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Cobb ★★★ 1994 (R)

Biography of Ty Cobb (Jones), the universally acknowledged “most hated man in baseball” who, near the end of his life, realizes he doesn't want to be remembered in that way. So he hires sportswriter Al Stump (Wuhl) to ghostwrite (read: sugarcoat) his life story. As seen through Stump's eyes, Cobb is an unrelenting, petty, bigoted, hateful, paranoid, drunken, and yet compelling man. They form an uneasy bond as Stump duly records the fiction Cobb is feeding him, secretly deciding to write the truth after the legend's death. Jones is at his scenechewing, antagonistic best, while Wuhl seems both overwhelmed and overshadowed as the embattled Stump. Shelton has something to say about American hero worship and a celebrity's desire for posterity, but with the focus intent on portraying Cobb's meanness, it's hard to say what. Surprisingly little baseball action for a baseball bio. Based on Stump's “Cobb: A Biography.” 128m/C VHS, DVD . Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Wuhl, Lolita (David) Davidovich; D: Ron Shelton; W: Ron Shelton; C: Russell Boyd.