GenreComedy, Sport ScreenplayRobert Rodat WriterRobert Rodat LanguageEnglish
Release dateJuly 11, 1992 ProducersTim Braine, David Pritchard CastJoe Mantegna (Sparky Smith), Natalya Negoda (Tanya), Michael Lerner (George), Mark Rolston (Voronov), John Fleck (Milov) Similar moviesMr Baseball (1992)
The comrades of summer movie review
A disgraced manager of the Seattle Mariners baseball team, Sparky Smith (Joe Mantegna), finds work in Russia running their Olympic team after the fall of the Soviet Union. Dealing with culture shock and the harsh reality that the team is far from being a great one, Sparky somehow manages to get the players into fighting shape while also settling into his new life abroad. But is his team of rugged misfits good enough to take on the Mariners in an exhibition game?
The Comrades of Summer is a made-for-TV movie from 1992 featuring Joe Mantegna. It was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, written by Robert Rodat and aired on HBO on July 11, 1992.
To teach a team of Russian wanna-be baseball players the finer points of the all-American game is no easy task, but for a grudgingly resentful, recently fired baseball manager from the States, the task is formidable. In fact, there are many times when he considers chucking the whole thing and going back home and forgetting baseball entirely. But he perseveres... to the point where he finally believes that his players may be good enough to represent the Soviet Union in the upcoming Olympics in America. However, performing in this Country under such pressures not only shows these Russian players something about themselves, it also makes their American manager aware of something rather special about himself, as well.
Major League Baseball manager Sparky Smith is fired from his job with the Seattle Mariners. His attitude has gotten him into trouble with George, the owner of the Mariners, and no other teams seem to want any part of him.
The Olympic Games are coming up, however, and a spirit of glasnost exists in the new Russia, which is trying to field its first Olympic baseball team. Sparky reluctantly accepts an offer to move to Moscow to coach the players, many of whom dont even know the games fundamentals. The players are predictably inept at first, but Sparky begins to learn the real joy in baseball is in the effort and the camaraderie.
An exhibition game ultimately is arranged in which Sparky and his young, eager Russians get to play against his old team, the Mariners.
Joe Mantegna as Sparky
Natalya Negoda as Tanya
Michael Lerner as George
Mark Rolston as Voronov
Mr Baseball (1992). Little Big League (1994). The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976). Major League II (1994). Major League: Back to the Minors (1998).
Filming took place in Nat Bailey Stadium, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.