is a 1992
about the life of famed baseball player Babe
, who died in 1948. He is played by John Goodman
begins in 1902 in Baltimore,
Maryland, where an undiscplined and troubled boy George
Herman Ruth is sent to the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a
reformatory and orphanage.
Ruth is sent by his father,
George Herman Ruth Sr. (Bob Swan
cannot handle raising the boy. At the school, Ruth was schooled by
Catholic missionaries and was made fun of by other children,
because of his large size. Brother Matthias Boutlier (James Cromwell
), the Head of Discipline at
St. Mary's, first introduced Ruth to the game of baseball. During a
session of batting practice, Ruth hit several towering home runs
off of Matthias, who was pitching. Brother Matthias and others were
amazed of Ruth's amazing power to drive the ball.
The film then flashes forward to 1914
19-year old Ruth (John Goodman
) is on
St. Mary's baseball team. Ruth continues to excel as a powerful
hitter and a great pitcher. Ruth's amazing skills come to the
attention of Jack Dunn
). Since Ruth
is underage, Dunn decides to adopt Ruth and sign him to a contract
with the Baltimore Orioles
. In the
middle of the 1914 baseball season, Ruth is sold to the Boston Red Sox
. As a member of the Red Sox,
Ruth begins to gain wide attention for his home runs and becomes
popular in Boston. However, he angers Red Sox owner Harry Frazee
during a party, and following the
1919 season, Ruth demands a raise, and a suite for road games, so
Frazee sells him to the New York
to finance his broadway shows, which had cost him money
($125,000 (the same amount of money that Frazee got for selling
Ruth) to be exact).
Ruth becomes very popular in New York, as he helps the Yankees win
the World Series in 1923. Also, in one game, he hits two home runs
for a little boy named Johnny. However, two years later, after
divorcing his first wife, Helen Woodfood (Trini Alvarado
), Ruth starts to go into a
slump, while fellow teammate Lou Gehrig
(Michael McGrady) becomes known as the "Iron Man" (a name that, in
reality, belonged to Cal Ripken Jr., who broke Gehrig's consecutive
games played record. Gehrig was known as the Iron Horse.). After
getting pelted with lemons during a game, he gets angry and storms
onto the dugout, yelling at the crowd, who continue to pound him
However, in 1927, Ruth returns to his old self and hits 60 home
runs, breaking his old record of 59 home runs. In 1932, during the
World Series against the Cubs, in Game 3, Ruth, during an at-bat,
points to centerfield and hits a towering home run, "calling his shot"
The film took several liberties with Ruth's life and career. Most
notably in its portrayal of his "Called Shot"
and his hitting of two
home runs for a sick child. While the sick child story is a
long-standing Ruth myth, the Called Shot's authenticity is still
debated to this day. Nevertheless, the dramatic scene portrayed in
the movie is mostly fabrication. The film also takes license with
Ruth's first and final career homers. In the film, Ruth hits his
first homer as a newcomer to the Red Sox in 1914. Ruth actually
played sporadically for the Sox in 1914 and did not homer until
three final home runs did indeed come at Forbes Field in one afternoon; however, he did not retire
following (or during) the game as seen in the film, furthermore
Ruth did not have a "designated runner" who would take over for
Ruth upon reaching first base.
Ruth appeared in five more
games that year before injuring his knee and hanging it up.
Field stood in for Yankee Stadium during filming.
Temporary walls were placed
over the ivy-covered brick for the New York scenes. The ivy is
depicted during the 1932 World Series scenes, where the action is
taking place at Wrigley Field, although in 1932, the ivy had not
yet been planted. Similarly, in a scene during Ruth’s career
with the Yankees, in a 1925 game
vs. the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, he hits a home run and the Green Monster is depicted.
Monster at that time was actually covered with advertisements; it
was not painted solid green until 1947.
The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. In an
interview on Inside the
, John Goodman admitted that he was
disappointed in his own performance. The
called it "the worst
baseball biopic the world had ever seen".
The film was also not a financial success. It grossed over $19.9
million at the box-office
and was pulled
from theatres after five weeks.