The Fan
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The Fan (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Fan can be found here.

Aging hunting knife salesman Gil Renard (Robert De Niro) is ecstatic when the San Francisco Giants sign on three-time MVP baseball player Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes) for the tidy sum of $40 million dollars. However, Rayburn is not so ecstatic when he learns that his lucky number 11, earned while playing with the Atlanta Braves, is already being used by Giants player Juan Primo (Benicio Del Toro), who is not about to give up the number. On opening day, Rayburn suffers a chest injury when he and Primo collide in the outfield, Rayburn loses his lucky 11 necklace, and his game goes downhill from there, while Primo's game soars. Meanwhile, Gil loses his job, and his ex-wife Ellen (Patti D'Arbanville) files a restraining order against him, keeping him from seeing his son. As Gil falls deeper and deeper into his obsession, he starts believing that Rayburn's slump is due to Primo's refusal to give up the 11, so Gil decides to take things into his own hands and help Rayburn re-find his glory.

The film is based on The Fan (1996), a novel by American author Peter Abrahams. The screenplay for the movie was written by American screenwriter and TV producer Phoef Sutton.

Rayburn played center field with the Braves as did Primo with the Giants. When Rayburn was picked up by the Giants, he took over center field, and Primo was re-assigned to left field, as per Rayburn's comment to Primo, "I hope you enjoy left (field)."

As a gift to Bobby, Gil cut off the skin surrounding the #11 branded on Juan Primo's shoulder and hung it in a bag inside Bobby's freezer.

Worried sick about his son, Bobby gets his first chance to bat in the second inning. He makes the hit, but the ball is caught on the fly. "Out!" Sitting anxiously in the news box with Manny (John Leguizamo) and the police, Jewel (Ellen Barkin) receives a call from Gil. She tries to keep him on the line for a trace, but he hangs up too quickly. However, from the background noise, Jewel can tell Gil is somewhere in the stadium. Meanwhile, police have traced the knife to Gil's son, who tells him that his dad likes to take him to the old Stadium in the Sky's our Little League park, so a team is sent there to search for Sean. Bobby gets his second chance to bat in the eighth inning, but the catcher signals the Padre's pitcher to walk him. When Bobby figures out what the pitcher is doing, he angrily tells him to pitch the ball over the plate and tries to hit again, but rain has begun to fall and the umpire calls for a rain delay. When play resumes, Bobby gets two more pitches, striking out on them both. In the pouring rain, the pitcher throws a third time. This time Bobby hits it and starts to run: first base, second base, third base, and he slides home safely, but the umpire calls "Out!" Gil begins to argue with the umpire until he recognizes "Curly" behind the mask. They go hand-to-hand, but Bobby wants only to know where Sean is. Gil won't say, wanting to pitch the ball to Bobby, like they did the other night on the beach. He backs up to make the pitch, but what he's holding is a knife. "Now do you care...just a little bit?", Gil asks. When he moves to toss it, security fires on him. Rather than reveal the whereabouts of Bobby's son with his dying breath, Gil says, "A simple thank you would have been nice." Bobby immediately joins the police at the Stadium in the Sky and finds Sean alive and well. The final scenes are a montage of newspaper articles about Bobby, a collection of bobble heads and jerseys, and an old newspaper article about how little Gil Renard hit the homer that won his Little League team the city championship.

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