become the General Manager.  The players invited to Spring Training are all re tread major league players past their prime and unknown players from various leagues around the country.  Manager Lou Brown played brilliantly by James Gammon sees a lot of potential in the team and tells the GM Charlie Donovan played by Charles Cyphers he thinks the team at 60 and 61 is a contender.  Upon hearing that Donovan tells Brown of the owners intentions.  Brown uses that to motivation to drive the team to win the division.  This movie spawned 2 sequels one with most of the original cast and the second one about a minor league team with only a couple of characters from the original.  There has always been talk of another Major League movie but so far nothing is imminent.

Charlie Sheen plays Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn a  pitcher with a big league arm and balls to match.  He was in jail at the beginning of the movie and Sheen plays this character so well.  Wesley Snipes plays Willie Mays Hayes.  Hayes basically invites himself to Spring Training.  Upon trying to throw him out of camp Brown sees how fast he is and lets him stay.  Tom Berenger plays Jake Taylor.  Taylor is an aging ex all star catcher trying for one more season in the big leagues.  He is the unquestioned heart of the team.  However his heart belongs to Lynn.  The woman he is in love with and wasn’t smart enough to hold onto played by the beautiful Rene Russo.  Corbin Bernsen plays Roger Dorn.  The high priced prima donna third basemen who wants to collect his checks and not do anything to mess up his career after baseball.  Dennis Haysbert plays Pedro Cerrano the voodoo loving big stick right fielder who can’t hit the curve ball.  Chelcie Ross plays Eddie Harris the crafty veteran pitcher who puts anything he can find on the ball to get batters out.  And of course Bob Uecker is great as Harry Doyle the Indians play by play announcer.

HONORABLE MENTION

THE SANDLOT

 

Professional Wrestling Mount Rushmore Modern Era

To make this mountain you have to have transcended wrestling.  Your achievements and accolades would have to have made this bigger and more mainstream.  That certainly makes this list smaller.  I can’t go back 100 years because obviously I wasn’t alive so I will start with the 1970’s til now.  Three of the names are easy. The last one can be debated. 220px-Vince_McMahon_2

There is no doubt that Vince McMahon is the first on this list.  He was the game changer and completely made wrestling what is today and effectively wiped out most of his competition by breaking the gentleman’s agreement.  Hey anyone could have done what he did.  But what he did with how we saw wrestling on television and with pay per views plus taking a chance on the right guy in Hulk Hogan is a story in itself.  To wrestling fans we know what WrestleMania week is and what it has become and how it grows every year.  To others who don’t follow or bash wrestling they need to understand what Vince has created.  I recall a caller on Mike Francesa’s show bring up WrestleMania 29 at Met Life stadium and how Francesa had no idea the building sold out in a half hour or less.  And as the caller tried to explain the whole week is just like the Super Bowl with events and parties etc he could not understand the fascination.  We know nothing is bigger than the Super Bowl but this has grown so huge because of Vince’s drive.  With the network now up and running and how WWE constantly draws more fans and hits on social media there is no end in sight.  Also Vince was involved in one of the greatest story lines in history when he went up against Stone Cold Steve Austin.

 

220px-Hulk_Hogan3

Is there any real doubt that Hulk Hogan is the next one on the mountain.  Hogan was the hand selected poster boy of Vince McMahon and boy was he right.  Hogan worked for Vince’s father and bounced around and was not under WWE contract when he appeared in Rocky 3 as Thunderlips.  Hogan was energetic and charismatic and the fans took to him big time.  Forever in the hearts of the kids those same fans still love him.  Not a good in ring wrestler but the perfect person at that time.  His mantra of training, say your prays and eat your vitamins endured him to the youth and their parents.  Of course he got caught with steroids but by then the scope of wrestling was forever changed.  Hogan will always be the Immortal One that every one of the boys in the back owes a debt of gratitude to.

 

Rock

Can You Smell What The Rock Is Cooking.  This is an easy choice for the third member of the mountain.  The Rock is the only wrestler to successfully make it in Hollywood.  By making it I mean actually have movies that make money.  Hogan’s movies never drew at the box office.  Rock thrives at the box office.  Others like Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler had their moments but nothing like what the Rock has done.  His 5.5 million salary in his movie debut is still the highest in history.  The Rock’s promos are still great no matter how long he is away from the ring.  Rock has more in ring ability than Hogan ever did and his mic work is top 5 overall all time.  He is the more cool and hip version of Hogan.  The fans will always love the Rock.

220px-Ric_Flair_-_Wooooo

This one was hard and it came down to between Ric Flair and Bruno Sammartino.  I picked Flair because basically he would work matches in all the different territories while he was champion and Bruno didn’t.  Perhaps the problems Bruno had with Vince Sr prevented him from doing so.  But the Nature Boy can still cut a mean promo and his ability to thrive in the old days and the current days gives him the nod.  Bruno would not last in today’s world of wrestling.  Bruno was a wrestler.  So was Flair but Flair was also an entertainer who could put over a broom stick.

HONORABLE MENTION

Bruno Sammartino