Flick Friday is back after a four year hiatus! I'm planning on reviewing a movie each Friday throughout the month of February.
Today's flick is Long Gone. My brother gave me a heads up on this one. Honestly, I had never heard of it. It was made in 1987 by HBO Films. It was never released theatrically, so you needed HBO to see it.
The movie is set in 1957 and tells the story of the Tampico Stogies, a team in the Class D Florida-Georgia league. In some ways the movie is Bull Durham-like, though it beat Bull Durham to the screen by a year.
The Stogies are led by their player manager Stud Cantrell. Cantrell had a promising career cut short by wounds received as a Marine during WWII. His love of baseball keeps him in the game long after others his age have quit.
A young second baseman named Jamie Weeks joins the team, a great glove but light stick. Later the team signs a power-hitting black catcher named Joe Louis Brown. Being that this is the deep south, Stud decides that Brown should be renamed Jose and passed off as Venezuelan.
The team is owned by an eccentric father and son team. The son is played by a very young and also very talkative Teller (with no Penn). Seeing him talk took some getting used to.
After a slow start, with the addition of the two new players, the team goes off on a hot streak and has the league pennant in their sights.
The owner of the Stogies big rival, the Dotham Cardinals makes Studs an offer - to become the Dotham manager the next season. This is very attractive to him, as he played in the St. Louis organization and this could be a way for him to work his way up to the bigs as a coach or manager.
The offer comes with a string attached, though. Studs has to skip the Stogies final game of the season, which is against Dotham with the pennant on the line.
What will he do.....
You'll have to watch the movie to find out!
It is a very hard movie to find. It is not on any streaming service. A couple copies of a DVD are on eBay. But there is a fuzzy version on YouTube, which is what I watched. I'll need to try to find an inexpensive copy of the DVD some day.
I did enjoy the movie. The baseball wasn't awful, the uniforms looked authentic to the '50s, and the story was good. When Bull Durham came out a year later, Long Gone was long forgotten. That's too bad.