Last month, in the “Spring training and special collections in ‘Major League’ (1989)” post, we ran the bases delving into the reel librarian character in Major League (1989). In that film, Rene Russo — in her feature film debut! — plays Lynn Wells, the world-class swimmer-turned-special collections librarian. Going through Russo’s film credits, I hadn’t realized she also returned in the sequel, Major League II (1994). It felt fitting, therefore, to continue the spring training. Shall we?
Major League II was available to watch for free via Amazon Prime.
*MILD SPOILERS BELOW*
The sequel, although released 5 years after the original (and far superior!) film, is set just one year later, as radio commentator Harry Doyle (Bob Uecker) gets us all caught up. Omar Epps has replaced Wesley Snipes as Willie Mays Hays, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) has sold out to corporate sponsorship, and Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) has retired and is the new owner of the Cleveland Indians team. Will they make it to the World Series this year? No pennants for correct guesses. 😉 This sequel is strictly by-the-numbers, with no surprises, or originality.
The sequel begins again during spring training, and catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) learns he has been cut from the team. His knees have finally given out, but he’s been mentoring a younger player. Therefore, Dorn and head coach Lou Brown (James Gammon) ask him to join the team as an assistant coach.
At 19 minutes into the film, he finds himself at home with Lynn. They’re seated around the kitchen table, talking about his future.
Jake: Called everywhere, but nobody’s looking for a 41-year-old catcher with bad knees.
Lynn: Well, it’s not like you don’t have other options. Alan Bellows wants you to join his brokerage firm.
Jake: And Jack Pursoff wants me to head up one of his Pepsi distributorships.
Lynn: And you’d be close to home.
Jake: Yeah, and I’d make a hell of a lot more money than I would as a coach. So what if I never made it to a World Series?
Lynn: Well, I think it’s pretty obvious what you ought to do.
Lynn says this last line softly and in close-up. This scene only lasts a minute, and Lynn has three lines total, but she makes them count. It’s clear that they are still committed to each other, and she supports Jake going back to the team. Plus, this scene sets up the World Series plotline. Reel librarians are so efficient! 😉
We NEVER see Lynn again in this film. Russo’s star had risen in-between the original film and the sequel — she had co-starred in Lethal Weapon 3 in 1992 and In the Line of Fire in 1993, and she was gearing up for the one-two punch of Outbreak and Get Shorty in 1995 — so I suppose they were lucky to get her for one day to make this cameo. It’s odd, though, to me that Rene Russo went uncredited for this cameo.
And of course, there’s no mention of any library in this short scene. You would never know from watching this sequel that Lynn is a librarian. But because we know that from the original film, I’m classifying this sequel as a Class IV film, in which reel librarians make a cameo appearance.
Had you forgotten about the Major League II sequel? Did you ever know that a third outing, Major League: Back to the Minors (1998) even existed?! If you’re tempted to watch the sequels, I would suggest just going back and rewatching the original comedy classic!
- Major League II. Dir. David S. Ward. Perf. Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen. Warner Bros., 1994.
3 thoughts on “A reel librarian returns in ‘Major League II’ (1994)”
A lot of bigger name actors do uncredited cameos in movies as a favor or thank you. Brad Pitt just did it recently.
By this time (5 years later) Renee Russo was now a star, so she couldn’t afford to be officially billed like 10th down the list of credits. Better to go uncredited, while still showing gratitude for her first film role.
That’s a good point, thanks for sharing!