Women were good sports long before A League of Their Own. For a realistic perspective on women's athletics, check out a few non-fiction sports films on video, such as A League of Their Own: The Documentary. Mixing newsreel and actual game footage with interviews from a reunion of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, this lively half hour captures the irrepressible spirit of the pioneer athletes who, between 1943 and 1954, played ball as tough as men.
In 16 Days of Glory, Bud Greenspan's absorbing but melodramatic documentary about the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, women athletes, such as gymnast Mary Lou Retton, take home the gold. Then there's Pumping Iron II: The Women, the quirky, amusing sequel to the bodybuilding film that first brought Arnold Schwarzenegger fame. Following the contestants in the Caesar's Palace World Cup for Women, it poses the question, ''Can a woman be as muscular as a man and still be feminine?'' A League of Their Own: The Documentary: A- 16 Days of Glory: B Pumping Iron II: B-