Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Casey Stengel Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams and a baseball film he never made

Williams’ best baseball line:

 

   Sgt. Major Dickerson: [Pointing to his rank insignia] What does three up and three down mean to you, airman?

   Adrian Cronauer: End of an inning?

I fervently wanted Robin Williams to play Casey Stengel.

A long time ago, I wrote a book about the Hall of Fame manager based upon what I believed to be the central conflict of his life: That he was a very funny man who also wanted to be taken seriously. I don’t mean that Stengel liked to take off his comedic mask the way Charlie Chaplin or Jerry Lewis did, walking into walls when in character and costume and then discoursing about the high seriousness of their art when off camera and in mufti. There was no mask. Stengel loved making people laugh too much to stop and yet was too smart not to need to be respected for his intelligence. Those instincts did not coexist well in the public perception of him, could not be rationalized by sportswriters and baseball executives of the time who were brought up to think that managers should be like John McGraw or Joe McCarthy—drunk and disorderly much of the time, sure, but also imperious Leaders of Men and publicly humorless.

As I wrote the book, I fantasized, as many authors do, about the film adaptation that might follow. From the very beginning, I imagined Williams playing Casey. He could inhabit that man as well as he inhabited Popeye (in a bizarre misfire of a Robert Altman film at once more true to Elzie Segar’s original strip than any cartoon adaptation, a live-action cartoon itself, and a runaway train of drug-addled writing, direction and performance—but Williams is very good in it), Parry the traumatized homeless savant in The Fisher King, the psychologist in Good Will Hunting, or even the villains in One Hour Photo and Insomnia. A large part of Williams’ public persona, particularly as a stand-up comic, was antic, and as brilliant as his stand-up material could be, some of his worst performances in films came when directors indulged his stage/talk show persona.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in film, casey stengel, robin williams, yankees

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harveys Wallbangers
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP Politics November 2014: Mets Deny Bias in Ticket Official’s Firing
(4218 - 10:57pm, Nov 23)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogMatthews: Cashman sleeps on the street, says all is quiet on the free-agent front
(24 - 10:50pm, Nov 23)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogKemp drawing interest, raising chance he's the Dodgers OF dealt - CBSSports.com
(26 - 10:48pm, Nov 23)
Last: Pops Freshenmeyer

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2014
(994 - 10:39pm, Nov 23)
Last: Howling John Shade

NewsblogAstros interested in Robertson: source | New York Post
(17 - 10:37pm, Nov 23)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogBraves shopping Justin Upton at a steep price | New York Post
(35 - 10:34pm, Nov 23)
Last: Rickey! trades in sheep and threats

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8649 - 10:26pm, Nov 23)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogPirates DFA Ike Davis, clear path for Pedro Alvarez - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
(21 - 10:13pm, Nov 23)
Last: zonk

NewsblogRed Sox trying for mega-free agent double play: Panda and Hanley - CBSSports.com
(13 - 9:45pm, Nov 23)
Last: DCA

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2014 Ballot
(10 - 9:09pm, Nov 23)
Last: MrC

NewsblogPablo Sandoval leaning toward Red Sox, to decide next week — Padres have highest offer, all offers on table (including SF Giants’) - John Shea
(32 - 9:04pm, Nov 23)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogMike Schmidt: Marlins' Stanton too rich too early? | www.palmbeachpost.com
(31 - 6:53pm, Nov 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(451 - 6:43pm, Nov 23)
Last: JuanGone..except1game

NewsblogCashman in wait-and-see mode on retooling Yanks | yankees.com
(22 - 6:14pm, Nov 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogSunday Notes: Arroyo’s Rehab, Clark & the MLBPA, Doc Gooden, AFL Arms, ChiSox, more
(16 - 5:53pm, Nov 23)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

Page rendered in 1.1179 seconds
47 querie(s) executed