61*

2001

Biography / Drama / History

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 7.7 10 16476

sports baseball historical figure

Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
June 07, 2022 at 10:24 AM

Director

Top cast

Anthony Michael Hall as Whitey Ford
Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle
Christopher McDonald as Mel Allen
Billy Crystal as Fan in Stadium Stand
720p.BLU
1.15 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 8 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hall895 9 / 10

An absolute home run

Billy Crystal hits it out of the park with 61*. Brilliantly cast, beautifully shot and at times brutally honest in its storytelling, 61* is an absolute gem.

Any baseball fan well knows the story of the great home run chase of 1961. Here, Crystal peels back the curtain and brings us up close and personal with the men who made that season so memorable. In Barry Pepper, who plays Roger Maris, and Thomas Jane, as Mickey Mantle, Crystal found two actors absolutely perfect for their respective roles. The way Pepper and Jane perfectly captured the essence of these real-life heroes goes far beyond the eerie physical resemblances the actors have to the men they portray. Maris was a quiet, serious, introspective family man. And during this particular season it could be said he was a downright tortured man as well. Pepper captures all of this wonderfully. Mantle on he other hand was an outgoing, energetic, fun-loving superstar who took full advantage of all the perks his stardom brought him. And Jane does a fine job bringing this out and really lets you see the wear and tear Mantle's lifestyle had on him as his body began to break down. It would have been easy to gloss over some of the less appealing aspects of Mantle's personality. It also would have been dishonest and Crystal is to be applauded for showing it how it really was. Mantle was a larger than life hero but he certainly had his faults and this film brings them out. Some may find the pervasive profanity and crude sexual humor in the film to be a bit over the top but an honest retelling of the story requires acknowledging the way these ballplayers really were.

61* is not just a movie about baseball, it is at its heart a movie about Roger Maris and the key relationships in his life. Maris and Mantle, Maris and his wife, Maris and the oppressive press...these relationships are all explored as we learn much more about Roger Maris the man than Roger Maris the baseball player. Maris had to overcome a great deal to accomplish what he did and this film does a brilliant job of bringing us along on his magical ride.

Reviewed by michaelRokeefe 8 / 10

Powerful as back-to-back out of the park homers.

This is a wonderful piece of work from director and executive producer Billy Crystal. A powerful and personal story of the little known amiable relationship between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle during that dramatic home run race of 1961. The two sluggers were always pictured as being bitter rivals. This is a whole different tale.

Mantle(Thomas Jane)being the Yankees 'golden boy' and Maris(Barry Pepper)the ridiculed interloper learned to coexist and become the M & M Boys. Mantle being jaded by the press offered his best advice to the often stoic and sullen Maris on matters of surviving publicity. Most of the home run chase was like a masterpiece on canvas. Maris never seemed to get the respect he deserved, but his fortitude garnered him a place in baseball history. 61* would of course become 61 and then later shattered and surpassed by another home run chase.

This movie deserves being ranked among the elite of sports movies and one of the best baseball flicks ever. Pepper is outstanding as Maris. Jane takes a little warming up to as the Mick. A very talented supporting cast includes: Richard Masur, Bruce McGill & Christopher Bauer. Plus most impressive is Billy Crystal's daughter, Jennifer, playing Pat Maris.

This is a must see for every sports fan!

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10

To Be A Yankee In 1961

I was 14 and living in Brooklyn during the baseball season of 1961. We were still a borough in mourning at the loss of our beloved Dodgers in 1958 and even their rivals the Giants from Manhattan. For four seasons and 1961 was to be the last of them the Yankees had the exclusive attention of the New York baseball fans.

Another of those fans at the time was Billy Crystal who grew up to be a comedian of some note and on the 40th anniversary of that season and the home run chase for Babe Ruth's seasonal record of 60 home runs, sought to bring back that season and what it meant to be a Yankee and a Yankee fan that year.

Barry Pepper and Thomas Jayne play Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle who went on a dual chase that year for that most sacred of all records. Sacred because it had been set by a man who revolutionized the game itself and was one of the most colorful sports personalities that America ever produced. It was so held sacred that former sportswriter Ford Frick who was baseball commissioner at the time and former Babe Ruth ghostwriter decreed that it could only be broken in the first 154 games, that if it was broken in the new 162 game schedule, separate records noted with the asterisk would be in the books.

The Yankees themselves were on fire that season. They were not just about Mantle and Maris. The middle infield combination of Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek seemed to be turning double-plays on an almost alarming routine basis, becoming the best at what they did. Elston Howard in his first year as the regular catcher hit for the highest average on the team, .348 and contended for the batting title. Whitey Ford who previous manager Casey Stengel would not give rotation starts to, was put in a set pitching rotation by Ralph Houk and responded with his career season of 25 and 4. He also did his assault on Babe Ruth by breaking his pitching record of 29 2/3 scoreless innings in the World Series against Cincinnati that year.

As for home-runs, the team itself set a record of 240 season home-runs for a team. Everybody pitched in that year to win the pennant and blow Cincinnati out in five games in the World Series.

But the story was Mantle and Maris who despite rumors fueled by sportswriters looking for or to create a good story, Mickey and Roger actually shared living quarters in Queens with teammate Bob Cerv. By the way if there are villains in this film it's the writers. They are really shown as one scurvy lot. I think that if Mickey and Roger saw the film, they'd just groove on the way they were portrayed.

Although both guys were from red state Middle America, they were as opposite as you can get. Mantle was quite the hedonist back in the day and Crystal doesn't flinch in showing him that way. Maris on the other hand was a family man first and foremost. He was also very conscious of the fact that Mantle was there in New York first and fans wanted him to be the record breaker.

Watching 61* was certainly reliving a lot of my 14th year over again. The Yankees were awesome that year, like I've never seen them before or since, not even the recent teams with Joe Torre as manager. 61* now ranks as one of the great baseball films ever.

No summer like that summer of 61*.

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