Eight Men Out (1988)



Critic Consensus: Perhaps less than absorbing for non-baseball fans, but nevertheless underpinned by strong performances from the cast and John Sayles' solid direction.

Movie Info

Basing his screenplay on a notorious moment in the history of American baseball, writer/director John Sayles offers an insightful look into the great Black Sox scandal of 1919 during which eight members of the 1919 White Sox were banned from baseball for life for their involvement in throwing the World Series with the Cincinnati Reds. Representatives of notorious gambler Arnold Rothstein (Michael Lerner) convince the eight ballplayers to loose to the Reds in lieu of substantial cash rewards. … More

Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Sayles
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 8, 2001
Orion Pictures


as Buck Weaver

as Hap Felsch

as Shoeless Joe Jackson

as Dickie Kerr

as Ray Schalk

as Eddie Collins

as Swede Risberg

as Fred McMullin

as Kid Gleason

as Lefty Williams

as Chick Gandil

as Eddie Cicotte

as Ring Lardner

as Hugh Fullerton

as Arnold Rothstein

as Sport Sullivan

as Billy Maharg

as Abe Attell

as Heydler

as Ban Johnson

as Charles Comiskey

as Rothstein's Lawyer

as Ben Short

as Helen Weaver

as Kate Jackson

as Rose Cicotte

as Lyria Williams

as Heckler

as Enemy Fan

as Browns Umpire

as Grabiner

as Reds Player

as Reds Catcher

as Cincinnati Umpire

as New Jersey Fans

as Chicago Umpire

as Announcer

as Hired Killer

as Enemy Fan

as Irish tenor

as Betting Man

as Attendant

as Judge Kenesaw Mounta...

as Judge Friend

as Jury Foreman

as Newspaper Reporter

as Writer

as Woman in Bar

as Woman in Bar

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as New Jersey Fan

as New Jersey Fan

as New Jersey Fan

as New Jersey Fan

as Ben Short
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Eight Men Out

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Eight Men Out

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (12)

The tone of Eight Men Out is reminiscent of the droll irony of John Huston's considerations of the vanity of human wishes and the corrupting power of money.

Full Review… | May 6, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's a period re-created with a whoosh of energy and a redeeming vein of irony.

Full Review… | March 20, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The ensemble performances are of such a uniformly high caliber that our interest in the story never wavers.

Full Review… | March 20, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Eight Men Out never gathers much authority; the old themes have been hung on a rickety structure that constantly threatens to collapse.

Full Review… | March 20, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

In an ensemble movie like this one, an actor who grabs too much of the limelight can throw everything out of focus. The cast Sayles has assembled understands the value of teamwork.

Full Review… | March 20, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Sayles often seems like a man who, trying to stretch a single, gets caught between bases and is desperately trying to evade the rundown.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Eight Men Out

Good sports movie with a great cast and realistic 1919 setting that unfortunately suffers from too many moving pieces, convoluting what is otherwise a simplistic morality tale with true-story credibility.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

This is writer/director John Sayles's historical drama about the infamous Black Sox Scandal in which eight players from the Chicago White Sox were paid to throw the 1919 WOrld Series- an event which is one of the mot notable and darkest moments in ports history.

The retelling here is pretty good, and qwuite insightful, yet not without its flaws. The story could have ued some more context and clearer motivations, and it helps to have at least a little prior knowledge of the story before seeing this, but even then, this is still an enjoyable look at just how different the sports world was way back when, as compared to the days depicted here where the players were true working class heroes not making millions of dollars, and were seen as truly being guys deserving of worship, making their screw ups all the more stinging and upsetting.

I think the film also could have further detailed the labor history aspect of things, and the exact cultural impact the scandal had, but it does a decent enough job as it stands.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Worth seeing even if you don't like baseball. Great performances all round. How can you not love Michael Rooker?

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Eight Men Out Quotes

– Submitted by russell b (3 months ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Eight Men Out on our Movie forum!