Sticks & Stones (1996) - full transcript

For three junior high school friends, growing up takes a dangerous turn when the local bully targets them with his aggression. With no one to turn to but each other, they muster the courage to take a shot at settling the score. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
(calming music)

- [Voiceover] There are but
a handful of individuals

in this world whom I would
consider to have been touched

by whomever does the touching.

Albert Einstein, Thomas
Jefferson, Sir Isaac Newton,

and Joseph Patrick Finley,
sometimes known as "Cy,"

after the late, great Cy Young.

Who is Joseph Patrick Finley, you wonder,

besides the son of Doctors
Archibald and Catherine Finley,

besides the finest friend
a friend could have?

Nobody special, at least not in his eyes,

which is good in one way and
a problem in many others.

Suffice it to say, his is a curious case.




- Watch your step, cockroach.

(inspirational music)


- 15, 16, 17, 18.

56, 57,

58, 59, 60.

Sixty feet, six inches.

- Man, I was doing 120, easy.


Man, me and that ball were neck and neck.

- Look, it is scientifically
impossible for that bike

to do 120 miles per hour.

- Then 100.

Then I'm right.

- You're never right.

Air confuses you.

- Probably more like 30, man.

- More like 90.

- The ball, maybe.

But not the bike.

- So what do you think Cy's
rookie card will be worth, huh?

- Forget the card,
that's chump change, man.

It's the arm.

What do you think that
cannon will be worth?

10, 15 mil a year?

- And that's not including
endorsements or bonuses.

Innings pitched, strikeouts, E.R.A.,

all-star team appearances,
and the Cy Young award.

Factoring in inflation, it'll probably be,

hm, 15 to 20 mil a year by then.

- Quit dreamin'.

- Start dreamin'.

And I'm gonna be your catcher.

- I'm gonna be your slime-bucket agent.

What am I gonna do with all that green?

Spend it fast.


- What are you doing?

- (coughs) Check out the first ingredient.

- Alcohol.

SD alcohol 38-B.

Are you kidding?

- Go ahead, it's a good buzz.

- You were born with a buzz.

- You can't get drunk off this crap.


- It takes the edge off.

- Mouth, you are one scary human being.

- Not half as scary as you, Gump.

What's with the umbrella?

It's hot enough to grow a
cactus out of your butt.

- My mom said it was gonna rain.

- Oh, really?

And what'd she say

about the sky falling and Chicken Little?

- It is supposed to rain, Mouth.

That's what the forecast said.

We'll be lucky if we make it
to tryouts this afternoon.

- We'll get to try out.

- We better.

- [Boy with Glasses] We will.

- Shit.

- [Boy with Glasses]
He's in our strike zone.

- [Mouth] Where you goin'?

- Other side of the school.

- It sucks over there, and you know it.

- Come on, Mouth.

He won't be there later.

- And if he is?

- Other side of the school.

- [Mouth] And the next day?

- Other side of the freakin' school.

- You're chicken-size chicken.

- It's got nothing to do with that.

- Yeah, it's gotta do with something

that you've never heard of: range.

And I quote, "He who fights and runs away,

"lives to fight another day."

- And I quote, "He who fights
and runs away is a pussy."

What about your pride?

- I've got pride in other things.

- Like what?

Hayes doesn't give a shit about us.

It's a mind game, and we're
playing right into it.

I'm sure if we ask him
to move, he'll move.

- Yeah, right after he slits your throat.

- Then I'll slit his back.

- You really are a frightening
human being, Mouth.

(radio commentating baseball game)


- Strike him out!



(Bell rings)

- Let's go to tryouts!

- [Teacher] Slow down, gentlemen.

- [Boy with Glasses]
It's gonna be awesome.

- Traveling in the team bus.

- Going to road games.

- Hanging with the guys.

- (spits) Spittin' seeds.

- Chewin' tobacco.

- Night games.

- Gettin' laid!

- You wish!

- Psh, just 'cause you
can't even see yours.

- You're an asshole.

- Do I irritate you?

Do I noseate you?

Do I disarm you?

- Hey! Hey, where is everyone?

- Hey, where are the tryouts?

- Thursday afternoon.

But uh, we already got our bat boys.

- And mascot.

Come on, Baker, get over the plate!

- What happened to the tryouts
for the 13 and 14 year olds?

- Canceled.

- Budget cuts. (laughs)

- Yeah, diapers got too expensive.


- Very funny.

- So how come no one told us?

- Why should they?

- 'Cause we walk upright, that's why.

- Sorry, kids.

Them's the breaks.

- Them's the breaks.

Why is it always just the
little guys who lose out, huh?

What are we, invisible?

We don't count?

- Yup.

- Do you think we like

being the them's-the-breaks generation?

You think we like having
no choice in the matter?

- Yup.

- So, you don't think
we like playing baseball

as much as you do.

Who decides?

Who makes the rules?

Who makes the budget cuts?

Why us?

Why not you guys?

- Because we can play the game.

You diseases, you're
still trying to figure out

how to throw the ball over the plate

without having it bounce a few times.

- Is that so?

Well, you just practice up,

because come Thursday afternoon,

my friend over there is going
to blow the ball right by you.



He throws so hard,

he'll make you look like a
ballerina in a hailstorm.

- That little twerp?

Tell you what,

why don't you go home and nurse?

- Ah, blow me!

- Whip it out.

- You got a forklift?


- I'll see you Thursday.

- No way in Hell, Book.

I'm not trying out.

- You have to.

- I don't have to.

Reason number one,

I'm not half good enough
to play on that team.

And reason number two--

- You're an idiot.

- Reason number two,

we all play together or
we don't play at all.

And reason number three--

- You're an idiot's idiot.

- Reason number three through
one thousand, my brother!

My brother's gonna be on that team,

and if he so much as finds
out we were on that field,

he'll break both my legs
off and beat me with them.

- You'll still make the team.

- Save it, Book.

- I'm telling you, Joseph.

You gotta try out.

This one is in the stars.

It was meant to be.

My mom always said, "Good comes from bad."

And I believe it.

Good always comes from bad.

- [Hayes] Move it!

(sorrowful music)

- Asshole!

(intense music)

- Wait up!

Wait up, guys!

Wait up!

Coming through!

We were mad-dogged.

Billy Hayes mad-dogged us.

We were mad-dogged.


We're dead.

- We weren't mad-dogged.

- And if we were?

- We weren't.

- And if we were, asshole?

They may as well be
feeding us to the lions.

- Which brings up an interesting question:

Who is they?


Take a hit, Bookie.

You could use one.

- I think you could use the hit.

- Book was right, Mouth.

That was pretty stupid.

- Yeah, a full-page ad
could've been more effective.

- Come on, you guys treat this guy

like he's some kind of super villain.

Trust me, we're the last
thing on Billy Hayes' mind.


- For the first time in your
life, I hope you're right.


- I'm always right.

- Ma?

Hey, Mom!


(somber music)


- [Voiceover] Hi, guys.

(laughs) Remember me?

Um, it looks like your dad and I

are gonna be home late again tonight,

'cause the hospital's a zoo.

So you guys, the freezer's loaded.

Actually, I don't think it is.

I forgot to go to the market.

Oh, I'm sorry.

How was your tryout, Joey?

I can't wait to hear all about--

- [Voiceover] Dr. Pacelli to ICU, stat.

Dr. Pacelli to ICU, stat.

- [Voiceover] I gotta go, sweetheart.

I promise, promise, promise

I will make your favorite
yummy dinner tomorrow.

I love you, Joey.

I love you, Dale.

See you in the morning.

- Right.

- Reuben?

Is something wrong?

- No.

- Are you sure?

- They canceled our baseball league.

- They did? Why?

- Because you're buffoons.

That's why.

Everything this city
does turns into a mess.

Look at the parks.

Look at the police

and the schools.

They can't even afford
to buy their own books.

And that's why we're
getting you out of there.

Are your ready for your entrance exam?

- Yeah.

- Good.

- But why do I have to go?

- Because you do.

- Yeah...

but why?

- I'll tell you why.

Because I was never given an opportunity.

And because I'm working too hard

to see you wasting away in
some broken-down public school.

- But...

what about my friends?

- Your friends?


Well, Reuben, your granddad
moved us when I was your age,

and I made new friends.

So you'll make new friends, all right?

You make friends wherever you go.

That's life.

- I have no desire to
go the creepin' school.

And he says I have no choice.

He won't even reason with me.

- Then screw him.

Don't go. I wouldn't.

- I can't do that.

- Sure you can, Bookie.

Tell him to take a hike.

That's what my mom told my old man.

He never came back.

The asshole.

And then again, if that don't work,

you can always do what
that kid in Wichita did.

- Oh, and what was that, Oh Wise One?

- Blow 'em away.


(upbeat music)

- Let's play some ball!

♫ Been such a long time

♫ Since I've felt this good

♫ Beginning to wonder if I ever could

♫ I know it sounds crazy

♫ But I feel my luck is changing

♫ Yeah, I'm back again ♫

- You're going downtown, Finley.


- Stee-rike!

Next time. Next time.


♫ Greeting the future face to face

♫ We're back in the race

♫ You might think that it's over

♫ I got news for you

♫ Don't be so quick to count me out

♫ 'Cause it's never over

♫ 'Til the walls come tumbling down

♫ I'm out of luck

♫ Thrown it all away

♫ Yeah, back in the race

♫ Get cooled off

♫ Livin' life like there's no tomorrow

♫ Back in the race

♫ To take a chance

♫ Greeting the future face to face

♫ We're back in the race ♫

(bat and ball clink)

- Home run! Home run!

Stop the presses!

I just dinged one off
the great Joseph Finley!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

- It was foul.

- No way, Book.

That was a home run, fair and square.

- My condolences, but it
went left of the tree.

- [Mouth] Yeah, well that
oak tree is fair, you puke.

- That's not an oak.

It's a Monterrey Pine, you pukette.

It's foul.

It always has been and always will be.

You know it.

- Aw, go home and molest yourself.

- [Joey] You guys, let's
just give it to him.

- Nah, give him nothin'.

If I can strike lightning once,

I can strike it again.


- You fetch.

You hit it.

- You're in the outfield.

- You hit it.

- You said it was foul.

- So what?

- I'll go get it.

- No, no, no, no, Joey.

I'll go get it.

- No, no, no, no, no.

I'll go get it.

- Shoot.

- Somebody lose a ball?

- It's ours.


- Anytime.

Take care.

- Yeah.

Yeah, bro, you too.

He ain't a bad guy.

- By the way...

which one of you guys called
me an asshole yesterday?

You know, I'm just curious,

'cause usually I like to look
the limp dick in the eyes.

But hey, I just wanna know
who's been calling me names...

behind my back.

I'm not gonna hurt anybody.

Scout's honor.

You know what?

I don't ever wanna see
you guys here again.

Find somewhere else to play.

- Look, we don't want any trouble.

If you want us to do your homework

or make your lunch everyday, you got it.

- You called me an asshole, didn't you?

- It was me.

- No, I said it.

- Now I know it was you, you fat coward.

Do you have any idea how fat
and stupid-looking you are?

Huh? Do ya?

Greasy, four-eyed mound of blubber.

How do you live with yourself, huh?


I asked you a question, Piggy.

Do you have any idea how fat
and stupid-looking you are?

Huh? Do ya?


Answer me!

- [Book] Yes

- Yes, what?

- [Book] Yes, I do know how
fat and stupid-looking I am.

- I feel a whole lot better.

- Are you happy now?

- Excuse me?

- I said, "Are you happy now, asshole?"

- You dumb (grunts)

(intense music)

- Ah!

(heavy breathing)



- I think it's time somebody taught you

a little something about respect.

- Eat shit!

- Oh, not a bad idea.


- No! No!


- [Hayes] You wanna be a hero?

- No!

- Here's your reward.

(grunting and squishing)

You now have something to wash it down.

- No!


No! No! No!


- [Book] Joey!


- See you in school, champ.

(coughing and sputtering)

- [Mouth] Joey, are you okay?

- [Book] Your arm.

(melancholy music)

- Hey!


Where you going?

Oh, honey.

Look at...

oh sweetie.

How'd your hair get all wet, huh?

- Cockroach?

Did one of your water balloon
fights get out of hand again?

- Tell me what happened, Joey.

- Yeah, Joey, tell me what happened.

- Would you just get out?

- Come on, sweetie, tell me what happened.

You don't have to be embarrassed.

- I'm okay.

- Okay. You sure?

- [Voiceover] Dr. Finley?

Dr. Finley?

- I'm right here.

I have to take this, okay?

Just one second.

I'll be right back, okay?

You know, sometimes I
just wanna (exhales).

Okay, I'm here

Uh-huh. So how are the contractions?

Yeah, mm-hm.


And how many centimeters is she dilated?

- Go to hell.

- What'd you say, you (footsteps pounding)

- Hey, hey, guys!

Guys, come on!

(grunting and footsteps pounding)


You know, brotherly love.


Dr. Frank, can I call you right back?

Just one second.

I'll call you right back.

- Time you learned a little something

about respect, Cockroach.

One of my buddies recognized your puny mug

from the field yesterday.

Don't go near it!

I'm warning you!

You're just a little bug who
thinks throwing a tennis ball

against the wall is baseball.

It ain't.

It's babyball.

- [Dr. Finley] Joey? Dale?

- Smarten up.

- I wanna talk to you.

- Mom, I didn't touch him.

I didn't--

- I want to talk to you.

Joey, your brother's
just a great, big bully.

And someday, somebody his own size

is gonna set him straight,

and I hope I'm there to see it.

Honey, until then though,
just ignore him or something.

Don't provoke him.

It just plays into his hand, okay?


Sweetie, it's gonna be okay.

Honey, I promise, everything will be okay.

You just take your time.

Take all the time you need.

And then when...

when you're ready, you just come down

and have dinner with me, okay?

Be waiting downstairs for you.

You know, sweetheart, this is
all just part of growing up.

And sometimes it just isn't fun.

I love you.

I'm gonna take care of Dale.



Get outta your room and come
down to the kitchen now.

(crickets chirp)

They're at each other night and day now,

and I don't know what
we're gonna do about it.

- Honey, they're brothers.

I went through it, and I survived.

And so will Joey.

They'll manage, okay?

- I'm going to the Principal's.

- Don't even think it, Bookie.

Come on, he'll only mess things up.

- What then?

- Go to your locker.

What's he gonna do?

Knife you in broad school light?

Come on.

Follow me.

(students chatter and lockers bang)

- Citizenship in Athens.

The democracy of Athens opened
participation in government

to all citizens.

However, citizenship
was a privilege reserved

for relatively few people.

Only men over the age of
18 could become citizens,

and except under special circumstances,

a man became a citizen

only after his father had
already been a citizen.

- Hey, where you guys going?

- [Joey] Home. Come on.

- I'm supposed to get picked up by my mom.

My exam, remember?

- So what?

You want us to stay and hold your hand?

- Hey, why are you such a jerk?

- Probably 'cause my dad
left the house when I was 10,

after throwing one too many right hooks.

How's that?

- I'll stick around.

I got a few minutes.

- [Mouth] All right, I'll hang.

Chicken shit.

- So, what time are you
supposed to be there?

- Half hour.


I don't know why I'm going.

I'll be miserable there
for the rest of my life.

- You're going because you're
more afraid of your parents

than you are of Hayes.

- Hey, Reuben.

Glad I caught you.

- My mom.

She can't pick me up.

- Yeah, she's probably
getting her mustache waxed.

- How am I gonna get there now?

- Walk?

- You guys wanna walk with me?

- Sorry, Bookie.

I gotta get home and babysit my siblings.

I'm late already.

- Joey?

- I gotta get home to let the plumber in.

Sorry, man.

Hey, hey, why don't you run?

You'll be there before you know it.

- Yeah, Bookie.

Hayes isn't around.

You'll be okay.

- You think so?

- Yeah.

Hayes lives in the other direction.

You'll be fine.

- All right.

Wish me luck?

- Good luck.

- Break a nut.

Buck says he collapses
before he turns the corner.

Should be okay.

- Yeah. He'll be all right.

- Dude, I can't join them.

I'm not going.

And don't ask me any questions.

I don't wanna hear a word about it.

- Okay.

- Oh man, my dad's home.

He's gonna kill me.

- [Mouth] Nonsense. Just
tell him you forgot.

And don't say a word about Hayes.

You know your psycho dad.

He'll freak.

And Bookie, don't forget
my English homework, okay?

And my math.

And my biology.

- (laughs) What do you mean, you forgot?

- I forgot.

- You never forget anything.

How could you forget this?

You've been studying for it night and day.

Did you forget?

- Paul.

- Yes, I know.

I'm going to ask a question.

I would like a straight answer.

Did you forget?

- No.

Mom was supposed to pick me up.

- Well, you could've walked.

Why couldn't you walk?

What's the matter?

You got a big pair of strong legs on you.

Come on.

If you try and throw your education away,

you're gonna end up a loser.

You're not gonna be on anyone's team.

Honey, why don't you talk to him?

- I will.

- You listen to your mother.

- I hate him.

- No, you don't.

No, you don't.

Your dad just wants what's best for you.

We both do.

Reuben, sweetheart,

I know you wouldn't have missed that exam,

unless you had an awfully good reason.

Reuben, what's going on?

- You have to promise you won't tell Dad.

- I promise.


- [Mouth] You sure you didn't tell him?

- No way. I stonewalled him.

Told him I forgot.

Here's your English.

How's it look?

- Not bad.

- So how's the arm?

Ready for tryouts?

- Don't waste your breath, Book.

- You sure you didn't tell him?

Are you absolutely positive
that you didn't say anything?

- Are you questioning my integrity here?

- No, I'm not questioning your integrity.

I was just wondering if you said anything.

- Well, I'm just wondering

if you're questioning my integrity.

- Oh really, are you wondering?

- Morning.

So, how we all doing today?

Everyone okay?

Ready for tryouts?

Nice hat, Piggy.

I think I'll...

take it.

- Hey!
- [Book] Dad?

- [Book's Dad] Bully, come here!

Come here. Come here.

Come here. Come here.

Come here.


If you so much as look
at my kid ever again,

I'll break every bone in your body.

And if you don't believe
me, you just try me.

Huh, tough guy?

A real hero picking on
guys half your size.

How do like it, being on the other side?

You like it?

Do you? Huh?

Do I make myself clear this morning, son?

- [Hayes] Yes.

- Do I?

- Yes, sir.

- Don't you forget it.

I'll be watching you.

Get out of my sight.

Go, go, go!

Cheer up, guys.

Come on, Reuben.


It's gonna be a long time

before that dirt bag bothers anybody.

Now let me take you to school.

Let's go.

- Messed up big time, Book

- I told you, my mom gave me her word.

I trusted her.

- You need to stop trusting her.

- She was probably worried about me.

(whistle blows and Book slams)

- She should be.

- Ahh, my back.

That hurt.

(showers running)

(door slams)

(door slams)

- [Hayes] Here, Piggy Piggy Piggy Piggy.

Oh, Piggy.

Here, Piggy Piggy Piggy Piggy.

(students chatter)

Come on, Piggy, let's
go for a little ride.

(grunting and yelling)

Let's go.

- Ah! Get off me!

Let go of me!

Let go!

Let go of me!

- Where's your punk-ass
bitch now, huh Piggy?


- Get off of me!


- Thank your old man
for this one, dough boy.

You won't be needing this.

- Let me in!

Let me in!

(fire alarm dings)

(students chatter)

(students chatter and laugh)


- Get out of the way, move.

Come on, coming through.

I'm so sorry, man!

I'm so sorry.

I've never been sorrier in my life,

I swear it.

We should never have left you alone.

- I'm gonna kill him.

- Excuse me.

Let me through please.

Excuse me.

Jesus, what's going on here?

Oh, good Lord.

You sure I can't get
you something to drink?

Some water?

I'm sorry this happened, guys.

If only you would've
come to see me earlier.

We might've been able to
avoid this whole thing.

It's all in the past now.

What's done is done.

Now, the question that is before us,

what to do next.

Any ideas?

- Hire a hit man.

- I think it's time that I sit
down with that boy's father.

How's that sound?

Guys, I've been down this
road hundreds of times.

If he sees that you're
not afraid to get help,

he'll back off.

Bullies are really just cowards at heart.

That's why they pick on someone smaller.

Let me talk with his dad.

Now, I've chatted with him in the past.

It's always helped.

I know this will change things.

Don't worry, Reuben.

The worst is over.

And I will take care of Mr. Hayes.

- A chat with Hayes' dad?

Oh, yeah. That oughta do it.

Principal Dick.

What a dick.

His old man's a dick.

His old lady was a dick.

His brother and sisters were dicks.

They're all dicks.

They eat dick for dinner.

They sleep on dicks.

They drive dicks to work.

They brush and pick
their teeth with dicks.

They di--

- Shut up.

Shut up, already.

- Dick, dick, dick,
dick, dick, dick, dick.

- Dude, don't you ever stop gabbing?

Maybe talking to Hayes'
dad isn't such a bad idea.

- Bull crap!

Not this talk to his dad shit.

Payback time.

Right, Bookie?

(telephone rings)

- Hello?


Principal Richard.

Fine, sir.

And yourself?



Is there a problem?

(video game whirs and roars)

- Die, die.

- No, I can't work tonight.

I promised my kids.

Yeah, I promised 'em.

I'm coming!

- Die, die, die, die.

Get out of my way.


- Uh, honey.

Hey, guys, we're leaving.

- Die, die, die!

- [Mouth's Mom] Bye. Bye, guys.

Don't kill yourselves.

- So what are we gonna do?

- About your dad or Hayes?

- Forget my dad.


- I was thinkin' about
that on the way home.

It all depends on how far
you guys wanna take it.

Wait here.


- Dad, they're robbing the bank.

Why don't you carry a gun?

- [Voiceover] I don't want to
fire and endanger your life.

- De-dum!

(intense music)

Your basic all steel Smith and Wesson,

single-action .38 special.

Also referred to as burn,
heat, rod, steal, and juice.

- Where the hell did you get that?

- I won it in a poker game, Gump.

Where do you think I got it?

My mom keeps it under
her bed for emergencies.

- Is that thing loaded?

(bullets tumble)


Nope, not anymore.

Test drive it.

- It's okay.

- Let me see it.

- Hasta la vista, baby.


- You shouldn't point a gun at someone.

- Then what good is it?

(shooting and yelling)

Billy Hayes, there's
a new sheriff in town,

and this town ain't big
enough for the both of us.


(gun fires, television explodes)

- Oh, man.


- My TV.

What am I gonna do?

- Your TV?

Your TV?

That coulda been me.

Just put that thing away.

- Bookie, what are you talking about?

This is what we've been waiting for.

This hunk of metal can
solve all our problems.

- Excuse me?

I don't think I'm hearing you correctly.

Are you suggesting--

- Hold up here.

An hour ago, you said you
wanted to kill the guy.

And now?

I mean, gimme a break.

- Well that was different.

You know, I wasn't thinking.

- And you're thinking now?

- I am.

Yes, clearly.

- All right.

Don't get so uptight.

- Well thank God I'm uptight.

You're crazy.

We can't just blow the guy away.

- So what are we supposed to do?

Just sit there and take it?

- No, no.

We have lots of other choices.

- Like what?

The school?

Our parents?

Your useless dad?

Don't you see?

They don't get it.

They think this is all
part of life's lessons,

part of growing up.

But they haven't a clue
what we're feeling.

They don't have time to.

- We're talking about a human being here.

Not an ant.

You can't just step on
him and forget about it.

- Book, why are you such
a yellow-bellied coward?

- If this is what makes me a coward,

then I'm damn proud of it.

- Why are you such a jerk?

- [Mouth] Go home.

- Book!


Wait up!

You can come to my house.

Come on, Book.

(can rattles)


Hey, Dad!

Hey, Dad!

- Hey, big guy!

Oh! All right, that hurts.

That hurts quite a bit.

Down, boy, down.


There he is.

How you doing, buddy?


What? What's the matter with your arm?

- It's nothing.

- It's nothing?


Dale do this?

- Sort of.

- Sort of.

Aye, aye, aye.

What a jerk.

You know, it's kind of funny
how life repeats itself.

When I was your age,

I had the same kind of
deal with my brother.

Your Uncle Dave?

Yeah, you don't believe
me, do you? (laughs)

I'm telling you, this guy was crazy.

Got to the point where
I was afraid to go home.

You know what I did?

I devised a master plan,

and I followed it to the letter.

Stood right up to him.

After that it was like the
guy never even existed.

- What was the plan?

- I killed him.


I'm kidding.


It was just some silly kind
of kid thing, but it worked.

Joe, what I'm trying to say to you is

that you have my blessing

to do whatever it takes to stop him.

I'll give you one little
piece of advice though.

Pick your battle.

You'll know when it's time.

- Dad, could I ask you something?

- Sure, pal.

I'll tell you what.

I gotta head back to the
hospital and staple somebody up.

So we'll talk this weekend?

All right?


- All right.

- All right.

Let's go!

- Hey, that's my glove.

- Yeah. Thanks, Joey.

My webbing broke.

- He didn't even ask me.

- Joey, you're not using now.

He's late for practice.

His tryouts are Thursday.

- So?

- So, what's he supposed
to use, his bare hand?

- Yeah, it's my glove.

- See guys, right here is the attitude

that dooms you from the start.

You guys have to learn to give and take.

It's the only way.

Joe, I'll have a talk with him all right?

- Sure.

- Listen, Dale.

Do me a favor and back off
your little brother, okay?

All right?

Give him a break.

- Yeah, sure Dad.


- [Voiceover] Hi, guys.

I'm stuck at the hospital again, um--



- [Voiceover] Hello?

- Book. Book, listen.

Mouth's an idiot.

You just gotta ignore it.

(dial tone)


(slams phone)

(slow piano music)

♫ If I could give you the world

♫ If I could end

♫ All the hurt inside you

♫ Nothing that I would rather rather do

♫ Sometimes the sky

♫ Feels awful blue

♫ And if I could end all your pain

♫ If I could make it feel again

♫ Believe me

♫ There's nothing that
I would rather rather do

♫ But sometimes the sky's awful blue ♫

- This work is unacceptable.

♫ And sometimes

♫ Sometimes the sky

♫ Is awful blue ♫


(radio announcer commentating)

- [Voiceover] So, here we are.

4:45 in the afternoon.

Bottom of the ninth inning.

Two outs, the bases loaded.

And the crowd on its feet,

loving every dramatic moment of this one.

Roger Clemons is just one out,

perhaps one pitch away from
his sixth shutout of the year.

And up at the plate,

the menacing and always
dangerous Frank Thomas.

Oh, does he look mean.

Thomas leads the major
leagues in home runs.

So now we have the dramatic match-up,

the power pitcher versus the power hitter.

Thomas sets himself.

Clemons, staring in, getting the sign.

The outfield is deep, very deep.

Clemons rocks.


Thomas didn't even see it.

Well, fasten your seat belts, folks.

Mr. Clemons is on the launching pad.

Here comes the next pitch.

Strike two.

Thomas just staring at the catcher's mitt.

He is stunned.

He cannot believe his eyes.

So, here we go, folks.

Two outs.

The count's oh and two,

and we have the master of the long ball

staring down the master of the fastball.

Clemons looks in, Thomas
determined as ever.

Here is the stretch.

And the pitch.




Lightning right down
the middle of the plate,

and Thomas missed it by the
proverbial country mile.


Twelve strikeouts for the rocket.

(announcer trails off)

- What's up, Bookie?

Got a problem?

- Look at that.

Your pitch cracked the wall.

- You're such a dreamer.

- Call me a dreamer.

You have to try out tomorrow.

- Not a chance.

- You have to, okay.

You can't miss this opportunity.

- Look, forget it.

It's all of us or none of us.

- No, no, no, no, no.

It's you and only you.

Mouth and I, we're a dime a dozen.

But you are a once in a lifetime.

Ten years from now,

we'll probably be out
there playing slow-pitch.

But you'll be out there
winning the Cy Young Award.

- I can't.

- It's your damn brother, isn't it?

- Look, just drop it, Mouth.

- You can't let him run your life.

I mean, think about you, not him.

He's not gonna kill you.

- It's worse than that.

You don't have to live with him.

You don't know what that's like.

- You're right, we don't.

But sooner or later you're
gonna have to stand up to him.

Because if you don't,

you're gonna regret it
for the rest of your life.

- We talkin' about Hayes here?

- Come on, Joey, you know
who we're talking about.

This is your chance to
kick your brother's butt.

- I'll think about it.

- All right!

- [Joey] I said I'd think about it.

- [Book] And I said, "All right!"

Don't you worry, Cy.

Your brother is all bum.

- [Mouth] Yeah, and he's ugly, too.

(hopeful music)


- Ooh, great!

Now remember, you gotta keep those hips

out in front or your shoulder.

Feel that weight transfer.

I just can't believe
your brain-dead brother

swiped your glove in
the middle of the night.

Ooh, he's going down.

(bicycle skids)

- Come on, we're gonna be late.

(whistle blows)

- Hey, listen up.

I wanna welcome all of
you to tryouts today.

I wanna wish each and every
one of you the best of luck.

So what do you say?

Let's play some ball!

(whistle blows and players cheer)

- Now remember, hips out
in front of your shoulder.

Feel that weight transfer.

Feel the weight transfer.

- Shut up, already.

I think he's got it.

You sound like a broken record.

- Damn!

- [Book] We're screwed.

- Maybe next year.

- Forget that, man.

I got it.

- No way, Mouth.

If he catches you, he'll kill you.

He'll never touch me.

He hasn't yet.

- Yet. Don't be a hero.

It's not worth it.

- It most definitely is,

and we all know it.

- [Joey] Don't, Mouth.

- Hey, asshole.

Where you been?

That's right, Hayes, I'm talking to you.


- [Joey] He's crazy.

- Yeah, but he's right.

Hold on.

But don't turn around.

Cy Young, they're calling
for you from the dugout.

- You animal!

- A good dog deserves his bone.

(hopeful music)

- Come on, boy.

Come on, boy.

Come on.

(baseball players yelling)

- Well, remember, hips out--

- In front of the shoulders.

- No cherries, no hooks.

- Just gas.

- Make us proud, Cy.

- I'll try to.

- Hey, good luck.

- Hey.

- Wow, lookie lookie.

- Girls try out tomorrow, though.

- Cockroach, what the
hell are you doing here?

- Tryin' out.

Where's the signup sheet?

- Go home, Joey.

Don't embarrass me.


I'm not kidding.

Is something wrong with your ears?

I said, "Go the hell home!"

(crashing and laughter)

- [Player] Oh, man!

Did you see that?

- [Player] What's going on over there?

- [Coach] Hey, Finley.

- Coach.

- What's going on?

- Nothing, coach.

Just my little brother here.

He was on his way home.

Weren't you?

- No, I wasn't.

I'm here to try out.


- What position?

If you don't mind me asking.

- Pitcher.


- Hey, hey.

- Look, son, I know you wanna play ball.

Heck, I did when I was your age.

But I don't think this
is the time or the place.

These guys are bigger than you are.

They're stronger than you.

They play harder.

They hit harder.

They could slap a line
drive right through you.

It's not like playing with your buddies.

I'm real sorry.

Maybe next year, all right.

I'll be looking forward to it, kid.

Let's play ball.

- Yeah.

- Face it, bro.

Once a cockroach, always a cockroach.

Now go home.

Take your stinkin' glove.

- [Book] Here's your glove.

Take it.

- [Mouth] Yee-haw!


Thanks for the workout.

(intense music)




- I'm sorry, Joey.

I swear.

- I should never listen to you jerks.

- How are we supposed to know?

- You're supposed to listen to me.

You're supposed to clean
all the crap and gunk

out of your ears and listen.

- Okay, you're right.

We should've.

You still woulda kicked their b--

- Book!

Give it a rest.

It's over.

- You woulda.

- Book!

You heard what the coach said.

Go home!

Just beat it.

Get lost.

- Isn't that Mouth's bike?

- Mouth?


Aw, man.


- What do you faggots want?

- You.


- My pleasure.

- Drop it! (gun clicks)

(crashing and heavy breathing)

All right.

Cuff him to the post.

- You're not cuffing me into a post.

- We're not?

- Not a chance.

- Cuff him.

- Don't touch me.

Especially you, Piggy.

(clears phlegm)


Compliments of the chef.

- Give me that.

Back up.

- No, Piggy.

- Back up.

- No, Piggy.

- Back up!

- No, Piggy!

- Back up! (gun fires)

Back up! (gun fires)

Back up! (gun fires)

Back up! (gun fires)

Back up! (gun fires)

Why us?


Why, why, why?

Just because someone half
your size calls you an asshole

from two blocks away

that means to terrorize him?

Who gave you the right to call me "Piggy?"


Who gave you the right to
drag me out of a shower

and throw me into a hallway full of kids?


And who

gave you the right to touch anyone?


God dammit, who?


(sorrowful music)

- He's crying now.

How does that feel?

Does it feel good?

Does it feel anything?

Anything at all?

You don't feel...

a damn thing, do you?

Do you?

How's that feel?

And that?

And that?

And that?

What in the world can
you possibly feel, huh?

Your fist smashing into somebody's face?

Your boot pounding into
someone's ribs? (spits)

Do you have any idea...

what it's like on the
other side of the boot?

On the other side of the fist?

Do you?

- Yes.


- Yes, my ass.

- Where do you think I
got the black eye, huh?

Where do you think I got it?

Where do you think I got the cracked ribs

and the bruises

and the broken wrist

and the half-dozen concussions?

From Fairy Godmother?

The Fairy Goddamn Godmother?

No, man.

I got it from my dad.

My very own dad.

Some for my birthday.

Some for Christmas.

Some for just being there.

My dad.

My hero.

- So he beats you when you beat us.

That's sweet.

Boo hoo.

- Back off, Joey.

Back off.

We made our point.

He needs help.

- So let's give it to him

- You don't get it, do you?

- No, you don't get it.

You don't remember how
frightened and pathetic you were,

curled up half-naked with
your runny nose mushed up

against the door,

crying like it was the end of the world.

How easily you forget the pain.

I don't forget the pain.

I don't forget your pain.

I don't forget Mouth's pain.

And I don't forget my pain.

I'm sick of it.

- Maybe it's your brother
you should be knocking off.

- Maybe you're right.

But Dale won't kill me.

Hayes might.

- Joey.

You can't.

This wasn't our plan.

It's murder.

- Correction.

It's self-defense.

- We can't.

- Let go, Book.

- We can't.

- Let go, Book.

- We can't.

- Let go, Book!

- We can't!

- What the hell's the matter with you?

(intense music)

- [Mouth] Hey, stop it guys.

Cool it, man.

Cool it! Stop!

What are you doing?


Get off of him!

Stop it!

(gun fires)

- Joey?

- A gunshot wound to the right shoulder,

clipped the brachial artery.

BP is seven over forty.

He's at 130.

Respiration is 16,

and level of consciousness is in and out.

- Jesus, Joey!

- [Voiceover] Dr.
Rosenthall, call your office.

Dr. Rosenthall, call your office.

Maintenance to third floor.

Maintenance to third floor.

- Reuben, Ryan.

- Geez, what happened to you?

- I'm Officer Thompson.

This is Officer Maldy.

We understand there's been a shooting.

Tell us about it?

Is there some kind of
problem here, gentlemen?

- No.

Look, we were--

- [Hayes] Officer?

- [Officer Thompson] Who are you?

- Um, Billy Hayes, sir.

This has all been a big mix up.

You see, we were all at my
house, playing with my dad's gun,

when it went off,


We had no idea it was loaded.

It was just an accident, officer.

Just messing around.

Just playing a game.

- You don't play with guns.

Do you understand that?

Do you?

- Yes, sir.

- Somebody coulda been killed here today.

Do you guys get that
somebody could have died?

(monitors beeping)

- You're just fine.

I'm gonna stay right here with you, baby.

I'm not gonna go anywhere.

I'm gonna stay right here.

- I'm sorry.

- Honey, there's nothing
to be sorry about.

You didn't do anything wrong.

Where is my husband?

Have you seen my husband?

Have you seen Dr. Finley?

Daddy's gonna be here.

Daddy is the best.


Only the best for my little baby.


- [Voiceover] So, here
we are six months later

and hopefully many lifetimes'
and sleepless nights' wiser.

Looking back, it's astounding
how a half-ounce of lead

can so easily change
the course of history.

Besides our folks taking
our pulse three times a day,

private school is out for me, thank God.

Mouth's mom got rid of her gun,

and Joey's dad cut his
patient list in half.

And his mom's moved her practice home

and made a ridiculous habit

of picking us up after school everyday.

Hayes is around.

He keeps to himself.

He's kinder and gentler,

but we never really know.

As for us, someone once said,

"You don't always pay
in cash, but you pay."

We're still paying.

Not a day passes, where we don't cringe,

ashamed of our actions that afternoon.

It's never quite been the same.

I wonder if it ever will.

As for Joey's arm...

he's working on it.

- Don't worry about it, Joey.

- Let's go, little brother.

I've waited long enough.

You and me, right now.

It's time.

- [Book] Forget it.

- Well, huh, what's it gonna be?

- He can't.

He doesn't have the arm strength.

- Aw, that's sweet, Book.

But he's a big boy.

Let him speak for himself.

- Your shoulder, Cy, don't rush it.

- Book.

- It's time.

- Attaboy.

One official at-bat.

Winner rules the house.

Get out of my way, T-ball.

- What are you doing?

- Aw, man. You're crazy.

Your arm's not ready.

You're gonna blow it out.

- He's gonna hammer you, man.

Don't do it, Joey.

It's not worth it.

- I'll be okay.

- No, your arm is not ready.

- Trust me.

It's time.

Just get behind the plate.

No cherries.

No hooks.

Just gas.


- Play ball!

- Right here, C-Roach.

Nice big, fat, juicy one.


- [Dale's Friends] Oo hoo hoo hoo.

- Oo hoo hoo hoo.

- That's another area
code over there, buddy.

- Foul.

Thank God.

- [Book] Stee-rike one.

- Was that the best you can do?


Why don't you give me a little
something with salsa on it?

Something other than your change-up.

- Blow it by him, Cy.

- Oh, no.

He's taking off his girdle.


- Yes!

- Oh and two.

Time to punch out.

- Shut up.

- Hey, uh, I saw your girlfriend
with Scooter last night.

She was walking real funny.

- Come on, Cy.

Come on, Cy.

(suspenseful music)

- [Voiceover] We knew right then and there

it was Cy's last pitch.

His hall of fame career
was over at the age of 14.

He had two pitches left in
that rocket of an arm of his.

And he used them up on his brother,

some would say, senselessly.

But not Joe.

It was time, and he knew it.

- Yeah!

(inspirational music)

- Truce?

- Truce.

- Lucky pitch.

- No, it was a great pitch.

Hold this.


You deserve it.

And so that was it.

An arm for some sanity.

A long, long road,

but a fair trade, I'm sure.

And so, as my mom likes to say,

good comes from bad.

And if you really believe
good can come from bad,

even a tragedy can have a happy ending.

Let's hope so.

(ball banging)

And oh yeah, Joey never did pitch again,

but he did take up soccer.

And the man with the golden arm

became the man with the golden leg.

♫ Been such a long time

♫ Since I felt this good

♫ Beginning to wonder if I ever could

♫ I know it sounds crazy

♫ But I feel my luck is changing

♫ I'm back again

♫ I'm gonna win this time

♫ Yeah, back in the race

♫ Get cooled off

♫ Living life like there's no tomorrow

♫ Back in the race

♫ Take a chance

♫ Meeting the future face to face

♫ We're back in the race

♫ I think that it's over

♫ I got news for you

♫ Don't be so quick to count me out

♫ Yeah

♫ 'Cause it's never over

♫ 'Til the walls come tumbling down

♫ I'm out of luck

♫ Thrown it all away

♫ Yeah, back in the race

♫ Get cooled off

♫ Living life like there's no tomorrow

♫ Back in the race

♫ To take a chance

♫ Meeting the future face to face

♫ We're back in the race

♫ I think that it's over

♫ I got news for you

♫ Don't be so quick to count me out

♫ Yeah

♫ 'Cause it's never over

♫ 'Til the walls come tumbling down

♫ I'm out of luck

♫ Thrown it all away

♫ Yeah, back in the race

♫ Get cooled off

♫ Living life like there's no tomorrow

♫ Back in the race

♫ To take a chance

♫ Greeting the future face to face

♫ Yeah, we're back in the race

♫ For so long I've pulled away

♫ For so long I've pulled away

♫ But I'm not going

♫ And I will fight

♫ 'Til I get back

♫ Oh yeah

♫ Back in the race ♫

♫ If you don't recognize me

♫ It's 'cause I changed

♫ And if the past reminds you

♫ Of what could've been now

♫ Now the future seems certain

♫ Well, it's all been the same

♫ You've got to realize

♫ That I recognized life's just a game

♫ It's just a game

♫ Today, man, people change

♫ Today, man, people change

♫ And I swear I could change

♫ I swear I'm gonna change

♫ Swear I can change my ways

♫ Well, people change

♫ Maybe I can change, too

♫ If you don't recognize me

♫ It's 'cause I changed

♫ And if the past reminds you

♫ Of what could've been now

♫ Now the future seems certain

♫ Well it's all been the same

♫ You've got to realize

♫ that I recognized life's just a game ♫