Picks and Pans Review: The Comrades of Summer

UPDATED 07/13/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/13/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Sat., July 11, 8 P.M. ET)


In this amusing baseball movie, Joe Mantegna stars as a cantankerous future Hall of Famer down on his luck. He reluctantly accepts an offer from the Russian Sports Ministry to come over and whip the Soviet team into shape for the '92 Olympics. (All right, the premise is dated: Filming was completed before the breakup of the U.S.S.R. But is HBO going to throw away a hunk of money just because of a fluky thing like world events?)

The movie begins as a spoof of big-bucks professional sports. (Sparky's career-ending injury happens while he's filming a car commercial.) It soon shifts to a culture-clash comedy.

The athletic action is markedly unconvincing. If none of the other actors can throw, at least the ones playing pitchers should toss a ball as well as the cast of A League of Their Own. Predictably the Soviet team goes from weenies to world beaters and Mantegna must find not only redemption but love—with Natalya (Little Vera) Negoda. But the movie is nicely paced by director Tommy Lee Wallace, and Mantegna is disarming.

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters