Still from the film Eight Men Out (1988) showing a baseball player slide into a base while another player, on the White Sox team, jumps and throws a ball to complete a double-play while a third player looks on

Eight Men Out

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The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents classic film and contemporary cinema in the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater.

Part of the series John Sayles: Independent. Sayles will attend each screening for conversations and to sign copies of his new novel, Yellow Earth, which will be on sale at each venue.

Eight Men Out

A rigorous retelling of Eliot Asinof’s 1963 book of the same name, John Sayles’s film adaptation leans less into the legal outcomes of the infamous Black Sox scandal, in which ballplayers conspired with monied gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series for cash. Sayles instead drills into the tension that rapidly evolves between players, journalists, managers, and fans as, game by game, the corrupt scheme complexly unfolds. This was Sayles’s biggest budget picture to date, with the cast to warrant it: a veritable police lineup of 1980s up-and-comers (John Cusack and Charlie Sheen), seasoned character actors (Christopher Lloyd and Clifton James), and frequent Sayles players (David Straithairn and Gordon Clapp). The period specificity of middle America in the late 1910s is enhanced by the on-location grit of downtown Chicago and the ingenious cinematography of the great Robert Richardson (who also lensed City of Hope). (1988, dir. Johh Sayles, 35mm, color, 120 min.)