Paramount via Everett Collection
It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since Charlie Sheen's Ricky Vaughn emerged from the bullpen to the strains of "Wild Thing" to help the Cleveland Indians win a division title. Coming out during an era of more high minded baseball movies like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, Major League was pure goofy fun… more interested in laughs than in the game's potential life lessons.
For many baseball fans, an annual viewing of Major League is as much a part of spring as Opening Day. As with Caddyshack, there are fans that can quote the movie's best lines from memory. Even if you have your own home shrine to voodoo god Jobu, here are some fun facts about the movie that you might not know:
1. Although the movie is set in Cleveland, the scenes inside the ballpark were shot at Milwaukee's old County Stadium. Bob Uecker, who played announcer Harry Doyle, has really worked in Milwaukee since 1971 as the play-by-play man for the hometown Brewers... a fact that writer-director David S. Ward didn't know when he cast him. He had based the casting strictly on Uecker's work on the sitcom Mr. Belvedere and in a series of Miller Lite commercials (if you look closely, that's the beer that Doyle is drinking in the movie).
2. Sheen really was a pitcher in high school for Santa Monica High. He now claims that he took steroids prior to doing the movie so that his fastball would be more realistic. Dennis Haysbert, who later became famous as President David Palmer on 24 and played Cuban slugger Pedro Cerrano, was a football and basketball player in high school before switching to fencing at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
3. Haysbert's hitting as Cerrano looked real because it was. Even though he didn't play baseball past Little League, Haysbert actually cleared the fences multiple times during filming.
4. Despite playing a speedy outfielder in the movie, Wesley Snipes was so slow that they ended up showing him running in slow motion in the film to provide the illusion of speed.
5. The original ending featured the scheming owner played by Margaret Whitton — the widow of the beloved former owner — as secretly being behind the team's winning, with her devious threats meant to bring the boys together. When test audiences hated it, they reshot it to keep her as the bad guy.
6. Entourage's Jeremy Piven shot multiple scenes for the movie, playing a bench player who likes to heckle the opposing team. When they started editing, they realized that the scenes didn't work, so they completely cut his character from the film.
7. Prior to making her film debut as Lynn Wells, the ex-girlfriend of Tom Berenger's character, Rene Russo was known primarily as one of the top models of the '70s. A Los Angeles native, one of Russo's classmates growing up was sitcom-star-turned-director Ron Howard.
6. Pete Vuckovich, who plays evil Yankees first baseman Clu Haywood, was actually a star Major League pitcher who won the American League Cy Young Award in 1982. Playing largely in games with a designated hitter, Vuckovich only rarely batted during his career.
7. According to Ward, during the celebration scene at the end where Corbin Bernsen's third baseman Roger Dorn punches Sheen for sleeping with his wife, Bernsen actually connected with the shot, leaving a welt on Sheen's face.
8. Neil Flynn, who went on to bigger roles on television as the Janitor in Scrubs and a suburban father in The Middle, plays one of the long-suffering Cleveland fans complaining about the state of the team.
9. Flynn and Stacy Carroll, who plays Dorn's wife who has revenge sex with Ricky, both also appeared in a short-lived TV show called Sable, which starred Russo as the girlfriend of a children's book writer who transforms into a superhero at night.
10. The song that plays at the beginning of the movie is "Burn On" by Randy Newman. Written in 1972, it is an ode to an incident in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire due to an oil slick and other debris floating in the polluted water.
British pop star Jessie J is set to make one happy couple's big day even more memorable when she joins them to celebrate their nuptials on Friday (19Jul13). The bride and groom-to-be booked their wedding reception at Durham County Cricket Club in England 18-months ago but were stunned to discover that the venue had been double booked for a performance by the Domino hitmaker.
Future bride Samantha Slater told local paper The Chronicle, "About two months ago they (staff from the cricket club) phoned us and asked us to go in. We thought 'What’s gone wrong now?'... they said another department had booked the concert and it’s the same day as the wedding.
"We weren’t very happy about it at first, but when we found out it was Jessie J we perked up a bit. In fact, we were ecstatic."
The singer is due to perform at the venue in front of a 15,000 strong crowd as the headliner for the Durham Summer Nights programme and has promised to take time out of her busy schedule to call in on the newlyweds for their first dance.
She added, "I can't wait to be part of Sam and Chris' big day. It's going to be special. Bring on the first dance."
Rapper Ice Cube's U.S. tour plans hit a roadblock on Monday (17Jun13) when cops pulled over the star's bus for speeding in Durham, North Carolina. Granville County Sheriff's Department gave the driver a warning.
The childhood home of late legendary comic STAN LAUREL is set to be auctioned off later this month (Mar11). Bids for the two-bedroom property in County Durham, England start at $64,000 (£40,000). The auction will take place on 29 March (11).
Top Story: Sean Penn's Loaded Car Stolen
Sean Penn's car, a black 1987 Buick Grand National, was stolen Tuesday afternoon from a busy Berkeley, Calif., street while the actor was eating lunch at a nearby restaurant, Reuters reports. According to police, the car had two guns inside for which Penn had a concealed weapons permit: a loaded 9-mm Glock handgun and an unloaded .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver. The actor, who lives in nearby Marin County with his wife, actress Robin Wright Penn, and their two children, had been eating lunch with an assistant at the Venus restaurant when the theft occurred. The car had been parked in a metered stall directly in front of a bank. Penn went inside and asked if anyone had noticed his car being stolen but no one reported seeing anything. Police said they will get copies of surveillance photos from the automated teller machine outside.
Jolie Funds Cambodian Wildlife Sanctuary
Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) will give the Cambodian Vision in Development organization $5 million over the next 15 years create a wildlife sanctuary to protect more than 49,500 acres of Cambodian forest in an area once controlled by the Khmer Rouge, Reuters reports. Charity officials said the money would also go toward helping war veterans and amputees rebuild their lives.
Regis Philbin Gets Hollywood Star
Regis Philbin (Live With Regis and Kelly, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), received the 2,222nd star on the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk Thursday, the AP reports. Disney chairman Michael Eisner, talk show host Larry King and comic Don Rickles were on hand to tout Philbin's achievements during his 40 years in show business.
Schwarzenegger for Governor?
A meeting Thursday between veteran action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, has sparked rumors that the actor may be considering a run for California governor in 2006, but the AP reports that White House officials said Schwarzenegger just came to discuss an after-school program California voters approved last year and to offer his support to U.S. troops overseas.
"Bull Durham" Star Responds to Criticism
Baseball's Hall of Fame recently canceled its tribute for the 15th anniversary of the film Bull Durham because of the anti-war stance of the film's star, Tim Robbins and his longtime partner, Susan Sarandon. Now Robbins is speaking out. "These kind of bullying, intimidating tactics have no place in democracy," Robbins told the AP Thursday, "and certainly no place in baseball. I'm still wondering what kind of message they were sending me and anybody else who happens to disagree with this president."
Fox To Air New Jackson Special
Fox will air yet another Michael Jackson special on April 24 to kick off the next sweeps period, the AP reports. The network said the program, tentatively titled Michael Jackson's Private Home Movies, will offer a peek into the pop star's private home-movie collection and will provide "unprecedented access to thousands of hours of never-before-seen footage revealing his real life, family and friends."
NBC Makes TV Movie About POW
NBC television said Thursday it plans to make a movie about Jessica Lynch, the 19-year-old U.S. soldier taken prisoner in Iraq and later rescued, Reuters reports. Details about Lynch's ordeal as a POW are cloudy, and her family has said they're not ready to discuss selling the story, but NBC said it was going ahead with a TV movie regardless.
Apple May Buy Universal Music
Apple Computer Inc. has secretly been in talks for several months with Vivendi Universal to buy Universal Music Group, the world's largest record company, for as much as $6 billion, according to a published report Friday in the Los Angeles Times. Vivendi barely escaped bankruptcy in 2002 and has been trying to sell some of its assets ever since. Representatives for both Apple and Vivendi declined to comment about the possible deal.
Role Call: DreamWorks Joins Superhero Mix, Diesel Considers "Dreadnaught"
Matrix choreographer Yuen Wo Ping has been tapped to direct DreamWorks' new Marvel Comics-derived project The Hands of Shang Chi. Bruce McKenna (Band of Brothers) is writing the script for the pic, which will be set in China. The story revolves around a young kung fu master who learns that his father is the worst criminal in the world ... Vin Diesel and director Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) are in negotiations with Columbia Pictures' to take to the high seas aboard a high-tech warship for the maritime epic Dreadnaught. Execs plan a fall start--after Diesel wraps shooting Universal Pictures' The Chronicles of Riddick.
After his partner is killed and his wife learns she has breast cancer, a cop moves from the city to the suburbs. There he becomes convinced that his neighbor is in fact a serial killer preying on teenage girls and may have had a hand in his partner's death.