Mar­shall’s base­ball flick was a ground­break­ing hit

San Francisco Chronicle - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - — Ryan Kost

In the wake of ac­tress, di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Penny Mar­shall’s pass­ing, a lot has been writ­ten about the much loved “Lav­erne & Shirley” and the Tom Hanks­fronted movie “Big.” Maybe the most cen­tral part of her legacy, though, was “A League of Their Own.” The film, a true clas­sic, tells the fic­tion­al­ized story of two sis­ters who join an all-fe­male base­ball league. That might not seem like a crazy pitch to­day, what with the ban­ner year of rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Hol­ly­wood that we’ve just had. But in 1992, the year the film came out, movies fea­tur­ing mostly women were not seen as com­mer­cially vi­able by sus­pi­cious stu­dio ex­ecs. Case in point: Hanks was given top billing at the time, even though he was sur­rounded by ac­tors in­clud­ing Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Don­nell and Lori Petty. In many ways, the movie, and Mar­shall, helped pave the way for the Hol­ly­wood we have to­day (even if there’s still a lot of work to be done on the front). Oh, and aside from be­ing ground­break­ing, the movie is straight-up good — it’s both hi­lar­i­ous and heart­felt. Don’t miss a chance to see it on the big screen and honor Mar­shall’s mem­ory.

Columbia Pic­tures 1992

Madonna (left) and Rosie O’Don­nell play 1940s ballplay­ers in “A League of Their Own.”

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