A League of Their Own

Movie: Directed by Penny Marshall

Hook: Dottie is busy and fulfilled, caring for her parents’ farm and her husband’s dairy while he’s away at war. She takes care of her kid sister, which frustrates Kit, who wants to grow out of Dottie’s shadow, particularly on the baseball diamond, where they both play in a women’s league.

Inciting Event: Dottie agrees to join the new women’s baseball league (which has been created in the absence of the “kings” of baseball who are away at war), only to help Kit. Dottie herself isn’t particularly interested in leaving home to seek glory, but she does it because she feels it’s best for her sister. Even though Dottie is the better player, she isn’t really interested in fulfilling that role.

First Plot Point: The Rockford Peaches play their first game—meeting their manager, washed-up Joe Dugan, who has no intention of leading them. Without any real intention of leadership, Dottie steps up to take care of the team, creating the lineup and giving the signals to the batters.

First Pinch Point: Dottie’s management of the team—and the players’ own talent—finally perks up Joe’s attention, and Dottie’s own leadership inspires him to beginning managing the team in his own right.

Midpoint: When the players learn their league is struggling, Dottie leads the charge with theatrical stunts that bring in crowds, inspiring the other players to do the same.

Second Pinch Point: When Kit struggles to finish pitching a game, Joe asks Dottie (as catcher) what she thinks. Dottie hedges at first, trying to protect Kit. Joe demands, “What do you think?” and Dottie tells him the truth: “She’s through.” As she begins growing into her own mature leadership, Dottie begins respecting Kit enough to treat her as an adult. Kit feels betrayed, but the rest of the team profits.

Third Plot Point: Kit throws a fit, insisting she is always in Dottie’s shadow. Dottie tries to leave the team, but unwittingly gets Kit transferred to another team instead. When Kit blames it on Dottie, Dottie finally stops letting Kit make excuses and demands she act like an adult and take responsibility for her own actions.

When Dottie’s husband returns, wounded, from the war, she decides to leave the team just before the World Series and go home. She does this in part for Kit, still “mothering” her.

Climax: Dottie finally returns halfway through the World Series to help her team play against Kit’s team.

Climactic Moment: Kit finally wins on her own merits, beating Dottie at the home plate. Dottie’s team loses, but she’s happy Kit has finally grown up.

Resolution: The women’s league prospers in the wake of its successful World Series.

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