April 24, 1989 12:00 PM

>STEALING HOME It’s a baseball title, all right, and Mark. Harmon is an ex-player mourning the love of his life (Jodie Foster), but this is a whiff of a film. Fans of the national pastime can fast forward to better things. (Warner)

EIGHT MEN OUT John Sayles neatly re-created the 1919 Black Sox scandal, with Charlie Sheen among the game-throwing Sox. (Orion)

BULL DURHAM Haven’t seen this yet? It has as much baseball, and Kevin Costner is more convincing handling Susan Sarandon than he is behind the plate. (Orion)

BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY Now for real oldies: this 1973 melodrama, the Brian’s Song of baseball films, tells of a fatally ill catcher (Robert De Niro) and the star pitcher who’s his buddy (Michael Moriarty). (Paramount)

THE NATURAL Director Barry Levin-son’s adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s novel put Robert Red-ford in a hopeless role as a supernaturally talented player. In the not exactly bush-league cast are Glenn Close, Robert Duvall and Kim Basinger. (RCA/Columbia)


An actor who radiated a rare integrity, Gary Cooper, plays a ballplayer with the same quality—Lou Gehrig: in the can’t-miss tearjerker scene, the dying Gehrig says, “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” (Key)

DAMN YANKEES In Tab Hunter’s best role until Lust in the Dust, he played a Washington fan who sells his soul to the devil (Ray Walston, aided by the wonderful Gwen Verdon) so he can become a star and help the Senators beat the Yanks. The musical’s songs included “Whatever Lola Wants” and “You’ve Gotta Have Heart.” (Ingram)

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME Busby Berkeley’s happy 1949 musical stars Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, who with Jules Munshin sing “O’Brien to Ryan to Goldberg.” (MGM/UA)


This clunky drama about starred William Bendix; it’s out of print on tape and anyway the definitive Ruth movie is yet to be made. Also not on tape is The Winning Team, a 1952 biography that just hinted at pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander’s alcoholism, though the career of the film’s star—Ronald Reagan—forged on.

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