The Great American Pastime (1956): Hollywood, Little League, and the Post-World War II Consensus

By Ron Briley

This article was published in the Fall 2016 Baseball Research Journal.

An often-overlooked baseball film, The Great American Pastime provided a depiction of Little League fairly early in the organization's existence. Author Ron Briley examines the film, and contrasts how it portrays Little League with a later, better-remembered movie, The Bad News Bears, within the context of their respective eras. Following the Second World War, the baseball genre film enjoyed considerable popularity with Hollywood filmmakers hoping to recapture the commercial success of The Pride of the Yankees (1942). As that film re-told Lou Gehrig’s life . . .

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