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For Love of the Game

The movie For Love of the Game was based on the book For Love of the Game.

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Movie details for For Love of the Game

The movie was released in 1999 and directed by Sam Raimi, who also directed A Simple Plan (1998) and Spider-Man (2002). For Love of the Game was produced by Universal Studios. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Jena Malone, Brian Cox, Jacqueline Piņol, J.K. Simmons, Vin Scully, Steve Lyons (III), Carmine Giovinazzo, Bill E. Rogers, Hugh Ross (II), Domenick Lombardozzi, Arnetia Walker, Larry Joshua, Greer Barnes, Scott Bream, Jose Mota, Earl Johnson (II) and Chris Lemonis.

 

Read More About This Movie

Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is having a bad day. His girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston, stunning as ever) says she's leaving, and his boss (Brian Cox) says he's selling the business and ace employee Billy may be out of job. Sounds like business as usual for... Read More
Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is having a bad day. His girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston, stunning as ever) says she's leaving, and his boss (Brian Cox) says he's selling the business and ace employee Billy may be out of job. Sounds like business as usual for an old-fashioned veteran. However, the business is baseball and for Billy Chapel, the 40-year old former all-star for the Detroit Tigers, it means his career--and his life--is at a crossroads.

Although it is no Bull Durham, For Love of the Game finds a solid and very believable role for Costner. The film is based on Michael Shaara's (The Killer Angels) stream-of-consciousness novel (the rough manuscript was found after his death 1988). The entire film takes place on Billy's day on the mound against the Yankees, a meaningless late-season game for the Tigers, but everything for Billy. In flashbacks, he lingers over his long relationship with Jane and his baseball career (from World Series heroism to a career-threatening injury). His one viable link to the game at hand is his catcher, played winningly by John C. Reilly. Costner, like Chapel, is looking for one more great performance, but the film is too simplistic and loopy at times to resonate. The love story has an extra helping of cuteness, and legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully nearly takes on a leading role, waxing grandiloquent. It's no grand slam, but a solid double. --Doug Thomas

Book details for For Love of the Game

For Love of the Game was written by Michael Shaara. The book was published in 1991 by Ballantine Books. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Michael Shaara also wrote Killer Angels (1974).

 

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Serious sports novels often fall through the literary cracks simply because of the arena they play in. Michael Shaara earned his battle stripes--and a Pulitzer Prize--for The Killer Angels, a fictional resurrection of the Battle of Gettysburg, as serious ... Read More
Serious sports novels often fall through the literary cracks simply because of the arena they play in. Michael Shaara earned his battle stripes--and a Pulitzer Prize--for The Killer Angels, a fictional resurrection of the Battle of Gettysburg, as serious a subject as a writer can confront. Yet, it's no more profound, in the end, than the personal dilemmas protagonist Billy Chapel faces in this, Shaara's final novel, found stashed in a desk after his death and published posthumously.

A certain Hall of Famer, Chapel is a major-league anomaly, a contemporary throwback to another sporting era. He's pitched 17 stellar seasons for the same club, and his love of the game has remained paramount; neither money nor fame has been his motivation. But on the single day this story takes place, he finds himself in crisis. At the crossroads of his life, his career, and his future, he must make the hard choices that will define the direction of the rest of his life. It's the end of the season, his team's out of contention, there's a rumor he may have been traded, and the woman he can't fully acknowledge that he loves announces she's leaving him. It is, as he tells himself, "Time to grow up, Daydreamer." Still, he dreams, but he also acts. As Billy takes the mound for his final start of the year--and maybe forever--we enter his stream of consciousness, and rush with him over the sometimes treacherous rapids of what has preceded this moment, and what may come. Amazingly, though his mind seems to wander through time, his concentration is fierce. Pitch by pitch, inning by inning, he remains focused, honoring his job and his legacy as he pitches a masterpiece of mythic proportion, ultimately leaving the field more a man than when he took it. Using baseball to sound the depths of human experience, Shaara delivers a masterpiece, as well. --Jeff Silverman