Essays and Interviews on the National Pastime, Hollywood and American Culture
About the Book
Not only are movies and baseball two of America’s favorite pastimes, they are integral parts of our culture. Small wonder that the two frequently merge in Hollywood’s use of baseball themes, jargon, and icons.
This work on baseball in the movies is organized into four sections examining different aspects of the cultural intersection between film and baseball. In the first three sections—“Baseball in Baseball Films,” “Babe Ruth and the Silver Screen,” and “Baseball in Non-Baseball Films”—essays by scholars in various disciplines cover such topics as symbols, the role of family, baseball as a facilitator of violence, and the American mythos.
The fourth section consists of interviews with directors (such as Ron Shelton and Penny Marshall), actors (Kevin Costner, James Belushi), and baseball personnel (broadcaster Vin Scully, coach Rod Dedeaux) who have worked in baseball films.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
About the Author(s)
Editors Stephen C. Wood and J. David Pincus
Forewords by Alvin L. Hall ; and Dale Petroskey
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 64 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2003
Table of Contents
PART 1 16
1. The American Mythos in Film: The Natural 20
2. Returning to the America That Was Meant to Be: The Cinematic Re-Emergence of Baseball’s Vision of Community 35
3. W.P. Kinsella’s Baseball Fiction: Field of Dreams and the New Mythopoeism of Baseball 52
4. Baseball Mystery, Cinema Magic 63
5. Designated Heroes: Cinematic Reflections of Baseball’s Cultural Ideology 75
6. The Myth and Rebirth of Shoeless Joe Jackson in Eight Men Out and Field of Dreams 88
PART 2 102
7. From Christ-Like Folk Hero to Bumbling Bacchus: Filmic Images of Babe Ruth 107
8. Persistence of Vision: A Study of Babe Ruth in Headin’ Home 120
9. Babe Ruth and the Feature Film: The Muddling of the Myth 134
PART 3 146
10. Baseball in Non-Baseball Films: From Family to Mirth 155
11. Baseball in Non-Baseball Films: From Culture to the Ephemeral 172
12. The Family of Baseball: Perceptions of the American Family in Baseball Films 191
13. The Baseball Moment in American Film 208
14. Meet John Doe, Frank Capra, and Baseball: The Celebration and Dark Side of the American Dream 222
PART 4 240
15. The Directors and Producers: Interviews with Phil Alden Robinson, Ron Shelton, Penny Marshall and Arthur Friedman 242
16. The Actors and Critics: Interviews with Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, James Belushi, Robert Osborne and Jeffrey Lyons 258
17. Behind the Scenes: Interviews with Vin Scully, Lynn Novick, Brent Shyer, and Rod Dedeaux 276
About the Contributors 303
Book Reviews & Awards
“accessible essays…invites the attention of the fan of both movies and baseball…recommended”—Choice; “spectacular study…a sweeping baseball filmography…recommend[ed]”—Against the Grain; “[readers] can spend many happy hours with [this book]”—Burlington County Times; “a real treat”—True Review; “carefully researched”—University of Arkansas Research Frontiers; “an arresting work…academic yet accessible essays and interviews…inspects the cultural meshing of film and baseball in a thoughtfully provocative manner…a read as satisfying as a run-scoring double laced into the gap”—Arkansas Democrat Gazette; “the volume fills a long-overdue gap in critical discourse”—www.Reconstruction; “a fascinating collection…highly recommend”—The Providence Journal.