Rated: PG Reviewed by: Frank and Chris Release date: April 17, 1992 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.
John Goodman stars, with Kelly McGillis as Babe Ruth's second wife, in a dramatic, well-presented biography of an abandoned child who became the best in baseball. The baseball is fun and the score by Elmer Bernstein carries the audience to the period when Ruth became famous and he dominated the minds of kids in Boston and later in New York. It reminds one of a time when smoking was bad but not known to be deadly and also raises the question, "If The Babe had cared for himself physically, how much greater would his impact on the game have been?"
Goodman is a star. He makes Ruth the happy, irresponsible child in his early playing years and a sad, broken man at the end. He plays The Sultan of Swat as he was, a gifted, talented baseball player who was never able to overcome his need for acceptance and love. Would George Herman Ruth have had a better life if his parents had not abandoned him and perhaps he never played baseball?
The period, the drama of a volatile life lived in public, the beauty of Ruth's skill and the deep sadness which surrounded him when he did not fit, it all comes together in a moving ending, in which he ends his career walking to the clubhouse at Braves field in Boston, a sick broken man who in his darkest moments was remembered as a hero to many kids, particularly the one he hit two homers for in one afternoon. Even if you hate baseball, see this one.