THE SANDLOT is a likeable children's diversion about baseball and friendship, set during a perfect California summer in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Lonely young Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) lives in the San Fernando Valley; his widowed mother (Karen Allen) has recently married Bill
(Denis Leary), with whom Scotty has yet to develop a comfortable relationship. The boy is intrigued by a motley group of eight neighborhood kids who play baseball in a nearby sandlot. Their leader is Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez (Mike Vitar), a tall, handsome boy with extraordinary baseball talents
who notices the shy, "square" spectator. Benny invites Scotty to play and complete their team and, after some fanciful adventures involving a lost baseball and a terrifying neighborhood dog, the rechristened Scott is accepted as one of their own.
THE SANDLOT is a wish-fulfillment fantasy for boys. (A few girls wander through, but none have any lines.) Summer seems endless; talented jocks take misfits under their wing; everyone is accepted; and everything works out for the best. Grown-up graduates of the School of Hard Knocks may scoff at
all these easy victories, but the result is a breeze, and some hot, restless kids may savor it as such.
The film was co-written by first-time director David Mickey Evans who, several years earlier, earned $1.1 million plus a directorial assignment for writing the film RADIO FLYER, a much darker story about child abuse. Evans was replaced as director early in the production by Richard Donner and
the finished film was a depressing flop--an experience that may have resulted in the determinedly sunny character of this Spielbergian fantasy. The comedy is broad, cartoonish, and quite funny in a faux "Little Rascals" manner. The movie is almost completely derivative, but that's part of the
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1993
- Rating: PG
- Review: THE SANDLOT is a likeable children's diversion about baseball and friendship, set during a perfect California summer in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Lonely young Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) lives in the San Fernando Valley; his widowed mother (Karen Allen)… (more)