The Slugger's Wife

The Slugger's Wife is a 1985 romantic comedy film about a baseball star who falls for a singer. Written by Neil Simon, directed by Hal Ashby and produced by Ray Stark, the film stars Michael O'Keefe, Rebecca De Mornay and Randy Quaid. It was distributed by Columbia Pictures and released on March 29, 1985.

The Slugger's Wife
The Slugger's Wife VideoCover.jpeg
Directed byHal Ashby
Produced byRay Stark
Written byNeil Simon
StarringMichael O'Keefe
Rebecca De Mornay
Martin Ritt
Randy Quaid
Cleavant Derricks
Music byPatrick Williams
CinematographyCaleb Deschanel
Edited byDon Brochu
George C. Villaseñor
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • March 29, 1985
Running time
105 minutes
LanguageEnglish
Box office$1,878,561

Plot summary

Darryl Palmer is a baseball player for the Atlanta Braves. He enjoys the fame and fringe benefits of bachelor life until he meets rock singer Debby Huston, falls in love and decides to settle down.

Debby isn't ready to put her professional hopes on hold. But from the moment Darryl meets her, his own career takes off. He begins a full assault on baseball's single-season home run record of 61 (at that time) and considers Debby a good-luck charm, wanting her to be there at his games.

Manager Burly DeVito appreciates that Darryl has found a settling influence in his life, but teammates Moose Granger and Manny Alvarado become increasingly aware of how obsessed Darryl is with Debby and how unhappy she has become. She feels smothered by her husband, who interferes with her career ambitions and goes into a jealous funk whenever she goes on the road.

The couple breaks up, to the detriment of Darryl's game and his pursuit of one of baseball's greatest feats. He begins to fail on a regular basis and the team's playoff chances could be in jeopardy. Burly and his players concoct a plan to have another woman, hidden by shadows, pretend to be Darryl's wife, telling him everything he wants to hear. It works temporarily, then backfires.

Debby comes back to try to work things out. Darryl does indeed hit his record-breaking home run, but it remains uncertain whether the couple's relationship can ever be what it once was.

Cast

Reception

The Slugger's Wife was a total critical and commercial failure. The film has a 0% favorable rating on the Rotten Tomatoes web site based on 8 reviews.[1] A review in The New York Times by Janet Maslin began: "It's a shock to find Neil Simon's name attached to something as resoundingly unfunny as this."[2] Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four and wrote that it "has a story that demands to be taken as lighthearted nonsense, and since the screenplay is by Neil Simon, we go in expecting to have a good time. But, no, Simon's not in a lighthearted mood, and so the silliness of the story gets bogged down in all sorts of gloomy neuroses, angry denunciations, and painful self-analysis."[3] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune also awarded two stars out of four and wrote that "we can't help but laugh at the miscasting. Simon's writing should be spoken by adults, not kids. 'The Slugger's Wife' might have worked if the ballplayer were, say, Pete Rose's age, and his wife was Tina Turner's age, but with 20-year-old-looking stars on the screen, we have to shake our heads when listening to them discussing major lifestyle decisions."[4] Variety described the film as "about as affecting as a rock video. Despite some decent tunes and interesting performances, elements never jell."[5] Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "A movie directed by Hal Ashby shouldn't seem so frequently tame and predictable; a movie written by Neil Simon shouldn't have such sometimes sparkless dialogue."[6] Paul Attanasio of The Washington Post wrote, "After 'This Is Spinal Tap' and the book 'Ball Four,' you'd hardly think you could make a dull movie about baseball, rock 'n' roll or the two together. But here is a Neil Simon movie with all of his banality, but none of his humor—a sort of 'The Nod Couple.'"[7] David Ansen of Newsweek declared, "We might care if we believed in the fateful love of these two people, but this baseball player has the sensitivity of a catcher's mitt, and we only put up with him because O'Keefe is a cute kid. De Mornay is an even cuter kid, but between the two of them there's maybe 40 watts of electricity."[8]

The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song "Oh, Jimmy!"

According to the web site AllMovie.com, the film earned $1,300,000 in box-office receipts.

References

  1. ^ [https:www.rottentomatoes.com/m/sluggers_wife "The Slugger's Wife"]. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (29 March 1985). "Film: Neil Simon's 'Slugger's Wife'". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 29, 1985). "The Slugger's Wife". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  4. ^ Siskel, Gene (March 29, 1985). "As adult fare, 'Slugger's Wife' strikes out". Chicago Tribune. Section 7, page A.
  5. ^ "Film reviews: The Sliugger's Wife". Variety. March 20, 1985. 12.
  6. ^ Wilmington, Michael (March 29, 1985). "The Slugger's Wife: Bases Aren't Loaded for Simon and Ashby in This Unjelled Game". Los Angeles Times. Part VI, p. 1.
  7. ^ Attanasio, Paul (March 30, 1985). "'Slugger': Out in Left Field". The Washington Post. G3.
  8. ^ Ansen, David (April 1, 1985). "Matrimonial Slump". Newsweek. p. 87.

External links

1985 in film

The following is an overview of events in 1985 in film, including the highest-grossing films, award ceremonies and festivals, a list of films released and notable deaths.

Bonnie Arnold

Bonnie Arnold (born 1955) is an American film producer who has worked at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Pixar and DreamWorks Animation. Arnold grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She worked her way to Hollywood and caught the wave of computer-animation. From 2015 through 2017, Arnold served as co-president of feature animation for DreamWorks Animation.

Caleb Deschanel

Joseph Caleb Deschanel, ASC (born September 21, 1944) is an American cinematographer and director of film and television. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography six times. He is a member of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, representing the American Society of Cinematographers. He has been married to actress Mary Jo Deschanel since 1972, with whom he has two daughters, actresses Emily and Zooey Deschanel.

Cleavant Derricks (actor)

Cleavant Derricks Jr. (born May 15, 1953) is an American actor and Tony Award winning singer-songwriter, who is best known for his role of Rembrandt Brown on Sliders.

Dan Biggers

Daniel Upshaw "Dan" Biggers (January 18, 1931 – December 5, 2011) was an American college official and actor best known for his role as Frank "Doc" Robb on the television series In the Heat of the Night.

Don Brochu

Donald "Don" Brochu is an American Film editor.

Don Felder

Donald William Felder (born September 21, 1947) is an American musician and songwriter, best known for his work as a lead guitarist of the Eagles from 1974 until 2001.

Georgann Johnson

Georgann Johnson (born Georgia Anne Johnson, August 15, 1926 – June 4, 2018) was an American stage, film and television actress. She was also known as Georgiann Johnson and Georgianne Johnson.

Glen Ballard

Basil Glen Ballard Jr. (born May 1, 1953) is an American songwriter, lyricist, and record producer. He is best known for co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette's 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, which won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album and Album of the Year, and was ranked by the Rolling Stone as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. He is also well known for his collaborations with composer Alan Silvestri. He was involved in the recording and writing of Michael Jackson's albums Thriller and Bad. As a writer, he co-wrote songs including "Man in the Mirror" (1987) and "Hand in My Pocket" (1995). He is the founder of Java Records. He won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for "Believe" (The Polar Express). In 2011, he founded his own production company known as Augury, a Hollywood atelier focused on developing music-driven projects in film, television, and theater.

Hal Ashby

William Hal Ashby (September 2, 1929 – December 27, 1988) was an American film director and editor associated with the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking.

Before his career as a director Ashby edited films for Norman Jewison, notably The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), which earned Ashby an Oscar nomination for Best Editing, and In the Heat of the Night (1967), which earned him his only Oscar for the same category.

Ashby received a third Oscar nomination, this time for Best Director for Coming Home (1978). Other films directed by Ashby include The Landlord (1970), Harold and Maude (1971), The Last Detail (1973), Shampoo (1975), Bound for Glory (1976) and Being There (1979).

J. Michael Riva

J. Michael Riva (June 28, 1948 – June 7, 2012) was an American production designer.

Jimmy Bowen

James Albert Bowen (born November 30, 1937) is an American record producer and former rockabilly singer. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and holds an MBA with honors from Belmont University. He lives with his wife Ginger in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bowen brought Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood together, and introduced Sinatra to Mel Tillis for their album, Mel & Nancy.

Lisa Langlois

Lisa Langlois (born March 15, 1959) is a Canadian actress, who has appeared in movies, television and theater.

List of baseball parks used in film and television

List of baseball parks probably used in film and television includes baseball parks that may have been used as settings in filmmaking and television productions. Footage of actual sports events is most likely not included unless it was potentially used as stock footage or otherwise woven into a fictional storyline of a film or TV show. References are typically within the individual articles. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list.

Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CaliforniaAngels in the Outfield, 1994 film (exterior and sky shots)

Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, 1999 filmAstrodome, HoustonBrewster McCloud, 1970 film (many scenes)

The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, 1977 film (many scenes)

Murder at the World Series, 1977 made-for-TV film (several scenes)

Night Game, 1989 film (many scenes)Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, AtlantaThe Slugger's Wife, 1985 film (many scenes)Bosse Field, Evansville, IndianaA League of Their Own, 1992 (secondary setting, as home of the Racine Belles)Bush Stadium, Indianapolis, IndianaEight Men Out, 1988 film (standing in for both Comiskey Park and Redland Field)Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaExperiment in Terror, 1962 film (closing scenes)

The Fan, 1996 film (many scenes)Citi Field, Queens, New YorkSharknado 2: The Second One, 2014 film

Avengers: Endgame, 2019 film

Yesterday, 2019 film

Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, OhioMajor League, 1989 film (primary setting, but only a few scenes were actually shot there)College Park, Charleston, South CarolinaMajor League: Back to the Minors, 1998 film (primary setting)Comiskey Park, ChicagoThe Pride of the Yankees, 1942 film (some scenes)

The Stratton Story, 1949 film (many scenes)

Only the Lonely, 1991 film (one scene)Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

Mr. Ed episode, "Leo Durocher Meets Mr. Ed", first aired Sep 29, 1963

Hickey & Boggs, 1972 film (a few scenes)

Better Off Dead, 1985 film (closing scenes)

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, 1988 film (closing scenes)

The Sandlot, 1993 film (cameo)

The Fast and the Furious, 2001 film (opening scene driving in the parking lot)

Clubhouse, 2004 TV series (standing in for a fictional New York stadium)

Superman Returns 2006 film (one scene, with CGI alterations)

Transformers, 2007 film (one scene)Doubleday Field, Cooperstown, New YorkA League of Their Own, 1992 film (closing scenes)Durham Athletic Park, Durham, North CarolinaBull Durham, 1988 film (many scenes)Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New YorkRoogie's Bump , Ernie Shore Field, Winston-Salem, North CarolinaMr. Destiny, 1990 (several scenes)

Fenway Park, Boston, MassachusettsField of Dreams, 1989 film (cameo)

Fever Pitch, 2005 film

The Town, 2010 film (lengthy scene depicting a robbery)

"Moneyball (film), 2011 film (one scene)

"Ted (film), 2012 film (one scene)

"Patriots Day (film), 2016 film (one scene)Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaAngels in the Outfield, 1951 filmGilmore Field, Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe Stratton Story, 1949 filmGrayson Stadium, Savannah, GeorgiaThe Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, 1976 film (some scenes)Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.Damn Yankees, 1958 film (crowd scenes)John O'Donnell Stadium, Davenport, IowaSugar, 2008 film (many scenes)League Stadium, Huntingburg, IndianaA League of Their Own, 1992 (primary setting, as home of the Rockford Peaches)

Soul of the Game, 1996 film (primary baseball setting)Luther Williams Field, Macon, GeorgiaThe Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, 1976 film (many scenes)

Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, MarylandTin Men, 1987 film (exteriors, background)

Homicide: Life on the Street, 1993–99 TV series (occasional scenes)

Major League II, 1994 film (some scenes)Metrodome, Minneapolis, MinnesotaLittle Big League, 1994 film (primary setting)

Major League: Back to the Minors, 1998 film (secondary setting)Miller Park, Milwaukee, WisconsinMr. 3000, 2004 film (several scenes)Milwaukee County Stadium, Milwaukee, WisconsinMajor League, 1989 film (standing in for the primary setting of Cleveland Stadium)Minute Maid Park, Houston, TexasBoyhood, 2014 film (one scene)Nationals Park, Washington, District of ColumbiaHow Do You Know, 2010 film (one scene)Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CaliforniaAngels in the Outfield, 1994 film (primary setting)

"Moneyball (film), 2011 film (primary scene)

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MarylandDave, 1993 film (cameo)

Homicide: Life on the Street, 1993–99 TV series (occasional scenes)

Major League II, 1994 film (primary setting)PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaChasing 3000, 2008 film

Abduction, 2011 filmRangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, TexasThe Rookie, 2002 film (primary setting)Safeco Field, SeattleLife, or Something Like It, 2002 film (some scenes)

Shea Stadium, Queens, New YorkThe Odd Couple, 1968 (cameo)

Bang the Drum Slowly, 1973 film (many scenes)

The Wiz, 1978 film (flying monkeys chase)

Seven Minutes in Heaven (film), 1985 film (one scene)

Seinfeld, TV series, 1992 episode "The Boyfriend" (cameo)

Men in Black, 1997 film (one scene)

Two Weeks Notice, 2002 film (one scene)Sportsman's Park, St. Louis, MissouriThe Pride of St. Louis, 1952 film

The Winning Team, another 1952 film

The Pride of the Yankees, 1942 film (cameo)

Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MichiganThe Pride of the Yankees, 1942 film (some scenes)

One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story, 1978, made-for-TV film (many scenes)

Tiger Town, 1983, made-for-TV film (many scenes)

61*, 2001, made-for-TV film (primary setting and Tiger Stadium)

Hardball, 2001, (one scene as 'Chicago Field')

Hung, 2009, pilot episode of HBO TV show

Kill the Irishman, 2011Turner Field, Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Change-Up, 2011 film

Trouble with the Curve, 2012 film

Flight, 2012 filmU. S. Cellular Field, ChicagoRookie of the Year, 1993 film (some scenes)

Little Big League, 1994 film (all games played by the featured Minnesota Twins on the road)

Major League II, 1994 film (some scenes)

My Best Friend's Wedding, 1997 film (cameo)War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New YorkThe Natural, 1984 film

Wrigley Field, ChicagoWrigley scenes in 1984 film The Natural were actually filmed at All-High Stadium in Buffalo, New York

The Blues Brothers, 1980 film (cameo)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986 film (one scene)

About Last Night..., 1986 film (one scene)

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, 1988 film (cameo)

A League of Their Own, 1992 film (early scenes, as fictional Harvey Field)

Rookie of the Year, 1993 film (primary setting)

I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, 2006 filmWrigley Field, Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe Stratton Story, 1949 film (a few scenes)

Angels in the Outfield, 1951 film (a few scenes)

The Kid from Left Field, 1953 film (many scenes)

Damn Yankees, 1958 film (primary setting – standing in for Griffith Stadium)

The Geisha Boy, 1948 film

Home Run Derby, 1959 TV series

The Twilight Zone, 1960 episode "The Mighty Casey"

Yankee Stadium I, Bronx, New YorkThe Pride of the Yankees, 1942 film (many scenes)

Woman of the Year, 1942 film (one scene)

Angels in the Outfield, 1951 film (setting for cameo by Joe DiMaggio)The FBI Story (1959)(Interior and exterior shots seen while FBI agents are keeping communist suspect under surveillance.)

West Side Story, 1961 film (cameo – overhead shot during opening credits)

Bang the Drum Slowly, 1973 film (several scenes standing in for Shea Stadium)

Seinfeld, TV series, cameos in various episodes 1994–98 starting with "The Opposite" (George Costanza's workplace)

For Love of the Game, 1999 film (many scenes)

Anger Management, 2003 film (closing scene)Yankee Stadium II, Bronx, New YorkThe Adjustment Bureau, 2011 film (one scene)Zephyr Field, Metairie, LouisianaMr. 3000, 2004 film (several scenes)

Lynn Whitfield

Lynn Whitfield (née Butler-Smith; born May 6, 1953) is an American actress and producer. She began her acting career in television and theatre, before progressing to supporting roles in film. She won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance as Josephine Baker in the HBO biographical drama film The Josephine Baker Story (1991).

Whitfield spent her career after breakthrough performance as Josephine Baker playing the leading roles in a number of made for television movies in the 1990s, and had several starring roles in films, include performances in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996), Gone Fishin' (1997), Eve's Bayou (1997), Stepmom (1998), Head of State (2003), Madea's Family Reunion (2006) and The Women (2008). Whitfield also starred in a number of smaller movies in the 2000s and 2010s. In 2016, she began starring as villainous Lady Mae Greenleaf in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf. Whitfield has won five NAACP Image Awards.

Margaret Booth

Margaret Booth (January 16, 1898 – October 28, 2002) was an American film editor.

Rebecca De Mornay

Rebecca De Mornay (born Rebecca Jane Pearch; August 29, 1959) is an American actress and producer. Her breakthrough film role came in 1983, when she starred as Lana in Risky Business. She is also known for her portrayals of Sara in Runaway Train (1985), Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful (1985), Helen McCaffrey in Backdraft (1991), and Peyton Flanders in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992).

Her other film credits include The Three Musketeers (1993), Never Talk to Strangers (1995), Identity (2003), Lords of Dogtown, Wedding Crashers (both 2005), and Mother's Day (2010). On television, she starred as Wendy Torrance in the miniseries adaptation of The Shining (1997), and as Dorothy Walker on Marvel's Jessica Jones (2015–19).

Films directed by Hal Ashby
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