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TV & Film

Long Gone

Eric Gilde March 22, 2023

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1987 baseball film “Long Gone.” They introduce the film (1:10), with an overview of the story, the cast, and filmmakers, and review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film, with a new metaphor (7:10). Amount of Baseball (11:43) praises the substance and variety of the baseball scenes, with their good emphasis on defense and attention to detail. Baseball Accuracy (21:13) bemoans the lack of acknowledgement for Cecil Cantrell as the Shohei Ohtani player manager of the Alabama-Florida league. Other things about the Class D Alabama-Florida league are correct, except the existence of the Dothan Cardinals in 1957, and the Browns spring training in 1946. Do pitchers ever become catchers? A historic dive into Smoky Joe Wood, Bob Feller, and the possibility of Stud Cantrell and Stan Musial coming up together. There are both mathematical and factual problems with the number of games that the Class D League played, and Brown’s RBI total (w/r/t Hack Wilson record). Joe Lewis Brown resonances with Joe Lewis, Jackie Robinson, and Jack Johnson. This movie has appropriate disdain for the intentional walk, but falls victim to a common baseball film error. A rare corresponding roster move doesn’t quite pan out. Storytelling (57:55) comments on the skillful exposition and braiding of human and baseball storytelling, along with growth for the major characters, and the classical comedy double wedding ending. Did the Cardinals sign off on this? Delicacy of dealing with racial issues in a comedy. What do they have on Stud? Why wreck the car? Plus other unanswered questions. The Score Tool (1:26:36) suffers from the problem of an 80s score in a movie about the 50s. Eric dives in on Hank Williams’ “Long Gone,” and the hymns in the film. Acting (1:35:07) discusses the performances of Virginia Madsen, William Petersen, Larry Riley, Dermot Mulroney, Henry Gibson, Teller, Robert Easton, Edward Blatchford, and Ronn Allen. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:45:53) assesses the superb Joe Lewis Brown, played by Larry Riley. Delightfulness of Announcer (1:47:14) is non-zero. Lack of Misogyny (1:48:25) considers the misogyny displayed in the actions and words of Stud Cantrell, and, to a lesser extent, Jamie, as balanced with their growth. Some examination of the film’s attitude towards Dixie, and her Boxxstory/backstory. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:59:04), Six Degrees of Baseball (2:04:00), Favorite Moment (2:05:41) Least Favorite Moment (2:07:14), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (2:10:08), Dreamiest Player (2:11:39), Favorite Performance (2:12:32), and Next Time (2:14:50).


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