December 21, 2008

Movie Sunday: Mr. Baseball

Mr. Baseball is one of my favorite movies. (Milady groans. :) ) Why? Because it's a romantic comedy, it's about baseball, and it's about life as an expatriate. (OK, so I loved the movie before I even became an expatriate. ;) ) It's a classic "fish out of the water" story set in a culture that's both exotic and attractive to Americans. Mr. Baseball's also got some exceptionally good performances in it by the supporting cast of actors: Ken Takakura as Uchiyama, the baseball team's manager, Aya Takanasha as Hiroko, the Japanese love interest (and the daughter of Uchiyama), a young Dennis Haysbert as fellow expatriate Max Dubois, and Toshi Shioya as Tom Selleck's interpreter and guide. And the "rookie" in the first clip belting out the 500-foot home runs? That's "The Big Hurt," Frank Thomas.

Now if only I could find a copy of the movie here to buy...

Jack Elliot: Just let them have a little fun.

Uchiyama: Baseball is work. Not fun.

Jack Elliot: Baseball is grown men getting paid to play a game. When you were a kid, I bet you didn't pick up a bat and ball because you were dying to work. A player's career is short enough. Let them enjoy it.

Max 'Hammer' Dubois: Max Dubois. Around here they call me Hammer. Don't ask me why.

Jack Elliot: Jack Elliot.

Max 'Hammer' Dubois: Yeah. I know who you are. I've been in Japan, not dead.

Jack Elliot: C'mon, it ain't over till the fat lady sings!

Toshi Yamashita, Jack's Interpreter: [subtitle as he translates to the team] When the game is over, a fat lady will sing to us!

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