The Babe (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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John Goodman is cast as the Sultan of Swat, whose excesses -- especially drinking -- and private demons can (in this context) be excused in view of his genuine love of baseball. The facts never get in the way of a good story for screenwriter John Fusco; we're even offered the umpteenth rehash of "Little Johnny", the largely fanciful tale of the invalid boy who promises to get well if Babe hits him a homer (as in Pride of the Yankees, the cured Johnny makes return a appearance as grownup). The most amusing fabrication is the casting of narrow James Cromwell as the Babe's orphanage mentor Brother Mathias, who in real life weighed 300 pounds. Many of the characters are composites, notably Bruce Boxleitner's Jumpin' Joe Dugan. At least Ruth's two wives--Trini Alvarado as Helen, who suffers Babe's many peccadilloes and dies under strange circumstances, and Kelly McGillis as Claire, who keeps Babe on a very short leash-are depicted with a modicum of accuracy. The baseball sequences are well handled (though there could have been less slo-mo) while Elmer Bernstein's charmingly old-fashioned musical score is right in tune with the film's approach to its subject. The Babe is rated PG; had this been the whole truth and nothing but, and R rating would probably have been in order.
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In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video

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John Goodman
as George Herman `Babe' Ruth
Kelly McGillis
as Claire Ruth
Trini Alvarado
as Helen Ruth
Bruce Boxleitner
as Jumpin' Joe Dugan
Peter Donat
as Frazee
James Cromwell
as Brother Mathias
J.C. Quinn
as Jack Dunn
Joe Ragno
as Miller Huggins
Richard Tyson
as Guy Bush
Michael McGrady
as Lou Gehrig
Ralph Marrero
as Francesco Stephano `Ping Bodie' Pezzolo
Bob Swan
as George Ruth Sr.
Bernard Kates
as Colonel Jacob Ruppert
Stephen Caffrey
as Johnny Sylvester (age 30)
Gene Ross
as Brother Paul
Danny Goldring
as Carrigan
Andy Voils
as Young George Herman `Jidge' Ruth
Dylan Day
as Johnny Sylvester (age 10)
Laura Whyte
as Mrs. Ballister
Guy Barile
as Torrio
Michael Nicolosi
as Jimmy Colosimmo
W. Earl Brown
as Herb Pennock
Barbara Faye Wallace
as Mrs. Pennock
Thom C. Simmons
as McKechnie
Gene Weygandt
as Mrs. Sylvester
Steve King
as Fuchs
Matt Doherty
as Boy in Car
Brendon DeMay
as Boy in Car
Brendan Hutt
as Boy at St. Mary's
Beep Iams
as Boy at St. Mary's
Jeffrey Wiseman
as Boy at St. Mary's
Rick Reardon
as Ernie Shore
Stevie Lee Richardson
as Eddie the Bat Boy
Wayne Messmer
as Yankee Announcer
Larry Cedar
as Forbes Field Announcer
John Webb
as Eddie
Erika Baltodano
as Shoeless Girl
Stavon Lovell Davis
as Boy with Radio
Tom Guarnieri
as Boy with Radio
Ken Gildin
as Hot Dog Vendor
Alan Johnson
as Orphanage Reporter
Michael Kendall
as Jack Warhop
Harry Hutchinson
as Tris Speaker
Michael Krawic
as Theatergoer
Sonny Mann
as Scoffer
Albert B. Smith
as Speakeasy Band
Johanna McKay
as Yankee Wife
Cory Grant
as Inmate
Jim Ortlieb
as Scribe
Scott Haven
as Scribe
James Deuter
as Society Man
Ralph Foody
as Pittsburgh Man
Meg Thalken
as Johnny's Nurse
Ron West
as Spectator
Irma P. Hall
as Fanny Baily
Patrick Clear
as Fedoras
Ron Dean
as Umpire Owens
Brett Hadley
as 1st Umpire
Ken Kells
as 2nd Umpire
Jeff Still
as 3rd Umpire
Hank Robinson
as 4th Umpire
Peter Siragusa
as Umpire Hildebrand
Vern Hazard
as 1st Baseman
Harris Kal
as Pirates Catcher
Christopher Beacom
as 2nd Baseman
Donald Bagley
as 1st Barber Shop Quartet Member
Richard Kingdon
as 2nd Barber Shop Quartet Member
Timothy McShane
as 3rd Barber Shop Quartet Member
Chuck Sisson
as 4th Barber Shop Quartet Member
Mark Ingram
as Speakeasy Band Member
Chuckie Anderson
as Speakeasy Band Member
Tyrone Blair
as Speakeasy Band Member
Thaddeus Expose
as Speakeasy Band Member
David Roger Harris
as Speakeasy Band Member
Albert Smith
as Speakeasy Band Member
Marysue Redmann
as Mansrion Harpist
Ari Brown
as New Orleans Clarinetist
Joe Huppert
as Ansonia Pianist
Steve Jensen
as Bistro Band Member
Daniel Anderson
as Bistro Band Member
William Findlay
as Bistro Band Member
Michael Kocour
as Bistro Band Member
Brian Naylor
as Bistro Band Member
Russell Phillips
as Bistro Band Member
Paul Wertico
as Bistro Band Member
John S. Green
as Verbal Spectator
Melody Rae
as Verbal Spectator
Elizabeth Joan Hooper
as Verbal Spectator
Kara Zediker
as Redhead
Nicholas Rudall
as Brother Malcolm
John T Miltes
as Brother Lewis
Tricia Munford
as Ida, Jump's Wife
Alison Groh
as Dorothy (age 2)
Jade Rodell Tipton
as Baby Dorothy
Andrew Bendel
as Radio Announcer
Patrick Nugent
as Pittsburgh Announcer
James "Ike" Eichling
as Cigar Smoker
Shirley Spiegler Jacobs
as Woman in Coffee Shop
Roy Hytower
as Elevator Operator
Amy Carlson
as Girl on Stairs
Ron Marino
as Combs II
Brooke Linthicum
as Jump's Child
Randy Moll
as Meusal
Nick Satriano
as Lazzari
Ned Schmidtke
as Hospital Reporter
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Critic Reviews for The Babe

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (14)

It's not a bad movie. But its sentiments are faster than its reflexes. By the time it tries to uncoil a home-run swing, the ball has already vanished.

Full Review… | May 9, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Goodman should have been perfect for the title role: like Ruth, he's a regular Joe of hugely irregular proportions in appetite and accomplishment. Too bad Hiller and Fusco cut him down to size.

May 9, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

It doesn`t matter that these things really happened, because the thin staging and sentimental exaggeration make them seem extremely phony in any case.

Full Review… | May 9, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

An honestly unheroic view of a hero, with a grand-slam performance by John Goodman.

Full Review… | May 9, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

What could have been the Raging Bull of baseball movies becomes the nibble of a mouse on the legend of a giant.

Full Review… | May 9, 2014
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Thanks to Goodman and the great Ruth mystique, The Babe does maintain a median level of entertainment. But somehow you want a movie about a fellow this big-natured and mythic to hit a home run. What we have here is more of a solid base hit.

Full Review… | May 9, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Babe

There Was Only One. Good baseball movie! This film was genuinely uplifting and to all who only saw the negative side of this film, shame on you. John Goodman is a huge Babe fan and even he felt that this was an acurate portrayal of the Bambino. The film is inspiring, positive for the most part and it's made me feel good every time I've seen it. The Babe is a biopic of George Herman 'Babe' Ruth. The film follows his seemingly bi-polar life from being abandoned by his father at an orphanage, to the discovery of his tremendous home-run hitting ability and finally to his later days. Several items from his legend are included (whether true or not) including: His calling of of a home run, the promise to a dying youngster to hit two home runs in a game that day, and the quote that he had a better year than the president.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Considering that Babe Ruth is the greatest Baseball player that ever lived, you'd think that a film on his life would a memorable and highly entertaining film. The Babe is not a great film, but it's not an awful one either. As a whole it a fun little film that is good, but leaves a lot to be desired. There could have been many things that could have been improved upon, but for what it is, it's mindless entertainment value. I felt that considering Ruth's story, a film based on his life could definitely have been something great, but this film falls short. I enjoyed the film, but considering that Babe Ruth was such an icon, it could have been much better. Despite the inaccuracies, John Goodman is quite good in the lead and does what he can with the material. This film may appeal to Baseball fans, and they mind it entertaining and it is, but it far from what it could have been. The script is underdeveloped and there are clearly good ideas at work, but it plot could have been better structured. With The Babe, we get an underrated biopic of Babe Ruth, that is better than what most critics have said, but the definitive film on Babe Ruth has yet to be made. Entertaining and amusing, The Babe was made with inaccurate facts of Babe Ruth, instead opting for your typical Hollywood style storyline. Although flawed, I liked it, buy like I said, it could have been better as well. Although not the greatest Sports drama filmed, it is not the worst, that honor belongs to The Rookie, which was awful. Goodman gives the film its charm, and he is quite good here. The Babe is a fun little film that manages to overcome its imperfections due to an interesting subject.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

John Goodman turns Babe Ruth into an asshole - pretty much sums up the film.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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