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Eight Men Out

Eight Men Out
February 29, 2020 - 7:30 pm

Eight Men Out  (1988)

A rigorous retelling of Eliot Asinof’s 1963 book of the same name, John Sayles’ filmed adaptation leans less into the legal outcomes of the infamous Black Sox scandal, in which ballplayers conspired with monied gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series for cash. Sayles instead drills into the tension that rapidly evolves between players, journalists, managers and fans as, game by game, the corrupt scheme complexly unfolds. This was Sayles’ biggest budget picture to date, with the cast to warrant it: a veritable police lineup of ‘80s up-and-comers (John Cusack and Charlie Sheen), seasoned character actors (Christopher Lloyd and Clifton James), and frequent Sayles players (David Straithairn and Gordon Clapp). The period specificity of middle America in the late 1910s is enhanced by the on-location grit of downtown Chicago and the ingenious cinematography of the great Robert Richardson (who also lensed City of Hope). 

35mm, color, 120 min. Director/screenwriter: John Sayles. Cast: John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Christopher Lloyd, John Mahoney.