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The Natural
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Natural More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Sorry, there something off here

Author: RNMorton from West Chester, Pa
24 April 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Filming of one of the all-time great baseball novels is a hit-and-miss affair. Redford plays phenom sidetracked, due to bizarre circumstances, from the major leagues until his mid-30s. Atmosphere is great, particularly the Knights' wonderful home park (War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, now history). The supporting cast led by Brimley is uniformly good. But there's something off and it's hard to put a finger on it. It may be that things just all seem gothically over-played. And the upbeat ending spoils the message of the original story, where the bitter climax largely defined the tale. Sort of like filming Titanic without the icebergs. If the book wasn't so inspired it might be less of a fault, but given the wonderful source material to work with this movie deserves no more than a 5 out of 10.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:


Author: Peach-2 from Netherlands
9 January 1999

The Natural is a very un-natural baseball film. It seems more a myth of great baseball players and the sometimes super human things that can be accomplished on the baseball field. Robert Redford is very good in the film and the rest of the cast was chosen well. I especially liked Richard Farnsworth and Wilford Brimley. The film isn't a true story, but treats itself with the respect of a great biography. Some will like it, others will be appalled by it. Either way, Randy Newman's score and Caleb Deschanel's cinematography are a good reason to tune in and enjoy this one of a kind baseball picture.

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Author: shepardjessica-1 from United States
24 October 2004

One of the Top 10 of 1984, although it could have delved deeper. Redford is a stoic (even as a young player) and you want Roy to do well, but as with many '80's flicks, they went with the music and the ending. The beginning is great and Barbara Hershey is a definite tarantula type. I think Glen Close was nominated for this, but I can't understand why. It's always nice to see Richard Farnsworth be authentic and Wilfred Brimly is his usual cracker barrell walrus mustache dude. Kim Basinger is lovely and looking lost (although she was fine in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL years later). The mid-80's were so terrible for films that this seemed actually better than it was.

I still give this a 7 out of 10. Best performance = Barbara Hershey. Sports films don't usually cut ANY mustard, but this is pretty good.

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A Must See Movie

Author: Fuinki from Vigo, Spain
23 August 2001

This is a great movie about baseball and a human story of a man who has the Gift, the movie has great photography and a great soundtrack and Robert Redford is splendid like always. If you like this kind of movie you have to see it, because its a movie for always. This movie hasn't aged, never will be an old movie.

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The Perfect Movie

18 August 2001

More that just baseball - a story of the difference between good and evil. The courage that lies within each of us and the opportunity to shine through in one brief moment. There is not a single character out of place - Redford,Close,Duvall,Brimley even Farnsworth.

This is true greatness - Levinson did a GREAT Job

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Hobbs struck out!!!

Author: Baseball Movie Nut from Campbell, Calif.
23 August 2000

No, I'm not talking about the dark ending to Bernard Malamud's classic epic. I know the movie took a decidedly cheerier tack. However, in my latest viewing of The Natural (making it at least 20 times) I was shocked to notice that Roy Hobbs actually struck out just before he deposited Mr. Spaulding into the light tower. Here's the pitch-by-pitch replay:

1. With Youngberry pitching, Hobbs takes a strike on the inside corner: oh and one. 2. Hobbs takes a ball high: one and one. 3. Youngberry is pulled for Rhoades. 4. Hobbs fouls one back, shattering the pressbox window: one and two. 5. Hobbs swings and misses on the next pitch on a blazing fastball on the outside corner. Strike three!! This makes the next pitch (Wonderboy is splintered) and the one after that (dramatic homerun) academic. The Pirates win, Pops Fisher is denied again. Am I coming out of left field here? Did I not see what I thought I saw???

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Absolute screen magic.

Author: Chuck Brown ( from Columbus, OH
24 November 1999

There is a certain class of film which transcends the common art and goes way beyond storytelling as well. This film is one of the handful that does it for me. Talk about your "suspension of disbelief"! This is just plain magic. Every actor is great (and I generally don't have much use for Glenn Close) and the entire texture of every image just feels so rich and full that it defies description. I think the world would be a better place if a couple of films of this caliber could be released each year. I NEVER buy films, but this is one of about 10 that I actually own a commercial copy of. Like a fine feast for most of your senses!

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Although the author of this novel may not have been an ardent baseball fan, he has created a unique sports fable.

Author: JFISH
8 October 1999

How many Roy Hobbs has the modern world sports known? If we're honest with ourselves, the answer is probably "not enough." In today's age of financial greed, hotdogging and the occasional indiscretion with drugs and alcohol, is there room for a 35+ year old power hitting superstar? Director Barry Levinson seems to think so.

In his 1984 film which a reviewer once described as "part Rocky, part Star Wars", Levinson (and screen writer Robert Towne/from the Bernard Malamud novel) provides us with an aging superstar who receives his first shot at "the bigs" 16 years after he'd originally been ticketed for baseball stardom.

Primarily a story of redemption, the film's greatest strength lies with its protagonist--Like so many modern sports heroes, Roy Hobbs has flaws and problems. How he overcomes these imperfections provides us with some of the most uplifting and magical moments in modern cinema. Whether or not you're a sports fan, this film will remind you why we need heroes. And why the actions of our heroes lift us up right along side them, as if we were at bat with them, rapt in the adulation of the fans.

Don't miss your chance to see this erstwhile baseball fable. It may have you dreaming of the day that professional sporting events could once again be like this.

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180 degrees from the novel -- but worth the deviation!

Author: bmcclain ( from Columbia, SC, USA
28 September 1999

A terrific job by the ensemble cast led by Barry Levinson's understated, gentle hand in directing. Beautiful, lush camera work by Caleb Deschanel, who knows how to use shadows better than any other cinematographer ever used light. Randy Newman's spectacular score. Hey, I didn't even mind that you could barely tell it came out of a Malamud story -- it's still a great film. Excellent choice for a weekend rental, even if you're not much into baseball.

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A great surprise...

Author: venkatk from Atlanta, USA
16 September 1999

Was looking for for something to watch on Wednesday evening TV. Did not know the name of the movie playing until the end credits. Enjoyed every moment of it. The creation of sets for early 20th Century New York was great. Some of the scenes, ball hitting the lights etc., were filmed to be a little old-fashioned climax but again that was the point.

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