Monday, October 10, 2011

A league of their own

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“A League of Their Own”


A very funny and entertaining comedy that tells the story of the Women’s baseball League. The League was set up during WWII, a time when most of baseball’s greatest players went off to fight in the War. In an attempt to save the sport, several owners formed the All-American Girls Baseball League. Among the great female players that came out of the league were Dottie Hinson ( Geena Davis), her kid sister Kit (Lori Petty), Mae Mordabito (Madonna) and Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell). Coaching the women was the job of former baseball player Jimmy Dugan ( Tom Hanks), a recovering alcoholic who seemed to be a better drinker than a coach. He is the one that says, “there’s no crying in baseball”. At first, he has absolutely no interest in the team, but after they show a sign of talent, he begins to coach the team.

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The movie starts with an old lady travelling back to Illinois for the Hall of Fame awards for the All-American Girls Baseball League. Harvey’s candybar company owner is greedy and wants to keep baseball, and his profits, alive. So he hires scouts to go out across America and find girls to play. One scout stumbles upon Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller. Dottie can hit and catch, while Kit can pitch a mean fastball. He also happens upon a tomboyish Marla Hooch who can hit both left and right handed. They arrive at the tryouts and meet other fellow would-be team members, such as Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell. The performances of the characters make the movie spectacular and entertaining. The variety of personalities makes the movie captivating. The turning point for the movie is when Kit is traded and she blames it on her sister Dottie. Dottie was a talented catcher but we learn that Dottie never took women’s baseball all that seriously. She was the best player of her time, and yet, in her mind, she was simply on hold until her husband came back from the war. Dugan, the coach, tells her she lights up when she plays baseball.

Kit is traded to the Racine team because her sister and her are arguing. The two sisters will play against one another in the final game. There is a twist at the end of the story, when Dottie drops the ball when her sister knocks her over. The Racines win and Kit wonders if her sister dropped the ball on purpose.

After years of perpetrating the image of the docile little woman who sat at home caring for her lord and master, American society suddenly found that it needed women who were competent to do hard, skilled work during World War II. This movie portrays strong independent females and it was discovered that women could actually excel at professional sports. Today this is shown threw Anika Sorensten. She will be playing with the Men’s Professional Golf Association. This is the first time the PGA has allowed a woman to play against the men.

The movie does not show equality between black and whites. There were no black women on the League because they were not allowed to play. Black women did not have any opportunities back in the 14. The only mention of a black woman was when one was in the stands. She threw the ball back to Kit and threw extremely hard. Kit says, “Nice throw,” and was very surprised a black woman had such a strong and accurate throw.

The women in the League of their Own took the role of men as entertainers on the sports field. Women were now allowed to play professional baseball and get paid. The pay wasn’t very much but it wasn’t the money that mattered. As in the movie, the girls now had the same duties of a professional male athlete. Women were exposed to the same criticism as men. Today women athletes face similar aspects. For example, Jennifer Capriati went on a drug binge and was put in the sports section on every National newspaper. So, by today’s standards women in the movie were now facing possibilities of experiencing similar opportunities that never had the chance before.

Before women never had a chance to compete as a team at a professional level. Women before this time competed in individual sports only. Two sports that women participated in were tennis and golf. Babe Dietrickson was a National Champion in golf and tennis. She never had the opportunity to play on a team. If she had had the opportunity she may have played in the Women’s Baseball League.

The women were required to attend a proper school for primping because the League wanted the women to be attractive and lady like. Today women get pampered in the same way to attract publicity and endorsements. Jacky Joyner Kersey is a prime example. Her agent advised her to get braces so she would have a prettier smile. By her doing this, her new smile will give her more opportunities. Dottie was a beautiful woman and she is told that she needs to spark the game up and give the newspaper photographer something to shoot. While catching the ball in the air she does the splits to attract the cameras and Harvey’s Chocolate as a sponsor. Another example from the movie is when they changed Marla Hooch, from a boyish unattracted shy type to a more sophisticated lady with confidence. She ended up quitting the league and being the first to fall in love and get married. This shows that the women from The League of their own used the exposure to advance their career and widen their opportunities.

The movie illustrates positive aspects because it is about women having a transition. Woman suddenly had the feeling to have new roles and freedom. This movie shows how the values of women changed. Women were respected more after they were allowed the same opportunities of a man. The women were in the sports section in the newspaper. Society would pay to see them play and listen on the radio. It gave women hope for their future. This is a family movie and kids will enjoy it just as much as adults will. Smoking was prohibited during the game and when traveling to cities. This would be a positive influence for children and adults. People value movies and Hollywood stars. Children and adults will see that the girls aren’t smoking so they may make the decision to avoid cigarettes. When children see people smoking they may think it is cool and may start this awful deadly habit.

Negative aspects are shown today just as they are shown in The League of Their Own. Women were required to wear short skirts and if they wouldn’t they would not play. They were also ordered to go to proper school to look pretty. They had to act like ladies at all times. This is shown today through the media. The girls you usually see on television are extremely thin and have had multiple surgeries. Mae is a bad influence in the movie because her character is a major flirt. She is seen throughout the movie kissing multiple men and wearing skimpy clothes that practically reveal everything. Children may want to follow in the same footsteps.

The girls were not allowed to drink alcohol while playing baseball. The girls wanted to go out but their supervisor mom would not allow them. Mae came up with the idea to put poison in her food so she would be too sick to check-up on them. The all sneak out to the bar to drink and meet guys. They all get really drunk except for Dottie. She is responsible because she knows if they get caught, they will be thrown out of the league. She gets the girls back without getting caught. Children that see this movie may characterize the girls getting drunk and sneaking out as acceptable.

This movie is pure compared to most movies that are made today. The movie doesn’t show much violence, hard core drug abuse or inappropriate language. The girls have to establish themselves with baseball professionals, the public and each other as they try and live the lives of women athletes in the 140’s.

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