Monday, September 26, 1988
The Michigan Daily
Eight Men Out bats
By MARK SHAIMAN
With the World Series approach-
ing you may not want to believe in
or even see a film about the 1919
Series that was fixed.
But, yes, the Black Sox Scandal
did happen. The national pastime of
the United States suffered from lack
of truth, justice and the American
Way. But in Eight Men Out,
writer/director John Sayles clearly
depicts each character's personal
Obviously, warm feelings for
Comiskey did not exist, and when
the chance to earn money by throw-
ing the Series presented itself, it was
accepted as much for the money as
for revenge. Yet, the film takes the
view that while they were wrong,
those involved weren't entirely to
One player, third baseman Buck
Weaver, played by John Cusack (The
Sure Thing), refused to cooperate in
the scam. His hustle on the field was
infectious, even strong enough to
University graduate Don Harvey played baseball for
eight hours a day in preparation for his role as one of
the Black Sox of John Sayles' 'Eight Men Out.'
Read more about his tough training regime in
tomorrow's Daily Arts section.
cronies were making deals and
backstabbing each other with
"agreements." It makes you wonder
about the events that go on in base-
ball today that never make the sports
Inside or out of the stadium, it all
takes place on the movie screen in
Eight Men Out. Sayles had long
wanted to make this film, and the
wait has been worth it. In Matewan
he recreated a mining town of the
'20s, and here he returns to this era
with terrific settings and costumes.
But Eight Men Out is beautiful
in more ways than just a recon-
struction of the times. Baseball fans
tend to see their sport as a dance, but
this time Sayles is the chor-
When the word about the scandal
has finally reached everyone, we fol-
low all the players, sportswriters,
coaches, and thugs glide along the
halls of the hotel to speak to each
other. The patterns they form are as
complex as a triple play, yet appear
smooth, even balletic, on screen, due
to some terrific planning and
camerawork. But that is charac-
teristic of the whole film.
If you are a baseball fan and the
Tigers have been letting you down
lately, if you want the World Series
a bit early, or even if you don't like
baseball and just want to see a good
movie, you can be sure that Eight
Men Out will be a hit.
EIGHT MEN OUT is showing at
Fox Village Theatre. Call for daily
reasons for becoming involved in the
scandal rather than just grouping the
players as part of an evil machine.
The '19 Chicago White Sox may
have been the best ball club ever,
and were surely the best of that year.
Still, their owner, Charles Co-
miskey, was a penny-pincher, pay-
ing his star players half of what
lesser players were getting on other
teams. In addition he substituted flat
champagne in place of a large
monetary bonus for the winning of
the pennant - the straw that broke
the players' backs.
pull out the winning spirit of the
other team members and get them to
win a few games.
But once the star pitcher Eddie
Cicotte (David Strathairn) became
involved, there was no chance for the
team. With only one season left in
his arm and two daughters to send to
college, he was easily bought out, as
were other team members played by
Charlie Sheen, D.B. Sweeney, and
University graduate Don Harvey.
Just as much of the scandal
occurred on the outside of the ball
park. Numerous gamblers and their
Interested in writing about film?
Interested in writing about film?
Come to a mass meeting tonight
at 5:30 p.m. in the Arts office of
the Michigan Daily, 420 Maynard.
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