MovieRob’s Birthday Bash of Favorites 2020 (#17 of 47) – 61* (2001) – Encore Review


January is my birthday month, so I decided that I would try and do something quite unique and special for this milestone in my life. I will be turning 46, so I decided to watch 47 (46+1 for good luck) of my all time favorite movies in a random order over the course of this month.  I have reviewed every one of these films already, but I will now give new perspectives on them all. Every one of these films received a 10/10 scoring from me.  Some of these reviews will contain spoilers so if you have never seen them before, I recommend that you read some of my previous reviews of the film that were spoiler free before reading on…

Hope you enjoy!

This is film #17 of the 47.

Let’s continue with… 61* (2001)

Initial Viewing Memories – I heard about this film and immediately ordered the DVD in order to be able to see it since I’m HUGE baseball fan and had heard that it was directed by Billy Crystal.

“Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” – Yogi Berra

Number of Times Seen – at least 10 times (10 Oct 2001 on DVD, 18 Jun 2013 and 11 Jan 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – In 1961, New York Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle battle one another on the field as they try to break Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a season.

My Take on it – Amazing film that is able to transport us back in time to a place where we can breathe in the sport from such a pure perspective.

Barry Pepper and Thomas Jane are superb in the lead roles and show how a rivalry between friends can be handled so properly.

Billy Crystal is able to create a unique atmosphere for this story and it’s so easy to see how much love when in to making this film.

Crystal knew Mantle personally and used his knowledge of their friendship in order to help create these characters and situations that feel so realistic the whole way through.

The baseball scenes are created quite realistically and it’s such a joy to watch things unfold.

The music enhances the nostalgic feel of this story and adds so much to the ambiance of it all.

The supporting cast is great and add so much to the way that the story moves along.

Richard Masur, Seymour Cassel, Joe Grifasi, Christopher McDonald, Donald Moffet, Anthony Michael Hall, Jennifer Crystal Foley (Billy’s real-life daughter), Bruce McGill, Bob Gunton, Chris Bauer and Michael Nouri as Joe Dimaggio all make things even more enjoyable to watch.

The story supposedly stays very true to what really happened and is able to show these characters warts and all in a very genuine fashion which makes this one of the best baseball movies ever made since it doesn’t need to rely on Hollywoodize things.

Such a thrilling and gripping story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Most of the details of the games recreated for the film were based on Billy Crystal’s first hand memories of having seen or watched the actual games. As a result, the film’s crew members nicknamed him “Rain Man” for his uncanny ability to remember the games to the smallest detail. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

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Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

One thought on “MovieRob’s Birthday Bash of Favorites 2020 (#17 of 47) – 61* (2001) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z | MovieRob

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