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The Natural (1984)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  11 May 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 32,927 users  
Reviews: 165 user | 52 critic

An unknown comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.



(novel), , 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Sullivan Jr. ...
Rachel Hall ...
Robert Rich III ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Boyhood dreams, a bat made from a tree struck by lightning and most importantly, a never-ending passion for the game. See more »


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mejor  »

Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)


$48,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Newspaper copy on screen doesn't match the accompanying headlines about Roy Hobbs and The New York Knights. The text actually contains stories about bass fishing, horse racing, funeral services for White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, a fan of the New York Giants, and a sports column about General John J. Phelan, who was (actual) chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission in the late 1930s. See more »


After the bat boy hands Roy the Savoy Special, Roy reaches down, rubs his hand in the dirt, and wipes it on his right back pocket. In the very next shot, the pocket is completely clean. See more »


Roy Hobbs: I'll take some coffee, then.
[Hobbs finds ball and glove on couch after viewing framed photos placed on furniture]
Iris Gaines: It's my son's. he means the world to me. he's a great kid.
Roy Hobbs: I'll bet he is. I'd like to meet him.
Iris Gaines: He's coming pretty soon.
Roy Hobbs: Is he with his father?
Iris Gaines: No. His father lives in New York. But, I'm thinking he needs his father; he's at that age. He needs him.
Roy Hobbs: Sure. A father makes all the difference.
Iris Gaines: [music starts as she turns her gaze away from the conversation and whispers] Yeah.
See more »


Spoofed in Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Glory Daze (1992) See more »


The Sidewalks of New York
Music by Charles Lawlor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It's for all time; a baseball mythos
23 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Whenever "The Natural" is on TV, I stop what I'm doing and watch it. I don't know why, exactly. I have been a baseball fan since I was a little kid and love the tradition. There is no other sport that has as much history. It's because one can isolate moments in time. Situations develop. Every announcer says things like, "Bottom of the third, men on first and third, Turley on the mound, Simpson is up, he's two for four today. The wind is blowing out to right field, etc." We can make words visual. In this wonderful movie, a man wants a piece of that tradition. He makes a horrible mistake along the way to the big leagues, and now is given one last chance. This is mythical. This is not realistic. To criticize it on the basis of its credibility is unfair. Even to compare it to the book is unfair. They are totally different. What one does with a camera should not be compared to the printed page. Malamud did his thing and now Barry Levinson is doing his. The cinematography is without peer. It is magical all the way through. The lighting as Glenn Close stands up in the stands is mesmerizing. This is more Greek myth than baseball story, but it is a baseball story, with the Ruth like gods and the day-to-day players. Roy Hobbs is like all of us in some ways and we love him for his endurance, patience, and drive. Redford brings him to life with that rugged face moving away from lost youth. It's a fine film.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Redford miscast for lead role? Lancer01
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