There's still no crying in baseball, but celebrating a classic movie about women in baseball is allowed and encouraged.
"A League of Their Own" turns 25 this year. Has it really been a quarter-century since Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Hanks starred in the heartwarming comedy about a real-life, World War II-era women's baseball league?
It's a milestone birthday for a film that put a substantial dent in Hollywood's glass ceiling with its strong female cast and a female director, Penny Marshall. Its narrative of breaking boundaries reflects contemporary themes — and the current success of female filmmakers like Patty Jenkins ("Wonder Woman"), Dee Rees ("Mudbound") and Ava DuVernay ("13th," "Selma").
Emagine Royal Oak will celebrate women in film at 7 p.m. Wednesday with a screening of "A League of Their Own." The event will include an introduction on the film's significance by metro Detroit native Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly movie critic and Parade movie contributor. Reinstein has her own website, MaraMovies.com, and also serves as the Michigan-based Emagine chain's designated movie expert.
When "A League of Their Own" was released in 1992, its lead actor, Davis, was unafraid to describe it as a feminist movie.
Actress Megan Cavanagh, who portrayed Marla Hooch in the movie "A League of Their Own," cheers after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago Cubs played the Milwaukee Brewers in a baseball game in Chicago, Friday, May 1, 2015. Cast members from the movie stand behind Cavanagh. (Photo: Charles Cherney, AP)
As Davis recently told the Los Angeles Times, reporters would double-check by asking, " 'Can I say that you said that?' And I was like, yes, you can. I mean, what’s your definition of feminist? Feminist means believing in equal rights and opportunities, and this is about women playing baseball. So it’s about women can play, too."
The late Roger Ebert praised the movie's bittersweet charms in 1992, writing, "Marshall shows her women characters in a tug-of-war between new images and old values, and so her movie is about transition — about how it felt as a woman suddenly to have new roles and freedom."
And let's not forget that "League" gave metro Michigan's own Madonna one of her best screen roles as scrappy Rockford Peaches player Mae Mordabito.
"A League of Their Own" earned $107 million domestically, a number that's still impressive for 2017. It was placed on the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012.
Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture writer Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
'A League of Their Own'
7 p.m. Wed.
Emagine Royal Oak
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