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The Rookie

Dennis QuaidRachel Griffiths
DIRECTOR: John Lee Hancock

Dennis Quaid as The Rookie

Based on a true story, this inspirational movie spotlights the life of Jim Morris, whose dream of becoming a big league pitcher with a major baseball team was shattered in his youth when he blew out his shoulder. Years later, Morris is married with children and working as a chemistry teacher and baseball coach at a high school in Texas. In a bid to motivate his team, who are perennial losers, he accepts their challenge: if they win the district championship, he will try out for the Major Leagues...

U.S. RELEASE: March 29, Nationwide • Rated: G

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DENNIS QUAID (Jim Morris):
"This is a story about a guy who you'd think would have given up on his dreams, but never did. The dream might have been dormant for a long time, but he never stopped wanting to do this one thing. I think that's something everyone can relate to."
Quaid on not resembling MorrisBack to top

The Rookie: Jim Morris on the field with Dennis QuaidJIM MORRIS:
"(Playing in the Major Leagues) was the culmination of a lifelong dream. All I wanted to do was be there, and I got that opportunity. It's something that I owe my high school kids for, because I never would have tried it again if it hadn't been for them."
Morris on pursuing dreamsBack to top

"I think the sports movies that succeed are the ones that have a one-two punch; are the ones that you go, 'Yeah, it's a baseball movie, but boy it's about a whole lot more.' I think films like Field of Dreams and The Natural work not because of the 'A' plot, but because of the 'B' plot. What's happening underneath the surface is really what the movie's about."
Hancock on being far-fetchedBack to top

Rachel Griffiths in The RookieRACHEL GRIFFITHS (Lorri Morris):
"I didn't see this as a baseball movie anymore than I saw Hilary and Jackie as a movie about classical music. I think when you do somebody's life it's always because there's a journey in there that somehow illuminates something about the human condition. I talked to John Lee before I read the script about the kind of movie he wanted to make, and he took Jim's marriage and family very seriously as the center of this movie. I found it an interesting portrait of a marriage, in exploring notions of one partner's support of the other whilst not jeopardizing the greater good, which is the family."
Griffiths on the drama of lifeBack to top

"With all due respect, Jim is not a world renown figure where everybody knows what he looks like, sounds like and acts like, so it wasn't all that important to look like him, but I really wanted to capture his spirit."
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"I guess the biggest thing I tell people about my story is it's about family and it's about dreams. I'm living proof that you can always achieve whatever it is you pursue as long as you put your full heart into it."
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"(Films) somehow want to protect kids from the drama of life, and I think this movie isn't afraid to make a child witness to the drama of life and the struggle of these parents trying to follow their dreams, in a contemporary rural environment where things are really tough. I was excited about the truth of that."
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"You couldn't make this movie if it weren't true, because if you made this as a piece of fiction everybody would be laughing, saying, 'This is the most far-fetched thing I've ever seen. It would never happen in a million years.' And it did."
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Written by Judy Sloane • Interviews by David Waldon • Back to top

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Images above © 2002 Walt Disney Pictures
Feature © 2002 Visual Imagination. Not for reproduction.

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