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Eight Men Out (20th Anniversary Edition) (1988)

John Cusack , Clifton James , John Sayles  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Christopher Lloyd, John Mahoney
  • Directors: John Sayles
  • Writers: John Sayles, Eliot Asinof
  • Producers: Barbara Boyle, Jerry Offsay, Midge Sanford, Peggy Rajski, Sarah Pillsbury
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010YSD90
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,691 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eight Men Out (20th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

John Cusack (Con Air) and Charlie Sheen (Major League) lead a "superb ensemble of actors" (Newsweek) delivering "striking performances" (The New York Times) in this "mesmerizing story" (Los Angeles Times) about the infamous 1919 Chicago White Sox scandal, certainly one of the saddest chapters in the annals of professional sports. Buck Weaver (Cusack) and Hap Felsch (Sheen) are young idealistic players with the Chicago White Sox, a pennant-winning team owned by Charles Comiskey Â? a penny-pinching, hands-on manager who underpays his players and treats them with disdain. And when gamblers and hustlers discover that Comiskey's demoralized players are ripe for a money-making scheme, one by one the team members agree to throw the World Series. But when the White Sox are defeated, a couple of sports writers smell a fix and a national scandal explodes, ripping the cover off America's favorite pastime.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Every time I watch "Eight Men Out" I am not really sure how I stand on the question of whether or not "Shoeless" Joe Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame, but the film certainly reaffirms my long held belief that justice might best be served if Charlie Comisky was kicked out of the shrine of baseball immortals. It is useful to remember that the team was already known as the Black Sox before the 1919 World Series because they refused to pay for their own laundry when Comisky decided there were additional nickels to be made from cutting that particular corner. What Comisky did to create an environment on his team that gamblers were able to exploit is amply set up. Even before the gamblers double-cross the boys and have to take extra steps to ensure the outcome of the series against the Reds, it is Comisky's arrogant dictatorship that makes us look with some measure of sympathy towards the Black Sox. Director John Sayles, who takes a turn as sportswriter Ring Lardner singing "I'm Forever Throwing Ball Games" on the train carrying the team, this 1988 film certainly gets the most out of its limited budget. Based on Eliot Asniof's book, which is a very detailed account of the entire scandal, the film focuses on the eight men who, for various reasons, ended up throwing away their reputations and their careers. The details on the scandal are in the book; Sayle's film focuses on the basic elements are the moral ambiguities of a complex chain of human actions.
Certainly the tragic figure in "Eight Men Out" is not Jackson (D.B. Sweeney), who certainly receives his biggest cinematic boost from "Field of Dreams," but rather Buck Weaver (John Cusack). Weaver's sin was that he failed to rat out his teammates once he knew there was talk of a fix.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully flavored baseball movie June 12, 2002
Format:DVD
What a fun movie! This film is a depiction of the 1919 Chicago WhiteSox who are alleged to have "fixed" the World Series that year against the Reds.
Here's what I loved about the film. The portrayal of Charlie Comisky, the White Sox owner is outstanding. I found myself quickly siding with the players from the outset and bristling at his obviously unethical and cheap approach. The time period depicted has a great "feel" to it. The baseball scenes are excellent and have a realistic feel as well. John Cusak and DB Sweeney are excellent as Buck Weaver and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.
The portrayal of the newly appointed commisioner Kennisaw Mountain Landis is also excellent. After watching this film you will better understand the current situation with Pete Rose, and where his expulsion from baseball originates. If you are at all a baseball fan you will enjoy the film.
My only criticism is that too much film time is spent of the gangsters and the announcers. That was a little tedious, and limited the further character development of the players, the depiction of the game, the owners, and the era.
I recommend this film though easily to any baseball fan.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EIGHT MEN OUT Let's the film goer Inside... June 4, 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
John Sayles' labor of love about Baseball's original sin is a great piece of filmmaking. Using an ensemble cast (with John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, D.B. Sweeny, and Richard Strathairn), a host of veteran character actors ( including Kevin Tighe, Christopher Lloyed, Clifton James, John Mahoney, Michael Lerner and John Anderson), and a few surprises (John Sayles himself and writer Studs Terkel as sports reporters) Sayles has recreated and retold with great detail the "Black Sox" Baseball World Series scandal of 1919 in which players were payed by gamblers and con men to throw the series. Not only is the film a great baseball movie, it is a great period piece capturing the gambling lifestyle of the era. Also it gives filmgoers a view of the business of baseball long before the advent of free agency when the owners (and even gamblers) ruled the game and the players were pieces of property making a common man's wage struggling to make that extra dollar. This is probably one of the best Baseball films ever made and any baseball purist should have seen this movie. Standout performances by John Cusack as Buck Weaver and D.B. Sweeny as Shoeless Joe Jackson. The ensemble cast making up the White Sox team is authenticated by having the actors actually play baseball. Overall,historical,informative and entertaining.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This 1988 film, directed by John Sayles, has a lot going for it. It's a dramatization of the underpaid Chicago White Sox who took bribes to throw the 1919 World Series. It's historically significant as a real event that happened and it's also the story of baseball and what it was like in that era. John Cusak is cast in the role of Buck Weaver, a ballplayer who doesn't want to participate but keeps quiet nevertheless. The other actors are less familiar to me.
The owner of the team, Charlie Cominsky, was a difficult man to work for. When his team won the pennant he gave them flat champagne instead of the $10,000 bonuses he promised them. And because he had promised a pitcher a bonus for winning 30 games, he purposely benched him so that the pitcher could win no more than 29. Salary was $6,000 per year and they had to do their own laundry. This was a team that was ripe for exploitation by the gambling interests at the time. Arnold Rothstein, the famous gambling tsar, manipulates everybody, but his role gives some insight into his character. And Ring Lardner and John Sayles himself play sportswriters. I was confused by the ballplayers though. Perhaps if I was familiar with this particular 1919 team I would have been able to recognize them, but they looked alike and all blended together in my mind.
The best part of the film was the historical detail. There was no radio or television then. So if you weren't in the ballpark, you had to go to a gambling parlor where a gentleman with a stuffy accent read the play-by-play from tickertape. There was a large baseball diamond on the wall and another man would chart out the game as it was read from the tickertape. The acting was good, the moral dilemmas clear. The players wound up double-crossed by the gamblers and then put on trial.
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