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A movie directed by Barry Levinson

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The Natural ~ not a strike out

  • Nov 28, 2000
Pros: .

Cons: ...

Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Barbara Hershey, Richard Farnsworth, Joe Don Baker, Danny Aiello, Robert Posky, Darren McGavin, ‘Super' Joe Charboneau and ta-da Sibby Sisti

A fairly slow but enjoyable movie giving Redford a shot at bat. (Didn't I hear somewhere he played pro ball or college ball?). As a youngster he gains his shot at the Cubs but on the way runs into a fiesty little lady, Hershey, who puts him out of business with the help of her derringer.

Redford holds onto his ideal of becoming a pro ball player and we eventually find him on the Knights, in New York. When at bat he lays into the ball, knocking the cover off of it and gaining the look of team owner, Prosky. Seems Prosky is pulling a little scam in the betting circles, so he hooks Redford up with Basinger, who causes him to lose interest in the game and fall into a batters slump.

Ex-girlfriend, Close, steps up to the plate and gets him back into the game. With his eyes on the stars, he nails a slammer that creates fireworks with the lighting system and the game and the story move on.

While I enjoy Redford, I find a good deal of his movies to be slow and mellow. Perhaps a reflection on the man he is? While in the ball park (War Memorial Stadium) this movie slams home but out of the locker room it pretty much strikes out. Redford is born for baseball-he looks the part, the acts the part-he could be the Natural.

Hershey slides into the movie, gets her error and then steals home. She has always been one of those behind the scene actresses that adds to a movie but never over powers it. Basinger catches a few plays but remains in the dugout for most of the innings. She's never really the leader of the team, mostly playing second string.

Close, however, steals the whole show with her take charge attitude, calling all the players out and promptly taking over and changing the entire line up. Brimley is the team owner who conducts himself in his usual erudite attitude.

Director: Barry Levinson; Music Composer: Randy Newman; Writers: Roger Towne and Phil Dusenberry. Nominated for four Academy Awards


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Farm boy Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is the best baseball player anyone has ever seen. His bat, handmade from the wood of a tree felled by lightning following the death of his father, is magic in his hands. But before his career can start, the mysterious Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey) inexplicably shoots him, sidelining him for more than a decade. Fifteen years later, Hobbs returns to play for the New York Knights, whose coach, Pop Fisher (Wilfred Brimley), begrudgingly accepts the aging rookie as a member of the team. Pop is as surprised as the rest of the team when Hobbs knocks the ball out of the park time and again and can still play a mean outfield as well. However, when the politics of the business side of the game get in the way, Hobbs has to make some life-changing decisions. Meanwhile, he becomes involved with Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), a sultry siren with her own agenda. Glenn Close plays Iris, the hometown girl whom Hobbs left behind but never forgot. Director Barry Levinson (DINER, RAIN MAN) m...
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Cast: Glenn Close
Director: Barry Levinson
Release Date: 1984
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (April 03, 2007)
Runtime: 2hr 24min
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