The Comrades of Summer

(Tommy Lee Wallace, USA, 1992)


The Comrades of Summer is one of the many baseball movies made in America made after the success of Field of Dreams (1989), Bull Durham (1988) and Major League (1989).

Directed with pace and style for television by Tommy Lee Wallace (who made the intriguing multicultural teen-movie Aloha Summer, 1988), it puts a modern political spin on an old sports-movie formula.

Sparky Smith (Joe Mantegna, in an excellent performance), at the nadir of his career after an injury, is sent to the ex-Soviet Union to manage a team there.

The film makes many breezy jokes about life "under repairment" in Moscow today, while it aspires to be a remake of Lubitsch’s Ninotchka (1939) – a romantic comedy playing on sometimes hilarious differences of language, customs and gender roles.

MORE Wallace: Fright Night 2

© Adrian Martin May 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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