Cobb


2h 8m 1994

Brief Synopsis

Thirty-five years past the prime of his legendary career, Ty Cobb summons Al Stump, the most successful freelance sports journalist of his era, to help him write his autobiography. As they travel together to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Stump dodges Cobb's drunkenly aimed bullets and withering verbal assaults and learns more than he ever wanted to know about Cobb--not only of his greatness, but of his egomania, bigotry, rage and basic contempt for all of mankind. Disturbed by the contrast he discovers between Cobb's stunning achievements and his contemptible personality, Stump struggles to decide on the direction his book should take: Should he write the real story of the man or maintain the myth?

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Biography
Sports
Adaptation
Release Date
1994
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Reno, Nevada, USA; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Athens, Georgia, USA; Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA; Royston, Georgia, USA; Detroit, Michigan, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 8m

Synopsis

Thirty-five years past the prime of his legendary career, Ty Cobb summons Al Stump, the most successful freelance sports journalist of his era, to help him write his autobiography. As they travel together to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Stump dodges Cobb's drunkenly aimed bullets and withering verbal assaults and learns more than he ever wanted to know about Cobb--not only of his greatness, but of his egomania, bigotry, rage and basic contempt for all of mankind. Disturbed by the contrast he discovers between Cobb's stunning achievements and his contemptible personality, Stump struggles to decide on the direction his book should take: Should he write the real story of the man or maintain the myth?

Crew

Jan H. Aaris

Special Effects

Tim Abbatoye

Transportation Captain

Randy Alderson

Other

Kokayi Ampah

Location Manager

Michael Anderson

Assistant

Sidney R. Baldwin

Photography

Matt Barry

Casting Associate

Bill Bates

Stunts

Jack Bauer

Grip

Shauna Beal

Assistant

Tina Bennett

Production Coordinator

Donna Berwick

Assistant Costume Designer

Ron Birnbach

Consultant

Robert A. Blackburn

Foreman

Jennifer Blair

Assistant Production Coordinator

John Blake

Makeup Artist

Lee J Bognar

Assistant

H Gordon Boos

Assistant Director

Claire Jenora Bowin

Set Decorator

Russell Boyd

Director Of Photography

Billy R Brashier

Projectionist

James Stuart Burns

Assistant

Charles Butcher

Art Director

Artie Butler

Music

William A Campbell

Costumes

Daniel Allen Carlin

Music Editor

Pat Carman

Transportation Coordinator

Ruth Carter

Costume Designer

Stephanie Claxton

Accounting Assistant

Kay Colvin

Other

Kellie Davis

Associate Producer

Sterfon Demings

Hair Stylist

Robert Deschane

Adr Mixer

Joe Divitale

Sound Effects Editor

Joe Dorn

Adr Editor

Chris Eddleman

Assistant

Robert Elhai

Music Arranger

Rick Firkins

Caterer

Bruce Fortune

Sound Editor

Kirk Francis

Sound Mixer

Jim Fredburg

Special Effects Supervisor

Karin Freud

Associate Producer

Gil Gagnon

Associate Producer

Mitzi Gallagher

Production

Armin Ganz

Production Designer

Harry Garvin

Camera Operator

Jerry J Gatlin

Stunt Coordinator

Steven Gerrior

Assistant Sound Editor

Gene Gillespie

Assistant

Matthias Gohl

Music

Karen Golden

Script Supervisor

Elliot Goldenthal

Music

Karen Gordon

Production Accountant

Trevor Goring

Visual Effects

Kelly Richard Green

Assistant Camera Operator

Dewey Gene Grigg

Special Effects

Frank Gunn

Caterer

Ted Haigh

Visual Effects

Clifford Happy

Stunts

Michael Haro

Assistant Location Manager

Carey Harris Jr.

Assistant Property Master

Richard A Harrison

Music

Rick Hart

Rerecording

Gene Hartline

Stunts

John Hateley

Stunts

Scott Hillman

Grip

K.c. Hodenfield

Assistant Director

Hilda Hodges

Foley Artist

Sharon Smith Holley

Editing

Avis Hope

Assistant Editor

Glenn Hoskinson

Sound Effects Editor

Elston Howard

Location Assistant

William Howard

Hair Stylist

Jeff Howery

Dolly Grip

Bobby Huber

Key Grip

Gary Huckabay

Assistant Location Manager

Tracy Hudak

Assistant

Victor Iorillo

Sound Effects Editor

Joel Iwataki

Sound Mixer

Ethan Jensen

Stunts

Stephen Johnstone

Lighting

Gene Kearney

Key Grip

Pat Kehoe

Production Manager

Brad Kuehn

Digital Effects Supervisor

Mary Jo Lang

Foley Mixer

Les Larson

Stunts

Hal Lary

Transportation Captain

David V Lester

Producer

Gregory Liegey

Visual Effects

Monique Limery

Craft Service

Carlane Passman Little

Costumes

George L. Little

Costume Supervisor

Suzanne Lutz

Location Assistant

Mark Lyon

Assistant Director

Rick Maddux

Other

Richard Martinez

Music

J. Steven Matzinger

Assistant Camera Operator

Matthew C. May

Assistant Sound Editor

Jeanne Mccarthy

Casting Associate

Virginia Mccollam

Location Assistant

Anthony R Milch

Sound Effects Editor

Arnon Milchan

Executive Producer

Donald O Mitchell

Rerecording

Frank Montano

Rerecording

Deanne Montesanto

Costumes

Frank A Montesanto

Grip

Tom Morga

Stunts

Gary Mundheim

Sound Effects Editor

John W Murphy

Dolly Grip

Maggie Murphy

Assistant Director

Patrick Murray

Lighting Technician

Ve Neill

Makeup

Jay Nierenberg

Sound Effects Editor

Terence Nightingall

Assistant Camera Operator

Pamela Priest

Hair Stylist

Bob Putynkowski

Color Timer

Clay Rawlins

Editing

Kimberly Ray

Editor

Patty Reid

Assistant

Scott T Ritenour

Production Designer

Tony Rivetti

Assistant Camera Operator

Cal Roberts

Assistant Camera Operator

John Roesch

Foley Artist

Rob Ryder

Other

Stephanie Samuel

Location Manager

Van Scarboro

Video Assist/Playback

Brent Scarpo

Assistant

Paul Seydor

Editor

Tom Shaw

Property Master

Jonathan Sheffer

Music Conductor

Ron Shelton

Screenplay

Nanette Siegert

Production Coordinator

Shana Sigmond

Art Department Coordinator

Randy Singer

Foley Mixer

Troy Sizemore

Art Director

John J Smith

Assistant

Mychal Smith

Boom Operator

Tom Smith

Art Department

Richard C Smock

Rigging Gaffer

Jeff Smolek

Stunts

Derek Spears

Digital Effects Supervisor

Daniel Sperry

Consultant

Stephen St John

Camera Operator

Paul H Stewart

Special Effects Supervisor

Marc Stirdivant

Dga Trainee

Rebecca Weigold Stocker

Assistant Editor

David E Stone

Sound Effects Editor

Al Stump

Book As Source Material

Al Stump

Technical Advisor

Becky Sullivan

Adr Editor

Shawn Sykora

Foley Editor

Patricia Tallman

Stunts

Dione Taylor

Hair Stylist

Gwen Taylor-stacy

Accounting Assistant

Vickie Thomas

Casting

Zach Thomas

Assistant

Tom Todoroff

Associate Producer

Tami Treadwell

Adr

Doug Tubach

Visual Effects

Tim Tuchrello

Apprentice

Robert Ulrich

Adr Editor

James Valentine

Visual Effects

Mark Vargo

Visual Effects Supervisor

Mark Vargo

Director Of Photography

Don Warner

Sound Effects Editor

Aaron D Weisblatt

Assistant Sound Editor

Bernard Weiser

Sound Effects Editor

Brett Welch

Dolly Grip

Butch West

Construction Coordinator

Dwain Wilson

On-Set Dresser

Victoria Wood

Wig Supplier

Richard E Yawn

Sound Effects Editor

Michael Zimbrich

Assistant Director

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Biography
Sports
Adaptation
Release Date
1994
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Reno, Nevada, USA; Birmingham, Alabama, USA; Athens, Georgia, USA; Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA; Royston, Georgia, USA; Detroit, Michigan, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 8m

Articles

Cobb


The next time Pete Rose tries to convince America that his propensity toward gambling won't taint the Baseball Hall of Fame, he should mention Cobb, Ron Shelton's biopic of Cyrus "Ty" Cobb, arguably the greatest hitter in the game's history, and the first man enshrined in the Hall. It's not exactly a scoop at this point, but Shelton makes it abundantly clear that Cobb was one ornery, lying, alcoholic, racist, sexist S.O.B. Raging Bull's Jake LaMotta looks like a vaguely troubled boy scout in comparison. Rose looks like a gum-chomping Mother Teresa.

If only Cobb (now available on DVD from Warner Video) was a better movie. The opening is promising, with a Citizen Kane-like newsreel describing the many highlights of The Georgia Peach's fabled career: he hit over .400 over a five-year stretch, still has the highest lifetime batting average of any player, and set all kinds of base stealing records. Then Shelton jumps to 1960, where sports writer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) is contacted by Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) and asked to write an account of his life. Stump drives through a treacherous snowstorm to meet Cobb in his Lake Tahoe cabin, a decision he'll soon regret.

A variety of diseases have left Cobb a pill-popping, insulin-injecting wreck, and he openly revels in his own nastiness. But he's wrangled final approval on the proposed book, and intends to feed his fans a glossy load of lies that have little to do with his actual life. Stump, on the other hand, thinks the truth should absolutely be told. Shelton's narrative then turns into a series of hot-blooded debates over how the book should be written, with Cobb pulling enough amoral stunts - both in the past and the present - to sink his legend forever.

This is a handsome-looking picture, but Shelton seriously miscalculates its tone. You can't tell if you're supposed to be darkly amused or simply appalled by Cobb. Jones is a charismatic performer, and, in this instance, that magnetism works to his detriment. He seems to be having too much good ol' boy fun for Cobb to be legitimately evil; even his near-rape of a Reno cocktail waitress (played by Lolita Davidovich) contains a grotesque punch line. Only the electrifying, spikes-flying game sequences contain believable fury.

Still, the biggest drawback has got to be Wuhl, a sitcom-ready actor who's not even remotely capable of holding his own with a powerhouse like Jones. When in doubt Wuhl opts for bug-eyed astonishment, and he seems to be in doubt through the better part of the movie. With all the care that went into the production - Russell Boyd's lush cinematography stands out in the disc's gorgeous 2.35:1 anamorphic video transfer - it's rather astonishing that Shelton would risk using such an unschooled hambone in a pivotal role.

But, alas, he did. At least Warner Bros. didn't skimp on the extras, so you have other things to concern yourself with, not that they're much more invigorating. There are two commentary tracks, one by Shelton, and one in which Jones and Wuhl alternate. Shelton's is far more informative; he's a lively narrator, and you can tell his heart was invested in every frame of the picture. Jones and Wuhl, on the other hand, add little of interest, outside of Wuhl selflessly pointing out that he's really not much of an actor. Thanks for your help, Bob.

You also get a couple of shorts: The Real Al Stump shows (you guessed it) the real Al Stump during a visit to the set, and On the Field with Roger Clemons is an equally self-explanatory behind-the-scenes piece in which the Yankee hurler makes a cameo as one of Cobb's rivals. Then there's a few rightfully deleted scenes, and the usual trailer that makes the movie look more dour than it actually plays. It's really too bad. Shelton and Warner Bros. may have gotten a lot of wood on the ball, but a long fly out is still an out. This one is mainly for baseball buffs, and easy-to-please ones at that.

For more information about Cobb, visit Warner Video. To order Cobb, go to TCM Shopping.

by Paul Tatara

Cobb

Cobb

The next time Pete Rose tries to convince America that his propensity toward gambling won't taint the Baseball Hall of Fame, he should mention Cobb, Ron Shelton's biopic of Cyrus "Ty" Cobb, arguably the greatest hitter in the game's history, and the first man enshrined in the Hall. It's not exactly a scoop at this point, but Shelton makes it abundantly clear that Cobb was one ornery, lying, alcoholic, racist, sexist S.O.B. Raging Bull's Jake LaMotta looks like a vaguely troubled boy scout in comparison. Rose looks like a gum-chomping Mother Teresa. If only Cobb (now available on DVD from Warner Video) was a better movie. The opening is promising, with a Citizen Kane-like newsreel describing the many highlights of The Georgia Peach's fabled career: he hit over .400 over a five-year stretch, still has the highest lifetime batting average of any player, and set all kinds of base stealing records. Then Shelton jumps to 1960, where sports writer Al Stump (Robert Wuhl) is contacted by Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones) and asked to write an account of his life. Stump drives through a treacherous snowstorm to meet Cobb in his Lake Tahoe cabin, a decision he'll soon regret. A variety of diseases have left Cobb a pill-popping, insulin-injecting wreck, and he openly revels in his own nastiness. But he's wrangled final approval on the proposed book, and intends to feed his fans a glossy load of lies that have little to do with his actual life. Stump, on the other hand, thinks the truth should absolutely be told. Shelton's narrative then turns into a series of hot-blooded debates over how the book should be written, with Cobb pulling enough amoral stunts - both in the past and the present - to sink his legend forever. This is a handsome-looking picture, but Shelton seriously miscalculates its tone. You can't tell if you're supposed to be darkly amused or simply appalled by Cobb. Jones is a charismatic performer, and, in this instance, that magnetism works to his detriment. He seems to be having too much good ol' boy fun for Cobb to be legitimately evil; even his near-rape of a Reno cocktail waitress (played by Lolita Davidovich) contains a grotesque punch line. Only the electrifying, spikes-flying game sequences contain believable fury. Still, the biggest drawback has got to be Wuhl, a sitcom-ready actor who's not even remotely capable of holding his own with a powerhouse like Jones. When in doubt Wuhl opts for bug-eyed astonishment, and he seems to be in doubt through the better part of the movie. With all the care that went into the production - Russell Boyd's lush cinematography stands out in the disc's gorgeous 2.35:1 anamorphic video transfer - it's rather astonishing that Shelton would risk using such an unschooled hambone in a pivotal role. But, alas, he did. At least Warner Bros. didn't skimp on the extras, so you have other things to concern yourself with, not that they're much more invigorating. There are two commentary tracks, one by Shelton, and one in which Jones and Wuhl alternate. Shelton's is far more informative; he's a lively narrator, and you can tell his heart was invested in every frame of the picture. Jones and Wuhl, on the other hand, add little of interest, outside of Wuhl selflessly pointing out that he's really not much of an actor. Thanks for your help, Bob. You also get a couple of shorts: The Real Al Stump shows (you guessed it) the real Al Stump during a visit to the set, and On the Field with Roger Clemons is an equally self-explanatory behind-the-scenes piece in which the Yankee hurler makes a cameo as one of Cobb's rivals. Then there's a few rightfully deleted scenes, and the usual trailer that makes the movie look more dour than it actually plays. It's really too bad. Shelton and Warner Bros. may have gotten a lot of wood on the ball, but a long fly out is still an out. This one is mainly for baseball buffs, and easy-to-please ones at that. For more information about Cobb, visit Warner Video. To order Cobb, go to TCM Shopping. by Paul Tatara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter December 2, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 23, 1994

Expanded Release in United States January 6, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 13, 1995

Released in United States on Video June 27, 1995

Released in United States January 1998

Shown at Cinequest 1998: The San Jose Film Festival January 29 -

Ty Cobb held the record for most career major league baseball hits (4,191) until Pete Rose broke the record in the early 1980s.

Completed shooting April 8, 1994.

Began shooting January 19, 1994.

February 4, 1998.

Released in United States Winter December 2, 1994

Expanded Release in United States December 23, 1994

Expanded Release in United States January 6, 1995

Expanded Release in United States January 13, 1995

Released in United States on Video June 27, 1995

Released in United States January 1998 (Shown at Cinequest 1998: The San Jose Film Festival January 29 -)