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Thursday, January 25, 2018

‘Catcher Was A Spy’ is a WWII Whiff

Based on a book by Nicholas Dawidoff recounting a fascinating true story, “Catcher” does a disappointing disservice both to Rudd and to the real-life catcher/spy Moe Berg. Berg was a journeyman professional baseball player better known for his engaging intellectualism than his skill on the diamond. He held degrees from Princeton and Columbia, spoke multiple languages and made short work of trivia questions on popular radio quiz shows. But he was also an endlessly secretive and mysterious man who jealously guarded his privacy from even those who considered themselves friends.

Sadly, Rudd’s agelessly boyish good looks and relatable likability just don’t lend themselves to the depths of the Berg enigma. At one of the film’s premiere screenings at the Sundance film festival this week, director Ben Lewin described the difficulties of finding a face for Berg. I don’t know who would have been a better choice than Rudd, but you could start by looking down the cast list at Paul Giamatti, who might have done something interesting with the lead role instead of being relegated to a mugging supporting character.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: January 25, 2018 at 09:17 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: moe berg, movies

 

 

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