American Yankee

Title: American Yankee
Genre: Political Love Story
Screenplay: David M. O’Neill
Locations: New York, Nicaragua
Period: 1989
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American Yankee Video Clips: Contra Sandinista War Contras

American Yankee is the tale of a one-time washed up NY Yankee baseball player whose last fateful pitch saves a third-world nation from the fate of its own killing Fields.

Brooks Crawford, a highly paid New York Yankee relief pitcher, can only stand by as his decade-long marriage crumbles right before his very eyes. Washed up personally and professionally, Crawford’s makes a last stand for credibility. To get his prized 100 MPH fastball back, he travels to Managua Nicaragua at the tail end of the Contra-Sandinista conflict to work with baseball’s pitching and coaching great, Osniel Echevarria.

As the country’s first democratic election looms, so does factional fighting between Sandinista forces, and CIA backed guerillas. Crawford meets American, ex-patriot Faith St. Thomas who works tirelessly as a Witness For Peace (WFP) advocate who positions for a secure, safe and fair election between the embattled political parties. The world waits as Nicaragua gears up for its first and free election in decades and Crawford’s political growing presence dangerously gains in exponential popularity. Targeted by the intricate means of paramilitary organizations, Brooks and Faith find themselves facing an exponential threat.

Committing, for the first time, to something much larger than the precision of high-inside fastball, Crawford embraces the dangerous geopolitical setting and that of his new love, Faith.

As the election looms, Nicaragua teeters on regional conflict and the outbreak of a violent civil war. Crawford, thinking little of his prized fastball, sends for eleven more American ballplayers with a raw and distinct plan of his own.

Acting as a self-appointed ambassador of good will and election observer, Brooks takes the rigging of Nicaragua’s elections into his own hands. Barnstorming the countryside with an infectious brand of country baseball, Brooks, Faith, the Managua Giants and his own Dirty Dozen of Ex-Pat ballplayers confront those factional forces throughout the region that would otherwise intimidate voter turnout. Orchestrating strategic exhibition baseball games near all of the polling stations, Brooks intersects the best of what American exports – baseball, with its worst – that of the export of third world politics.

Now having learned the game he loves can be played for so much more, Crawford is called back up to the majors to confront the Oakland Athletics in the 1990 World Series. Throwing the winning series of pitches to secure the World Series Championship, Crawford redeems in the face of unimaginable odds and finds a new love along the way.

  • Player 5150, writer - director (David M. O'Neill)
  • The Black Tulip - writer
  • Five Aces - writer-director
  • Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden - writer-director
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    35 m
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • 20th Century, Firstlook, Snag Films
Director Biography

Screenwriter and Filmmaker David M. O’Neill’s latest written and produced feature film, “The Black Tulip,” was selected by the Afghan Film Commission as its official, 2011 Academy Award entry for Best Foreign language Film.

David's work was also among those favored in the 83rd Academy Awards as eligible and considered for best original screenplay. Awarded Pen USA’s 2013 prestigious “Freedom to Write Award,” the Black Tulip went on to win a number of international festival entries, was critically recognized by The New York Observer and released worldwide through Snagfilms.

O’Neill’s screenwriting career began when his novel-adaptation of Jack London’s period epoch, Martin Eden was purchased by Academy Award-winning “Babette’s Feast” producer - Joost Betzer - Variety. From there, O’Neill went on to sign with the William Morris agency, move to Paris penning William Wharton’s – Last Lovers, compose Denmark’s Hans Lemborne’s Marilyn, and write the English-speaking version of “Out of Africa’s” Isaak Denison’s Babette’s Feast. From there he later began the adaptation of Oriana Fallaci’s – A Man.

Santa Monica Studios then found O'Neill right for their long-anticipated passion piece, Lady Godiva. David’s drafts of the medieval tale of love and action-adventure were ultimately novelized and released worldwide through Whittaker Publishing.

David’s focus later expanded to combine screenwriting and directing his own personal work with 20th Century Fox’s Five Aces starring Charlie Sheen and Chris McDonald. O’Neill went on to capture Ft. Lauderdale’s Int. Film Festival’s “Spirit of Independent Filmmaking Award.” His second writing/directing effort was First Look Studios’ worldwide release of gambling thriller, Player 5150. The film starred Ethan Embry, Kathleen Robertson, Boardwalk Empire’s Chris McDonald, and Argo / Shawshank Redemption’s Bob Gunton.

Currently partnered with Crosswind Films, O’Neill writes and packages screenplays, attends world markets, develops financial partnerships, locates, acquires and creates intellectual property to be adapted for the screen.

Please visit at Crosswind Films to view past productions and new works in development.

Awards: The Black Tulip – Freedom to Write Award. Afghan Film Official Entry - Best Foreign Film, Motion Picture Academy Awards. Official Academy screenplay consideration. NY International Film Festival – Official Selection. Salento International Film Festival – Best Feature Film. Boston International Film Festival – Best Feature Film. Beverly Hills Film Festival – Golden Palm Grand Prize. Cinequest – Official Selection. International Digital – Screenwriter. Ft. Lauderdale Int. Film Festival – Writer-Director – Spirit of Independent Filmmaking Award. William Morris Agency – Writer of the Week. Monte Carlo Charity – Best Feature.
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree – Graduate of the University of Oregon. Scholarship Winner, American Conservatory Theatre – San Francisco. Post Grad – University of Washington, Arizona School of Business - Scottsdale.

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Director Statement

From time spent living in Managua Nicaragua, American Yankee was born and written from a magical and terrifying experience traveling the Nicaraguan countryside during the tale end end of the Contra-Sandinista war. Finding the most American thing in the midst of a draconian U.S. foreign policy, ex New York Yankee pitcher Brooks Crawford finds himself to be a reluctant hero who saves a country from the fate of their own Killing Fields.