"Out with the old, in with the new" is Netflix's motto every month as it releases new TV shows and movies on the streaming service, but inevitably removes others. As July 1 approaches, the one movie you need to watch on Netflix before it leaves is A League of Their Own. The list of movies disappearing from Netflix in July is particularly rough for movie buffs with classic films I hadn't even realized were on the streaming site expiring. While I'll be personally righting the wrong of never seeing A Clockwork Orange before July comes, my pick for must-see movie before it's gone from Netflix still has to be the baseball film chock-full of female empowerment — A League of Their Own.
Maybe it's because Kit actress Lori Petty is on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black that Netflix thinks it's OK to remove this movie from its lineup. Maybe Netflix thinks you have enough baseball in your life since the sport is in season. Whatever the reason A League of Their Own's time has ended on Netflix (I suspect the termination of a pesky distribution agreement or something), I don't find it acceptable. The 1992 Geena Davis and Tom Hanks-starring film was a staple of my childhood that taught me the valuable feminist lesson that women are capable of doing what men can do years before I even fully comprehended the word "feminist."
Directed by Penny Marshall, A League of Their Own is packed with talented female actresses — some whose names you probably don't know (like Megan Cavanagh, Bitty Schram, and Tracy Reiner — who is Marshall's daughter) and some whose names you definitely know (like Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, and even Téa Leoni). As these baseball-playing women struggle to be accepted and respected as athletes while the men are off at war, this movie more than passes the Bechdel test and manages quite a few laughs along the way. Not to mention, A League of Their Own features a complex and competitive sister relationship between Davis' Dottie and Petty's Kit that is truly rare in its authenticity — even if do think Kit is the worst.
But just because this film was about women, made by a woman, and starring women doesn't mean it doesn't appeal to all audiences. Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, and Bill Pullman add a bit of testosterone with their small roles and of course, Hanks is hilarious and touching as manager Jimmy Dugan with his oft-quoted line, "There's no crying in baseball."
Alas, just like the baseball industry pushed aside the female league after World War II, so has Netflix pushed aside this cinematic gem. So whether you've never seen it or can quote every line, make sure to catch A League of Their Own on Netflix before July 1. Afterwards, I recommend you seek comfort in the photos from the A League of Their Own mini-reunion in 2015, courtesy of Davis and O'Donnell.
Images: Columbia Pictures; Giphy