Bruce Springsteen works on the construction site. Bored, he cranks the lever over and over. On the weekend, he goes to the baseball field. He wipes the dirt of the pitcher’s mound and sets up the homemade board at home plate. He sets down his wire basket of baseballs and throws pitch after pitch.
At the local bar, he and the E Street Band perform.
At home, he sits on the couch, watching the baseball team, cheering his team on as they score a home run. He drinks his beer, wishing he was out there on the field.
A man breaks the pool balls, starting a new game. A server elbows her way through the crowd, carrying a tray of bottles.
During break, he examines his wrist as he eats his orange. He thinks of his Most Valuable Player trophies that are set up in his family room. He thinks of the team picture behind glass at his high school, posing with their state championship trophy. In the garage, he tests out his mitt, a glass of liquor by his side.
His two sons open the door slowly as he naps. His youngest climbs on top of him, a plastic yellow baseball bat in his hand. He taps his dad with it, waking him up. He and his sons cuddle for a while.
The bar, filled with people, claps along to the band’s music. A young woman turns around in her seat at the counter to watch. Everyone cheers for them after they finish the song.
Back at the pitcher’s mound, he throws the ball. His oldest son hits a home run. After their practice, his oldest son asks him which team he was playing against today. He answers, “San Diego” and the star player got him at the bottom of the ninth inning. ” His wife honks and steps out of the car, waving. He tells his oldest son they have to go home now and to get their things.
There’s a beginning and an end but no middle. A thought-provoking character, a man who lives in the past and dreams of his youth is put aside for the performance at the bar.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are fantastic, putting a great show that gives a spotlight to everyone playing on stage. However, in certain sections, it runs long.
The man continues to go to the field to practice, imagining he’s playing against the current crop of top rookies and legends. He thinks he would’ve been one of them. If only he hadn’t gotten caught up in own his hype. After receiving his scholarship to a Division I school, he played and partied. He figured school wasn’t necessary. He was going into the pros soon anyhow. However, after a few rough games, the coach wouldn’t put him in the games. Then, in sophomore year, he got cut. He dropped out of school and then had to find a job. To get through the day, he drinks just enough to not cause any concern.
At one point, a server walks by, tired and sick of being pawed by overly zealous male patrons. It seems to be leading somewhere but ends once she reaches the counter.
The details have to be filled in, mostly through the constant presence of alcohol present and Springsteen’s wistful expressions. Despite loving his family and being a caring father, he seems to be distant, wanting to be traveling on the road with the local sports team.
Director: John Sayles Year: 1985
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