Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities
Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. Why did the USA have room in its heart for only one hero?
The year was 1961. Baseball legend Babe Ruth's incredible 60 home run record was under attack. New York Yankee team mates, Roger Maris (Barry Pepper) and Mickey Mantle, were the challengers. Though friends, Maris And Mantle could not have been more different. Mantle was outspoken, a media darling. Maris was quiet, intensely focussed. At the season's opening, veteran Mantle was off to a hot start. Maris however, started poorly and feared he might be traded during his first season with the Yankees. Shockingly, Maris was slotted in the third batting spot - ahead of Mantle. Maris cracked Homer after Homer, while Mantle's fast paced lifestyle dampened his performance - until Maris encouraged his friend to move in with him and focus on baseball. Mantle accepted and the media soon tagged them "The M&M Boys."
Tension mounted as they approached Babe Ruth's record. Because 1961 was an expansion year, any record broken outside the regular season would be *asterisked* and considered in a separate category. The race heated, Maris got closer, but Mantle remained the public favourite. The tension weighed on both of them, and their friendship strained. Mantle was cheered on by millions, while Maris' quiet, anti-hero image won the support of none.
Who would win? Could either succeed? Would friendship cave to rivalry?
Target demographic movie keyword propaganda
- Film true sport biography baseball home run record
Persons of interest
- Barry Pepper .... Roger Maris
- Dane Northcutt .... Randy Maris
- Charles Esten .... Kevin Maris
- Scott Connell .... Roger Maris Junior
- Rebecca Klinger .... Susan Maris
- Pat Crowley .... Pat Maris
- Christopher Bauer .... Bob Cerv
- Christopher McDonald .... Mel Allen
- Joe Grifasi .... Phil Rizzuto
- Bruce McGill .... Ralph Houk
- Paul Borghese .... Yogi Berra
- Bobby Hosea .... Elston Howard
- Anthony Michael Hall .... Whitey Ford
- Hank Steinberg .... Screenwriter
- Billy Crystal .... Director
Cinematic intelligence sources
Special Agent Matti
Sport. If you love sport, you'll like 61*. If you love baseball, you'll like 61*. If you hate either, you'll hate 61*. Enough said.
Security censorship classification
M (Low level coarse language, sexual references)
124 minutes (2:05 hours)
Not for public release in Australia before date
VHS rental: 12 June 2002