New York Times - 04/07/1993
"...The biggest, fanciest film about kiddie baseball that you will ever see..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/1994
"...[The] kids are a delight, with unforced wit and natural charm..."
Variety - 03/29/1993
"...Sweet and sincere....[The] performances are strong....The adult roles provide solid cameos for James Earl Jones and Karen Allen..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/07/1993
"...Told in an original, quirky, off-center, deliberately exaggerated way....The movie isn't about winning and losing, it's about growing up and facing your fears..."
It's 1962, and young Scotty Smalls has just moved to town with his mom, his stepfather, and his desire to make friends in his new home. But when he heads to the local sandlot he's laughed off the field in his awkwardness until the leader of the gang, Benny Rodriguez, takes him under his wing. Soon the boys become the best of friends, and "Smalls," as he is dubbed, is introduced to a cast of funny and unique characters; their summer adventures include treehouse sleepovers, encounters with a beautiful lifeguard, and of course, baseball. But when Smalls hits his first home run it is a Pyrrhic victory, as his stepfather's ball, autographed by Babe Ruth, lands in the adjoining lot which is guarded by "The Beast," a dog rumored to have once eaten a kid. The kids have some hilarious adventures and unexpected results in their efforts to regain the ball before Smalls' stepfather finds out it's missing, making this a film the whole family will enjoy.
An insecure young boy named Scotty moves into a new town with his recently remarried mother and stepdad. Feeling ostracized as the new kid on the block, Scotty tries to make friends with the other boys. But they spurn him when they realize that Scotty knows next to nothing about baseball -- not even who the "Great Bambino" (Babe Ruth) is. Dejected and lonely, Scotty begins to feel he will always be an outsider. Then Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, the best ballplayer in school, befriends him and things change quickly: the boys are more willing to accept Scotty, despite their reservations, and they have fun playing ball together all summer. But a mystery lurks in this small town, a tale told in hushed tones about a creature called "The Beast". According to legend, the furry monster lives just beyond the left field fence of the sandlot -- devouring baseballs in lieu of little boys. Scotty and Benny embark on an adventure into the lair of this mythic behemoth, and their heroic exploits finally make Scotty a fully-accepted member of the gang. The already popular Benny becomes a living legend to the other boys.
Coming Of Age |
Color by DeLuxe; photographed with anamorphic lenses on location in Salt Lake City, UT.
Arliss Howard (uncredited) plays the older Scotty, but does no speaking; his voice-over is provided by the film's director, David Mickey Evans (also uncredited).
David Mickey Evans' feature directorial debut. He previously worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter and script doctor. Evans' first major production was "Radio Flyer" (1992); he wrote the original screenplay and was executive producer on the film.
Young Mike Vitar, who plays Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez, is the shortstop for his Little League team in Los Angeles. During the filming of "The Sandlot", Vitar had to miss the 1992 Little League All-Star game. The 14-year-old said of the lost opportunity, "I didn't mind missing it. I've played in that three times already. This is the first time I've starred in a movie."