The Sandlot (1993)

PG | 109 mins | Comedy | 7 April 1993

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HISTORY

The Sandlot includes intermittent voice-over narration by David Mickey Evans as older “Scotty Smalls.” The film opens with Arliss Howard, who portrays Smalls as an adult, entering a baseball field pressbox and looking up at a framed photograph of his childhood friends on the sandlot team as he reflects: “There is one all-time greatest moment in the history of sports. And it happened in the 1932 World Series. The story goes that in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two outs, a full count, and the tying run on base, Babe Ruth raised his arm and pointed to the center field bleachers. No one believed it, because nobody had done it before, but the Babe was calling his shot. On the next pitch, the ‘Great Bambino’ hit a towering 400-foot home run. And even though he’d been a hero before that, that’s pretty much how he became a legend. Thirty years later, a kid named Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez became a neighborhood legend. It was in the greatest summer of my life, when he taught me how to play baseball and he became my best friend. And he got me out of the biggest pickle I’d ever be in.”
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “The Major League Baseball Trademarks depicted in this motion picture were licensed by Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.”; “Film clip from The Wolfman provided by Universal City Studios, Inc.”; “The filmmakers wish to thank: The City and People of Salt Lake City, Midvale, Ogden, and Bountiful, Utah for their cooperation in this production.”; and, “The filmmakers also wish to acknowledge and thank: Gary Lehman; Alan Mason; Scott Thaler; Drew Bracken; ... More Less

The Sandlot includes intermittent voice-over narration by David Mickey Evans as older “Scotty Smalls.” The film opens with Arliss Howard, who portrays Smalls as an adult, entering a baseball field pressbox and looking up at a framed photograph of his childhood friends on the sandlot team as he reflects: “There is one all-time greatest moment in the history of sports. And it happened in the 1932 World Series. The story goes that in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two outs, a full count, and the tying run on base, Babe Ruth raised his arm and pointed to the center field bleachers. No one believed it, because nobody had done it before, but the Babe was calling his shot. On the next pitch, the ‘Great Bambino’ hit a towering 400-foot home run. And even though he’d been a hero before that, that’s pretty much how he became a legend. Thirty years later, a kid named Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez became a neighborhood legend. It was in the greatest summer of my life, when he taught me how to play baseball and he became my best friend. And he got me out of the biggest pickle I’d ever be in.”
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “The Major League Baseball Trademarks depicted in this motion picture were licensed by Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.”; “Film clip from The Wolfman provided by Universal City Studios, Inc.”; “The filmmakers wish to thank: The City and People of Salt Lake City, Midvale, Ogden, and Bountiful, Utah for their cooperation in this production.”; and, “The filmmakers also wish to acknowledge and thank: Gary Lehman; Alan Mason; Scott Thaler; Drew Bracken; Treehouse Entertainment; Larry Ponza; Aztec Company; Utah Film Commission – Leigh Von Der Esch, Director; Lori Smith; Chris Sleater; Tim Sexton; Daniel Schweiger; The Topps Company, Inc.; Bill O’Connor; Sy Berger; Richard Herschenfeld; Major League Baseball; The Los Angeles Dodgers; Sam Fernandez; Jim Italiano; Larry Marks; Clarion Hotel; Denise Anderson; Lee Tucker.”
       According to a 13 Aug 1991 DV article, Island World Productions, TriStar Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Walt Disney Pictures/Interscope Communications all expressed interest in purchasing David Mickey Evans and Robert Gunter’s screenplay, Boys of Summer. As part of a two-year first-look production deal, Danny DeVito and Michael Shamberg reportedly hoped to collaborate with directing-producing team Richard Donner and Lauren Shuler-Donner if Fox or TriStar won the rights. Island World ultimately obtained the property by offering $1 million for the script and David Mickey Evans’s services as director. The film marked his directorial debut. Although he had previously been hired to direct Radio Flyer (1992, see entry), he was later replaced by Richard Donner.
       During pre-production, 28 Jan 1992 and 16 Jun 1992 HR items indicated that the film was briefly known as Untitled David Mickey Evans before it was re-titled The Sandlot. DV suggested the change may have been made to avoid confusion with Roger Kahn’s non-fiction baseball book, The Boys of Summer (1972). Around this time, the 18 May 1992 Var announced that executive producers Chris Zarpas and Mark Burg were “forced out” of their positions at Island World due to a professional and personal “clash” between the partners and the company’s newly-appointed president, Eric Eisner. However, the terms of their departure allowed them to continue to oversee production of The Sandlot.
       Principal photography began 22 Jun 1992 in Salt Lake City, UT. End credits also indicate that the towns of Midvale, Ogden, and Bountiful were used in the production.
       A 2--8 Apr 1993 LA Village View advertisement announced special sneak preview screenings in the Los Angeles, CA, area on 3 and 4 Apr 1993. Although an earlier 19--25 Mar 1993 issue reported a wide release scheduled for Friday, 9 Apr 1993, The Sandlot opened to mixed reviews on Wednesday, 7 Apr 1993.
       A 15 Mar 1994 HR news item reported that memorabilia from the film was put on display in the newly built motion picture wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
       In 1994, Michael Polydoros, a childhood schoolmate of writer-director David Mickey Evans, filed a lawsuit against distributor Twentieth Century Fox, alleging that the character “Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous,” had been directly based on him. Polydoros claimed the obvious comparison was an invasion of privacy and, as stated in the 22 Sep 1997 Var, was a “misappropriation of his name and likeness” due to the character’s portrayal as a “nerd.” In Mar 1997, the trial court ruled in favor of Fox, and the decision was affirmed by the California Court of Appeals on 10 Sep 1997. Because the case held greater legal implications for writers and studios in the entertainment industry, the California Supreme Court agreed to evaluate the verdict later that year. According to the 16 Oct 1998 DV, the Court maintained that a filmmakers’ right to base fictional characters on real people was protected by the First Amendment.
       The Sandlot earned more than $30 million at the box-office. The 18 Jan 2005 DV reported that Evans, writer Robert Gunter, and actor James Earl Jones returned for the direct-to-DVD sequel, The Sandlot 2. An additional direct-to-DVD film, The Sandlot: Heading Home, was released in 2007, with Chauncey Leopardi reprising his role as Michael Palledorous. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Aug 1991
p. 1, 16.
Daily Variety
16 Oct 1998
p. 1, 51.
Daily Variety
18 Jan 2005
p. 6, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 1993
p. 7, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 1994.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 1997.
---
LA Village View
19--25 Mar 1993.
---
LA Village View
2--8 Apr 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Apr 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
New York Times
7 Apr 1993
Section C, p. 17.
Variety
18 May 1992.
---
Variety
5 Apr 1993
p. 175.
Variety
22 Sep 1997
p. 11, 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
In association with Island World presents
A David Mickey Evans film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d 2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d 2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Steadicam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Cam loader
Still photog
Video assist
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Moviecam® cam and anamorphic lenses by
Grip/Lighting equip by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Conceptual artist
Sketch artist
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Leadman
Prop master
1st asst props
Const coord
Const foreman
Lead scenic artist
Const elec
On set carpenter
Lead carpenter
Lead carpenter
Lead carpenter
Lead painter
Prod asst/Const
Greens foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
On-set costumer
MUSIC
Mus consultant
Mus consultant
Synthesizer programmer
Mus preparation
Mus clearances
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd ed
Supv ADR ed
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Rec
Dubbing eng
Rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Beast puppeteer
Beast puppeteer
Beast puppeteer
Spec eff
Spec eff 1st asst
Visual eff supv
Visual eff
Visual eff
Visual eff
Digital eff consultant
Digital film opticals
Digital film opticals
Digital film opticals
Digital film opticals
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Beast creature eff
Title des
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Key makeup artist
Key makeup artist
Key hair stylist
Key hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting assoc
Scr supv
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
24 frame video projection
24 frame video projection
Asst to Mr. Evans
Asst to Mr. De La Torre
Asst to Mr. Gilmore
Asst to Mr. Burg
Prod asst/Set
Prod asst/Set
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Prod assoc
Loc casting
Casting asst
Unit pub
International pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Caterer
Caterer
Craft service
Medic/First aid
Medic/First aid
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Studio teacher
Baseball tech adv
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Utility stunt performer
Utility stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Finger Poppin’ Time,” written and performed by Hank Ballard, courtesy of Highland Music Inc., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
“This Magic Moment,” written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, performed by The Driifters, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Smokie Pt. 2,” written by Bill Black, performed by Bill Black’s Combo, courtesy of Hi Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
+
SONGS
“Finger Poppin’ Time,” written and performed by Hank Ballard, courtesy of Highland Music Inc., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
“This Magic Moment,” written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, performed by The Driifters, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Smokie Pt. 2,” written by Bill Black, performed by Bill Black’s Combo, courtesy of Hi Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
“America The Beautiful,” arranged and performed by Ray Charles, courtesy of Ray Charles Enterprises
“There Goes My Baby,” written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Benjamin Nelson, Lover Patterson and George Treadwell, performed by The Drifters, courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
“Green Onions,” written by Al Jackson, Jr., Booker T. Jones, Lewis Steinberg, and Steve Cropper, performed by Booker T. and The MG’s, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“Tequila,” written by Chuck Rio, performed by The Champs, courtesy of Masters International, by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” written by George David Weiss, Luigi Creatore, and Hugo Peretti, performed by The Tokens, courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Music
“Wipe Out,” written by Robert Berryhill, Jim Fuller, Ron Wilson, and Patrick Connolly, performed by The Surfaris, courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc., by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Boys of Summer
Untitled David Mickey Evans
Release Date:
7 April 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 April 1993
Production Date:
began 22 June 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
5 April 1993
Copyright Number:
PA607513
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
109
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31898
SYNOPSIS

In the early summer of 1962, Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood in California’s San Fernando Valley with his mother and stepfather, Bill. Hoping to befriend the rag-tag group of children who play baseball on an abandoned sandlot, “Smalls” hesitantly stands at the edge of the outfield waiting to catch a ball. Although the other boys laugh at his lack of skill, his mother urges him to keep trying. When she suggests Bill teach him how to play catch, Smalls gets hit in the face and winds up with a black eye. However, the sandlot team’s oldest and best player, Benjamin Franklin “Benny” Rodriguez, takes sympathy on Smalls and invites him to play. Lying about his knowledge of legendary player Babe Ruth, Smalls nervously introduces himself to the other members of the team: twins Timmy and Tommy “Repeat” Timmons, Michael “Squints” Palledorous, Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan, Bertram Grover Weeks, Kenny DeNunez, and Hamilton “Ham” Porter. The other boys all object to the new player’s inclusion, but Smalls greatly improves once Benny shows him how to catch. The next day, Smalls climbs a fence to retrieve a home run ball, but his teammates scramble to stop him, explaining that the ball landed in a yard containing a vicious dog known as “the Beast.” That night, the boys have a campout and Squints tells the story of the Beast’s upbringing as a murderous junkyard guard dog that allegedly killed thieves attempting to sneak inside. Squints’ grandfather, the police chief, ordered the dog to be chained under the house of its owner, Mr. Mertle. Smalls refuses to believe the story, but looks through the fence to see more than 150 baseballs left ... +


In the early summer of 1962, Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood in California’s San Fernando Valley with his mother and stepfather, Bill. Hoping to befriend the rag-tag group of children who play baseball on an abandoned sandlot, “Smalls” hesitantly stands at the edge of the outfield waiting to catch a ball. Although the other boys laugh at his lack of skill, his mother urges him to keep trying. When she suggests Bill teach him how to play catch, Smalls gets hit in the face and winds up with a black eye. However, the sandlot team’s oldest and best player, Benjamin Franklin “Benny” Rodriguez, takes sympathy on Smalls and invites him to play. Lying about his knowledge of legendary player Babe Ruth, Smalls nervously introduces himself to the other members of the team: twins Timmy and Tommy “Repeat” Timmons, Michael “Squints” Palledorous, Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan, Bertram Grover Weeks, Kenny DeNunez, and Hamilton “Ham” Porter. The other boys all object to the new player’s inclusion, but Smalls greatly improves once Benny shows him how to catch. The next day, Smalls climbs a fence to retrieve a home run ball, but his teammates scramble to stop him, explaining that the ball landed in a yard containing a vicious dog known as “the Beast.” That night, the boys have a campout and Squints tells the story of the Beast’s upbringing as a murderous junkyard guard dog that allegedly killed thieves attempting to sneak inside. Squints’ grandfather, the police chief, ordered the dog to be chained under the house of its owner, Mr. Mertle. Smalls refuses to believe the story, but looks through the fence to see more than 150 baseballs left abandoned in Mr. Mertle’s yard. On a particularly hot day, the boys convince Benny to call off their usual game and go to the community swimming pool. Knowing he cannot swim, Squints dives into the deep end to attract the attention of his crush, an older lifeguard named Wendy Peffercorn. When he sinks to the bottom, Wendy pulls him to the surface to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Acting on a trick he has been planning for several years, Squints kisses Wendy when she blows air into his lungs. Although the boys are banned from the pool, they laud Squints for his bravado and Wendy smiles at him from her watch post as he walks past. As the summer continues, the boys play a night game under the lights of the Fourth of July fireworks, get into a standoff with a team of haughty Little League players, and become sick at the town carnival Tilt-A-Whirl after sharing a plug of chewing tobacco. During one game, Benny swings the bat so hard that he strips the hide off their last baseball. Believing they can no longer play, Smalls runs home to retrieve a ball from Bill’s trophy room, unaware that it has been signed by Babe Ruth. At the plate, Smalls makes his first good hit, which lands in Mr. Mertle’s yard. When he explains the ball was a prized possession signed by someone named “Baby Ruth,” his teammates realize his mistake and devise a plan to retrieve it before Bill returns home from a business trip. In the meantime, they purchase a cheap baseball and Benny poorly forges Ruth’s signature. They make several attempts to scoop up the ball using handmade contraptions, but the Beast ruthlessly destroys the gadgets. When Tommy Timmons suggests another attack strategy, they build a pulley apparatus that allows them to hoist Yeah-Yeah over the fence in a harness. The plan fails, and Smalls constructs a remote control car with a motorized catapult. Although the machine successfully retrieves the baseball and flings it back toward the fence, the Beast catches the ball in midair. That night, Babe Ruth speaks to Benny in a dream and encourages him to go over the fence himself. The next morning, Benny laces up a new pair of running shoes and jumps into Mr. Mertle’s yard, landing directly across from the Beast, a large English Mastiff named Hercules. When the Beast releases the signed baseball from its slobbery jaws, Benny grabs it and makes a mad dash for the fence. He safely returns to the other side, but the Beast breaks free from its restraints and jumps over after him. The dog chases him through town until Benny circles back to the sandlot and leaps back over the fence. The wall collapses on the Beast, but Smalls pulls the animal free and sits paralyzed with fear as the dog licks him appreciatively in the face. The boys tentatively knock on the back door and meet Mr. Mertle, a blind African-American man who laughs at their exhaustive efforts to recover the ball. When Smalls explains its value, Mr. Mertle invites them inside and offers to trade him for another ball autographed by Ruth and several other players. Looking around at Mr. Mertle’s collection of sports memorabilia, Smalls realizes the old man played with Ruth in the 1930s. Although they are reluctant to take the gift, Mr. Mertle happily gives it to them on condition the boys regularly visit to talk about baseball. Smalls is grounded for a week, but his stepfather gratefully accepts the replacement, and their relationship steadily improves. Smalls continues to play baseball with the boys on the sandlot every summer, and Benny’s bravery earns him the nickname “the Jet,” which sticks with him through his career as a professional player on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following his success, Smalls works as a sports announcer, and keeps a photograph of his childhood team hanging on a wall in the pressbox. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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