"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, September 27, 2008

SNMR 5.15: "The Natural"

Tonight's SNMR feature is "The Natural" (1984,PG,138 minutes), starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Robert Duvall, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth, Barbara Hershey and Robert Prosky. The film was directed by Barry Levinson.

PLOT SUMMARY: This is the story of fictitious baseball player Roy Hobbs (Redford) and the New York Knights. Roy is a young phenom on his way to a tryout with the Chicago Cubs. On the way to the tryout, he gets sidetracked and his life goes in a different, unplanned, direction. Sixteen years later, a middle aged Roy Hobbs gets his chance to show what he can do on the field.

MY OPINION: I think this is one of the better baseball movies ever made because it is not just a story about baseball. It's a story about desire and dedication. It's a story about missed opportunities and taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you. It's also about family and the importance of relationships.

The cast in this film is phenomenal- The lifelong sweetheart (Close), The pesky newspaper reporter (Duvall), The temptation (Basinger) and even the manager (Wilford Brimley) are superb. Barry Levinson does a great job directing the movie. Sure, the film has it's hokey moments, like when Hobbs a) has his ball get struck by lightning, knocking the cover off of it (like his manager told him to do) b) having a home run shatter the clock and c) having a home run shatter one of the lights which causes an impromptu fireworks display. I also appreciate the allusions to real baseball people. Obviously The Whammer (Joe Don Baker) represents Babe Ruth, The Judge (Robert Prosky) represents Charles Comiskey (who was the notorious owner of the Chicago White Sox for many years) and Hobbs represents Ted Williams, a lefty who wore number nine and who, if not for two interruptions in his playing career by stints in the US Army (for WWII and Korea), may have been considered the greatest to ever play the game. Even so Williams is still considered in this argument/discussion.

On the DVD version that I watched, there was an excellent documentary with director Levinson and Cal Ripken, a real life retired baseball player of some note. I would have liked to hear some cast interviews, though.

It's hard to believe that this movie was released twenty-four years ago. Even if baseball is not your thing, this is still a worthwhile movie to watch.

**** out of *****

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