AFI Movie Club: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN goes to bat with an all-star lineup that includes Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and AFI Life Achievement Award Recipient Tom Hanks – who taught us all that “There’s no crying in baseball!” –one of AFI’s greatest movie quotes in cinematic history.
Movie Trivia about A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
-DID YOU KNOW that before any actress read for a part in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, she had to take a baseball test? Each actress either had to be good at baseball or trainable in order to even audition. Roughly 2,000 actresses tested on a field at USC – including director Penny Marshall’s own daughter, Tracy Reiner.
-DID YOU KNOW Wrigley Field doubles as the fictional Harvey Field in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN? The character “Walter Harvey” is based on chewing-gum tycoon P. K. Wrigley, who owned the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise and organized the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943.
-DID YOU KNOW that a community field in Huntingburg, IN, was enlarged and rebuilt to stand in for the Rockford Peaches’ home field? Construction was done to code so the structure could remain in use after filming, and the revamped stadium was named League Stadium in honor of the production.
-DID YOU KNOW that over $10 million was spent in Indiana during the production of the movie – becoming one of the greatest economic impacts of any film produced in Indiana?
-DID YOU KNOW the role of Ernie Capadino was specifically written with Jon Lovitz in mind?
-DID YOU KNOW, during the barn scene in which Jon Lovitz meets Geena Davis and Lori Petty, production had to be temporarily paused because a cow in the background was giving birth? The calf was named after director Penny Marshall.
-DID YOU KNOW actual players of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League can be seen in the final scenes of the movie – both at the baseball field and at the Hall of Fame?
-DID YOU KNOW former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player Dolores “Pickles” Dries taught Rosie O’Donnell how to throw two baseballs at once during filming? Director Penny Marshall added the trick throw into the movie.
-DID YOU KNOW that Rosie O’Donnell originally read for the part of Marla Hooch? After director Penny cast Megan Cavanagh in the part, Marshall had the part of Doris Murphy changed to better fit O’Donnell. Marshall thought she was funny, a good actress and a very good ball player so she made sure to find a place for her in the movie.
-DID YOU KNOW director Penny Marshall had the teams play real baseball games with cameras rolling to get extra footage of game play?
-DID YOU KNOW a short-lived sitcom based on A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN aired in 1993? Tom Hanks and Penny Marshall both directed episodes of the series.
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions
-Why do you think Dottie is reluctant to attend the opening of the Hall of Fame at the beginning of the film?
-What was the political climate like in the U.S. that led to the creation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League? How did World War II influence the experience of American women?
-Why was it so difficult for society to accept women playing baseball?
-Describe the sisterly dynamic between Dottie and Kit. What were their major points of conflict?
-What makes A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN important in today’s society even after 25 years?
-Why was Doris willing to tear up the photo of her boyfriend and throw it out the bus window?
-Which player in the movie had your favorite nickname?
-What makes the line “There’s no crying in baseball!” so iconic that it is still quoted today?
– What did the league managers expect from their female players, in terms of traditional feminine qualities, appearance and behavior? Why was this expected of them as athletes?
-Why was it important for director Penny Marshall to include the scene of the African American woman throwing the baseball back to the players on the field?
-Did Dottie drop the ball on purpose at the end of the film? If she did, what would that signify about her relationship with her sister Kit?
-Why was the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League short-lived? Why does a women’s baseball league not exist today?
-How would you rate A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN?
In this exclusive AFI Archive video, director Penny Marshall talks about A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN:
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