Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales & Legends - Casey at the Bat

It's the summer of 1888, and Casey Frank (Elliott Gould) is a down-on-his-luck baseball player on the league's losingest team, the Mudville Hogs. Hard work, determination and a little bit of magic turn Casey into the game's most popular slugger. But even after striking out, the mighty Casey remains a hero for his sportsmanship and good-natured play. Carol Kane, Bob Uecker and Howard Cosell co-star in this spirited salute to both an American legend and "America's pastime."
Customer Review: Shelley Duvall Strikes Again!
This Tall Tales and Legends episode is nearly impossible to dislike. It is a typically humorous and at times very clever retelling of Ernest Thayer Jr.'s classic poem. The problem is there is too much plot, especially for a production aimed primarily at children. Subplots about corporate greed and industrialization may flesh out the story but at the same time removes much of its charm. Nevertheless, there is much to enjoy in Elliott Gould's understated (is he ever anything else) performance as Casey and Carol Kane as his sympathetic girlfriend. Hamilton Camp and Rae Dawn Chong (yes, this was the 80s!) add some deliciously devious flavor as well, while Howard Cosell is a hoot as the narrator. Fans of the poem will find it basically intact (the actual events of the poem occur in the last ten minutes), but may be less than thrilled with wading through all the filler surrounding it. It has its moments though.

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