Starring Tommy Lee Jones as the immortal and immoral Ty Cobb and Robert Wuhl as sportswriter Al Stump, this flick takes you into the mind and demons of one of baseball's greatest personas.
Stump has been picked to write the story of Ty Cobb, hired as a ghostwriter, since Cobb is trying to attempt this autobiography on his own but does not have the talent or stamina to do so. At one time the most feared and hated man in baseball, Cobb is now an angry, old man. Bitter, unpleasant, a tyrant.. Stump wants nothing to do with Cobb after delving into his past and discovering just what a despicable and deplorable man Cobb was and still is. Cobb is on the brink of death and frankly Stump wants it. He wants to end this charade and get rid of this albatross clinging to his life.
Cobb's goal is to present a glorified tale of his life and his prowess but Stump does not want to sully his integrity with this falsehood. They travel to the great Cooperstown where Cobb is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Strangely, Cobb is viewing a movie of his life that no one else can see. While the others in the Hall watch the real movie of the life and times of Cobb, his twisted and corrupted mind plays out his own version of this movie including the abuse of his wife and child. His dirty ball playing practices and even a pistol whipping to death of a person. He cowers in his seat glancing around the Hall, amazed that these other people do not see the same movie he is seeing, astounded that they are accepting him.
Leaving Cooperstown, Cobb and Stump return to Cobb's hometown in an attempt to make contact with his daughter. Of course, after his treatment of her in the past, she wants nothing to do with Cobb, but even Stump, in his hatred of Cobb, cannot bring himself to tell Cobb this truth. Somewhere along the way, Cobb's evil and despicable lifestyle have bleed into Stump's life and he is now taking a twist on the entire saga. In the end Stump turns into the one thing he never wanted to be - a ghostwriter producing a glamorous and fictionalized tale of Cobb, as Cobb had requested. Throughout the movie, Stump is dual writing this biography - both from Cobb's point of view and from his own. Unfortunately, his morals become so jaded, he does not produce his project.
Cobb and Stump sit alone in the end in a hotel room - Stump passed out drunk on the bed and Cobb in the bathroom dying from his illness. Cobb leaves Stump on his own, after discovering Stump's own writings, and goes to the hospital to die. Although Stump has been praying for this from the beginning, he suddenly realizes that Cobb has inured himself too far into his life to let him go.
As usual, Jones gives a perfect performance. Indeed, it seems this part may have been written for him. For the most part, you do not even believe he is acting since I can't recall a part he has ever played when he was not just a general jackass. You can believe he is Ty Cobb, he is that much of a demon in this movie. Wuhl's performance was less than believable. Given the circumstances, I think his role could have provided him with just a little more hutzpa than he gives in this movie. His sell-out in the end with the statement "The truth is - a prince and a great man has fallen" tells the entire tale in one sentence.
This movie contains a good deal of raw and explicit language, a good deal of heavy violence and yes ladies and gentlemen - full frontal male nudity! (female, also for you guys). Don't invite the kiddies for a sit down.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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When sports writer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) attempts to write a biography of legendary Detroit Tiger Tyrus Raymond Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), Stump discovers that baseball's first Hall of Famer's an egotistical and abusive bigot. While the aging Cobb drags Stump from bar to bar, Stump must determine whether or not to publicize the ugly truth about a great American hero.