Monday, July 23, 2012

Don't call me Bobby, whitey...

                                              Here's a movie idea: Say there was this guy who played baseball from the late '50's to the early '70's, who was the first of his race (Latino) to make it to the hall of fame due to his great fielding and lifetime (.317) average.  Let's also make him part of two of the  greatest world series ever played, had him be in the first all-black /Latino line-up ever, play in a game where his pitcher that day threw a no-hitter on LSD, and to top it off, was a great humanitarian, who died while trying to take supplies to an earthquake ravaged'd watch that movie, right?  So why oh why has Hollywood not made the Roberto Clemente biopic yet?

                             Seriously, when you see some of these biopics, you have to wonder.  A year ago there was "Killing Pablo" about a drug dealer, "William and Kate", about a Royal couple who have only recently appeared in the public eye, (way to give it time, guys) and of course, "Moneyball", about a team who actually never won anything and who may be moving out of the city they're playing in right inspiring.  Look, I don't care how good or bad these movies are, it's the principle of the thing.  "Clemente" deserves to be made, even if I have to write another stern facebook message to Jonathan Sayles to get it done.  (forgot about the facebook biopic)

                 All you'd need is a late twenty something Hispanic athletic type to play the lead.  There may be one or 4,000 of those lying around.  Someone to adapt a screenplay from one of the many biographies written about him, and a director who's a baseball fan.  I chose Sayles because of his movie "8 men out", which was of course about the 1919 BlackSox scandal.  Hell, I'll even play one of the players, or better yet, manager Danny Murtaugh.  I can deliver his immortal line when he was asked about whether or not he was making a political statement being the first manger to field and all Black/Hispanic line-up: "The nine best players I had available all happened to be black.  Next question".

                    Of course race will play a huge part in the film.  For a lot of his career, broadcasters insisted on calling him "Bobby", perhaps to make him more appealing to the white listeners/viewers.  Even at the very end of his career when he smacked his 3,000th and final hit, one of them said "They're all waiting for Bobby to get # 3,000."  I'm sure if some of these folks had their way, they would have figured out how to gentrify his last name too, something along the lines of "Clements" or "Clemens".  Come to think of it, they'll probably have a movie about that cheating asshole Clemens before they have one about Clemente, because steroids are SOOO interesting (sarcasm detector).

                   So while you're all waiting patiently for the upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic (couldn't they have gotten him and Biggie out of the one with one film?...just sayin'), ask yourself,  who really deserves one.  Some one who may or may not have been responsible for the death of a rival rapper, or someone who died trying to prevent the death of several thousand people.  Either way, I'm reminded of one of the many great lines from the movie "This is Spinal Tap", where the band's manager Ian Faith answers David Saint Hubbins' question about why their latest album "Smell the glove is all black: "Death sells".

1 comment:

  1. I'd get behind a Clemente movie. But how many movies have there been at all about ballplayers of his era? Let's start with Jackie. I don't think there's a good movie about Jackie. There's a doc about J.R.Richard that screened in New York for about two days. Fill in the blanks for me, but you've got Moneyball, 61, Pride of the Yankees, The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, Eight Men Out, and Cobb. I'm just sayin', they don't make a lot of baseball movies at all.