An unknown middle-aged batter named Roy Hobbs with a mysterious past appears out of nowhere to take a losing 1930s baseball team to the top of the league in this magical sports fantasy. With the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree, Hobbs lives the fame he should have had earlier when, as a rising pitcher, he is inexplicably shot by a young woman. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Hobbs and the team celebrate around the piano, and while singing "Darktown Strutters' Ball", a popular song by Shelton Brooks, published in 1917, Roy falls ill. See more »
The baseball cards of Roy Hobbs rolling off the printing press are clearly meant to be those manufactured by the Playball Company (which produced cards from 1939-41). And though the film takes place during the 1939 season, the card style corresponded to Playball's 1941 set. See more »
A wonderful, magical fairy tale, and morality play. This is the type of movie that as a new father, I cannot wait until my son is old enough to watch this with me.
I know much has been made about Redford being too old to play Roy Hobbs. But much of the story asks you to believe in incredible things, so to me, this is a minor issue.
Everything about this movie is first rate. The cast which includes Redford, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley and a pair of terrific performances turned in by Robert Duval and Darren McGavin.
It is easy to see that all of the actors trust the material and believe in their characters.
Barry Levinson tells the story in a straight forward style, he doesn't try to build any false suspense or surprise twists. When you watch this movie you know exactly what is going to happen long before it does, but you don't care, because it unfolds intelligently and without pretense.
My two favorite components of this movie are the cinematography by Caleb Deschanel and the beautiful, moving score composed by Randy Newman. I first enjoyed Mr. Deschanel's work on "Being There", and felt Mr. Newman's score for "Ragtime" was the best score of 1981.
"The Natural" is so much more than a baseball movie. It is a story about faith, good and evil, right and wrong, fathers and sons. It is about all that is good in baseball and in life.
10 out of 10
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