Film Series Salutes the National Pastime in September

Thursday, September 4, 2008
Paul Smith
Film Series Salutes the National Pastime in September <br /> at Kansas City Public Library

The Kansas City Public Library salutes the National Pastime with a film series looking back at baseball in its heyday. When Heroes Roamed the Outfield will remind viewers how this uniquely American sport caught the imagination nationwide and influenced the national character. Admission is free for all screenings, scheduled every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. throughout September 2008 in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

The film line-up includes:

The Natural (1984) on September 6. A beautiful movie about baseball as myth, back in the halcyon pre-steroids days of baseball history. Based on a novel by Bernard Malamud, it stars Robert Redford as the homerun hitter with support from Glenn Close and Robert Duvall. Rated PG. (134 min.)

A League of Their Own (1992) on September 13. Amid World War II, the men are away in the service and attention shifts to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which produces lots of action on the diamond. Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Madonna star. Rated PG. (127 min.)

The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) on September 20. The adventures of a lively group of African American baseball stars on the lam from the Negro Leagues (the movie is set in 1939) are retold in this affectionate look at the early days of black baseball. Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, and Richard Pryor star. Rated PG. (111 min.)

Eight Men Out (1988) on September 27. This is independent director/writer John Sayles’ take on the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919 that signaled the end of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s career. A reminder that, even in its heyday, baseball was subject to human failings. John Cusack and Charlie Sheen star. Look for a cameo appearance by Sayles as writer Ring Lardner. Rated PG. (121 min.)