AMERICAN UMPIRE, a thought-provoking documentary about U.S. foreign policy, chronicles how the United States became the world's policeman and questions how long the U.S. must continue to play this role. Narrated by Jim Lehrer, formerly of The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour,and written by award-winning historian Elizabeth Cobbs, the film explores the history of American military intervention and the future of America's military commitment abroad. AMERICAN UMPIRE combines archival footage with candid interviews from former secretaries of state George Shultz, Madeleine Albright and Condoleeza Rice; General Jim Mattis and Lt. General Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan; Nobel Prize winner Michael Spence; Pulitzer Prize winner David Kennedy; and eight scholars from around the world.
Liu Bo-Jiun is the first female international baseball umpire. “First” seems to be an honor, but in a male-surrounded baseball field, the first female must experience an unprecedented review. As she fixes her eyes on every pitch coming forward, people fix their eyes on every judgment she made. If judgments on pitches were personal out of technical aspects, how about those judgments on people? The game begins at three balls, two strikes and two outs. What about her?
Ex-baseball player Bill Johnson (William Bendix'), failing at many jobs when his ball-playing days are over, reluctantly takes the advice of his father-in-law, Jonah Evans (Ray Collins), a retired umpire, and enters an umpire-training school. Assigned to the Texas League, he does fine until the championship play-offs when a riot develops over one of his calls. The involved player is knocked unconscious in the proceedings and cannot verify that Bill made the correct call. Despite lynch mob plans to at least tar-and-feather him, Bill's family - his daughters Lucy (Gloria Henry and Susan (Connie Marshall ) and his wife Betty (Una Merkel) - help Bill reach the ballpark safely the next day through a series of hair-raising encounters.