The Scout

The Scout Information

The Scout is a 1994 motion picture starring Brendan Fraser and Albert Brooks and directed by Michael Ritchie, the director of The Bad News Bears.


Al Percolo (Albert Brooks) is a major league baseball scout with the New York Yankees who attends a game at a small college to see pitching phenom Tommy Lacy (Michael Rapaport). He happens to be a fan of the film King Kong and he remarks to his fellow scouts sitting in the crowd that he is looking for King Kong. After the game, Al gets himself invited to dinner at Tommy's house and convinces him and his devoutly Catholic parents that he should sign a contract with the Yankees, which he eventually does. Just as he is about to make his major league debut, Al's latest discovery suffers an extreme case of stage fright ("I made a mistake. I need The Lord.") that leads him to vomit on the pitcher's mound at Yankee Stadium.

After Lacy's "embarrassing" outing, Al is banished to the Mexican countryside. While attending a game in Mexico, the very desperate Percolo finds Steve Nebraska (Brendan Fraser), a young American with a perfectly consistent 100+ mph fastball and who, as a bonus, hits home runs on seemingly each at-bat. When Al sees what he has discovered, he exclaims, "I found him! I found him! I found Kong! Oh my God Almighty!" Steve is also very popular with the fans, especially females as he has acquired a cigar box full of telephone numbers during his time in Mexico.

Percolo notifies the Yankee brass of his find, but he is unceremoniously fired and told not to bring anyone back. Undaunted, he takes Steve back to the United States with him, becoming his unofficial agent in the process, but not before Steve freaks out in the middle of the terminal at Newark International Airport when he momentarily thinks Al is missing. Al arranges an open audition at Yankee Stadium in front of representatives from every MLB team. A bidding war ensues after Steve effortlessly strikes out Keith Hernández and homers off Bret Saberhagen. (Both athletes play themselves in the film.) Nebraska soon signs a $55 million contract -- which, in 1994, would have been the highest-paying contract in baseball history -- with Al's old team, the Yankees.

Difficulties arise as Yankee management demands that the eccentric Steve be psychiatrically evaluated in order to ensure he will not turn out to be as unstable as Al's earlier finds. Al picks a psychiatrist named "H. Aaron" out of the Yellow Pages, appreciating the similarity to Hank Aaron and expecting a quick evaluation, followed by a massive payday for both Steve and himself. However, the doctor (Dianne Wiest) finds Steve to be a deeply troubled young man, so severely abused as a child that he's blocked just about every memory of his early life.

Al begs the doctor to grant a positive evaluation, promising her that Steve will undergo therapy before beginning his professional career. She gives her reluctant consent.

When the Yankees reach the World Series. Steve is contractually obligated to pitch in Game 1, despite not being mentally prepared to do so. By the night of the big game, Steve ends up atop Yankee Stadium, refusing to come down to pitch. Al pleads with him to play. However, his conscience gets the better of him and Al offers the kid a chance to walk away from it all, no strings attached. "Maybe we'll become closer since nobody on the planet's gonna want to talk to either of us", says Al.

The scout's loyalty convinces Steve to face reality (as well as realizing that the worst that can happen is that he'll lose, which he says is not so bad since half the players lose every day). Steve is then brought down to the field in a helicopter - an idea that is actually Al's, but which Yankee owner, George Steinbrenner (playing himself) takes credit for himself.

Not only does Steve return to the field, he pitches a perfect game, striking out all 27 St. Louis Cardinals batters on 81 consecutive strikes (this has never been known to happen at any level of organized baseball). Facing Ozzie Smith (playing himself) with two outs in the ninth inning, Steve's final pitch is so fast that it knocks down his catcher and the home plate umpire. Steve also hits two solo home runs (even though in American League parks there's supposed to be a designated hitter - but AL teams CAN choose to have their pitchers bat) to account for the only scoring in a 2-0 Yankees victory (which Steve quite literally wins all by himself). Though the Yankees won the Series opener, it is never made clear who won the Series overall.


In a July 1999 interview with Gavin Smith in Film Comment, Brooks said that The Scout was originally intended for Rodney Dangerfield. "It was lying around, never going to get made, and I said I would like to do that."

Brooks said that he contributed to a rewrite of the script because "it was written very silly". The version he worked on, he said, "did not end like 'Rocky' with that bullshit big ending"; according to Brooks, however, the studio forced Ritchie to change the ending.


Bob Costas, Tim McCarver, Tony Bennett, John Sterling, Keith Hernández, Bret Saberhagen, George Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, Ozzie Smith and Bobby Murcer among others, play themselves in the film.


Reviews for the movie were predominantly negative, with TV Guide stating "THE SCOUT feels like a classic case of too many cooks spoiling the broth." Variety also negatively reviewed the film, saying that Brooks and Ritchie "never quite commit to either of the movie's disparate chords -- bailing out of the batter's box in terms of the psychological drama and, after some amusing moments at the outset, generally steering clear of broad comedy." TIME's Richard Schickel praised the film, saying "The Scout is the best comedy-fantasy about baseball ever made, which goes to show that if Hollywood keeps trying, eventually someone will get it right."

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Scout_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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