Cobb (1994)



Critic Consensus: Tommy Lee Jones's searing performance helps to elevate Cobb above your typical sports biopic; he's so effective, in fact, that some may find the film unpleasant.

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What does a biographer do when the truth about his subject is far less pleasant than the legend? That is the moral dilemma at the heart of Cobb, which explores the lives of both baseball's premier hitter, Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), and the sportswriter assigned to set his story down, Al Stump (Robert Wuhl). Stump arrives at the Tahoe home of the dying Cobb to write the official life story of the first man inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He finds a drunken, misanthropic, bitter racist who abuses his biographer as well as everyone else. Stump must either candycoat his subject's life or present an accurate picture of a disgusting man who happened to become an American sports hero. The movie's biting focus on Cobb, ferociously performed by Jones, is not matched by its weaker representation of Stump, an imbalance which ultimately weakens the film's overall effect. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
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In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Robert Wuhl
as Al Stump
Lou Meyers
as Willie
Stephen Mendillo
as Mickey Cochrane
William Utay
as Jameson
J. Kenneth Campbell
as Prof. Cobb
Rhoda Griffis
as Ty's Mother
Tyler Logan Cobb
as Young Ty
Jeff Fellenzer
as 1st Sportswriter
Doug Krikorian
as 2nd Sportswriter
Gavin Smith
as Sportsman's Lounge Bartender
Gary Morris
as Baptist Minister
Jerry Gatlin
as Train Engineer
Dana Hill
as Wife at Motel
Jay Chevalier
as 2nd Gambler
Roger Clemens
as Opposing Pitcher
George Rafferty
as Teammate
Jay Tibbs
as 2nd Teammate
Rodney Max
as Umpire
Gary D. Talbert
as Opposing Catcher
Fred Lewis
as Philly Fan
David Y. Hodges
as 2nd Philly Fan
Joy Michiel
as Last Chance Hotel Clerk
Michael 'Mitch' Hrushowy
as Harrah's Club Manager
Eloy Casados
as Louis Prima
Paula Rudy
as Keely Smith
Artie Butler
as Harrah's Bartender
George P. Wilbur
as Casino Security Man
Steven Brown
as Husband at Motel
Dana Y. Hill
as Wife at Motel
Tony L. McCollum
as Texas Motel Manager
Bobby Holcombe
as Texas Motel Security Guard
Tom Todoroff
as Hall of Fame Announcer
Ernie Harwell
as Hall of Fame Emcee
Reid Cruickshanks
as Pie Traynor
Rath Shelton
as Paul Waner
Jim Shelton
as Lloyd Waner
Stacy Keach Sr.
as Jimmie Fox
Clive Rosengren
as Hall of Fame Director
Lawrence 'Crash' Davis
as Sam Crawford
Tommy Bush
as Rogers Hornsby
Tracy Keehn-Dashnaw
as Cobb's Wife
Jimmy Buffett
as Heckler
Michael H. Moss
as The Lover
Janice Certain
as Cobb's Daughter
Bradley Whitford
as Process Server
Jeanne McCarthy
as 1st Nurse
Patricia Forte
as 2nd Nurse
Toni Prima
as Hospital Receptionist
Michael Chieffo
as Young Doctor
Don Hood
as Older Doctor
Jennifer Decker
as Sportsman's Lounge Waitress
Bill Wittman
as Newsreel Narrator
Brian Mulligan
as Charlie Chaplin
Jerry Hauck
as Handicapper
Lou Myers
as Willie
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Critic Reviews for Cobb

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (17)

Most biopics mistakenly try to take us from cradle to grave and end up skimming the surface. The wisdom of Cobb is that writer-director Ron Shelton knows that the close study of a single day can decode a human life.

Full Review… | May 6, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Unfortunately, the movie just makes Stump look like a self-important jerk, possibly a bigger jerk than Cobb, and Wuhl's affable, weightless performance doesn't help.

Full Review… | May 6, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Cobb cuts right through the winner-take-all ethos of American athletics. It's a raw, inspired, audaciously funny, and unexpectedly moving collaboration between the writer-director Ron Shelton and Tommy Lee Jones.

March 19, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Ty Cobb is such a towering figure in this motion picture that it's easy to overlook Al Stump -- and Robert Wuhl's feisty, witty performance in the thankless role.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

[Jones] lets it all loose here. It's the performance of a lifetime: full of menace and venom, eloquence and fire, rot and pathos, crackling rawness and realism.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The result, whether Cobb is wailing about greatness or ruminating about the dark circumstances around his father's death, is a performance too operatic and out of control.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Cobb


Ty Cobb is in the top five of the greatest players in Baseball history. In fact, he was the first man elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but there has never been a film about his life. While Cobb was a great baseball player and one the toughest men to ever live, he was also an outspoken racist, who was quick to fight anyone, including his wife and kids. In 1960, a dying Cobb contacted sportswriter, Al Stump to ask him to tell his story. That is what I thought this critically acclaimed film would be, but it wasn't. While the title is Cobb, the film is really about Al Stump and what it was like to spend time with the great Ty Cobb, after he'd completely lost his faculties. While it wasn't the film I'd hoped it would be, Tommy Lee Jones gave the performance of a lifetime. What can you say about Jones that hasn't already been said? He is the best actor in Hollywood and can play absolutely anyone. Jones was very convincing, showing Cobb as a deeply troubled man who covered his shame with outrageous behavior. In recent years, since the passing of Al Stump, many people who knew Cobb have come out saying the book and film were overly exaggerated, but even so, the facts about Cobb are well documented. Cobb is not the film most people expected it to be and it ranks among the biggest flops in box office history. The story however is one you haven't heard before and is performed admirably by an all-star cast. This is not your typical baseball movie, but rather a moving look at a man who was destine to either be a legend or an inmate.

Todd Smith
Todd Smith

Super Reviewer


Okay, so yes I know it doesn't have that many baseball scenes in it and it only details the last days of his life, but Tommy Lee Jone's performance is so great, that I'm surprised he didn't get oscar or golden globe nominations. If you understand who Ty Cobb was, his personality, or the way he acted won't like this film. I you want to know more about Cobb and the way he was than see this film. Also it includes great performances by other actors as old baseball players like Mickey Cochrane, Sam Crawford, and Jimmie Foxx. Robert Wuhl's performance as Al Stump was also great. The baseball scenes that are featured are all great.

Ian Irza
Ian Irza

Super Reviewer

Haven't seen it in a while, but I remember being quite taken with it.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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