8. Eight Men Out
One of the most catastrophic moments in the early development of professional baseball was the ugly Chicago White Sox scandal of 1919. Eight players from the 1919 White Sox were banned from the game for life after it was discovered that they conspired to intentionally lose the World Series in order to win bets placed on the underdog Cincinnati Reds.
The 1988 film Eight Men Out attempted to dramatize this revolting moment in the game's history, armed with a who's who of young Hollywood in 1988. The film starred John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn, and D.B. Sweeney as members of the notorious "Black Sox" conspirators.
The film is wonderfully detailed and has some glorious cinematography. However, the film fails to help viewers unfamiliar with the subject understand some of what is going on. Non-fans will have trouble keeping track of the conspiracy in the film, as it presents much of it as dark-corner whispers and elliptical conversations. But for knowledgeable baseball fans, this is a must-see.
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