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If you’re a child of the 1980s, lucky enough to have grown up during the 1990s VHS era, and smart enough to have watched The Sandlot a few dozen times, you probably know the movie by heart. We all know and love these kids—from Squints to Repeat and Yeah Yeah to Ham, the movie was a classic that served as a vicarious summer season for an entire generation of kids across the country.
What you likely didn’t know, though, was the origin behind the film’s most iconic line, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!" and what the actors were up to while making this movie. Fortunately for us, director David Mickey Evans and most of the main actors just reunited at a screening celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary and shared some pretty cool stories.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s most memorable quote—immortalized forever in the pantheon of classic movie lines—was completely improvised. Evans not only revealed this, seemingly for the first time, but added that the Japanese translation is equivalent to, “Hurry up! My clothes are going out of style!” While that doesn’t really roll off the tongue quite as well as, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” It’s sort of growing on me.
While we, as viewers, love The Sandlot for allowing us to relieve a hot summer in the San Fernando Valley, and use this film as a nostalgia-laden coming-of-age experience from our own childhoods, the actual production seemed to be just as memorable. Patrick Renna, or as we know him, Ham, told The Hollywood Reporter Evans used to direct “on a bullhorn, just shouting lines.” That sounds kind of dictatorial and unpleasant, but Renna recalls it fondly, saying it was “so great” to have the director screaming expletives to repeat. On top of that, the child actors seemed to have even more fun off set, revealing they got up to no good, albeit in the most harmless of ways. "We all snuck into Basic Instinct when it came out," the boys admitted. Surely, at least some part of Sharon Stone is etched into their collective memories forever.
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Obviously, we all have our own favorite lines from this classic 1993 baseball movie. Personally, I’m sticking with, “Hurry up! My clothes are going out of style!” But what about the actors? In their THR talk, they referenced the lines “Bake him like a toasted cheeser” and “You bob for apples in the toilet, and you like it.”
While I’m definitely going to try that last one out this weekend, it’s sort of a shame we never got a worthy sequel to this movie with even more all-time one-liners. If you’re feeling like me, in that regard, don’t worry—the cast is pretty open to more Sandlot shenanigans. At least the director is, responding to a question about a potential sequel with, “I’m in. You guys in?” Hopefully, if this happens, it does so sooner rather than later. It’s been 25 years, after all, and my clothes are going out of style.