A boy, a basketball player and a belief that changed
A 1987 movie written by David Field and directed by Mike Newell that
proved the awesome power of Little League Baseball and kids keeping
their mouths shut. The movie starred such well known thespians as
Jamie Lee Curtis, Gregory Peck and William L. Peterson. It's
leading roles were played by Joshua Zuehlke as Chuck Murdock, the
spunky Little League pitcher with a conscious and former NBA star
Alex English as Amazing Grace Smith, star of the Boston Celtics.
Young Chuck Murdock is the son of fighter pilot Russell Murdock during
the tense times of the mid-1980's. While on a field trip with his class
to a nuclear silo, the reality of the arms race becomes frighteningly
real to Chuck. In response to the pending doom of the planet, Chuck
refuses to pitch for his Little League team any longer, until the
United States and the U.S.S.R. agree to disarm all of their nuclear
weapons. Chuck meets with some resistance from the local community and
his story makes the news. Eventually, NBA star Amazing Grace Smith
hears of Chuck's crusade and decides to join his efforts. Smith walks
away from his sports career, vowing not to play until the two largest
nations in the world bow to the pre-teen's demands.
Smith moves to the midwest to pal
around with his new best friend, Chuck. Soon the pair are joined by
people of athletes from other sports and really begin to cramp people's
enjoyment of professional sports. Eventually, Chuck gets a meeting with
the President of the United States, who implores him to play ball and
let him get back to running the nation. Chuck politely refuses and
continues not to play.
Things might have continued in this vein were it not for the untimely
death of Amazing Grace in a plane crash that is vaguely suspicious.
Chuck takes his media-covered tantrum to a new level, by refusing to
speak. The children of the world take up Chuck's cause and all begin
to refuse to speak. Soon, the President returns, weirded out by the
whole silent act, and promises disarmament with the U.S.S.R.
The movie was a pleasent little pipe dream which had its premiere in
my hometown because one of the stars (Alex English) lives
here and played ball for the local university.