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The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Sport  |  3 November 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 43,348 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 266 user | 125 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A down-and-out golfer attempts to recover his game and his life with help from a mystical caddy.



(novel), (screenplay)
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2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lane Smith ...
Spec Hammond
Trip Hamilton ...
Frank Greaves
Dougal McDermott
John Invergordon
Danny Nelson ...
Bob Penny ...


A disillusioned war veteran, Captain Rannulph Junah, reluctantly agrees to play a game of golf. He finds the game futile until his caddy, Bagger Vance, teaches him the secret of the authentic golf stroke which turns out also to be the secret to mastering any challenge and finding meaning in life. Written by M. Fowler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

golf | golfer | game | caddy | golf course | See All (139) »


It Was Just A Moment Ago. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 November 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La légende de Bagger Vance  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,516,712 (USA) (3 November 2000)


ESP 249,852,469 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the film is based on fiction, both Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen were real golfers. Jones was the more famous because, among other things, he founded the US Masters tournament in Augusta. See more »


The opening scenes tells Junuh's history in flashbacks by zooming in on photos published in newspapers. Newspapers use black ink, which present a challenge for printing shades of gray. A half-tone process was developed in which photos were printed by using tiny black dots that blend in with the white space around them and appear gray to the eye at a distance. In close-up, the photos should have appeared as a conglomeration of dots. Instead, they appear crisp with smooth gradations, suggesting they zoomed in on actual photos instead of a newspaper. See more »


Rannulph Junuh: Anything else?
Bagger Vance: Just bash the living shit out of it.
See more »


Referenced in Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) See more »


Bluin' the Blues
Written by Henry Ragas
Performed by Muggsy Spanier
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best movie I've seen to become present yourself
4 October 2011 | by (Tilburg, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

You know, there's basically only two ways you can watch movies. You either use them as food for the thinking mind, or you simply sit back and see where it takes you, as if it's the first thing you've ever seen.

In the first way, your mind generates expectations of what it will get to consume. Then it will be presented its food for consumption, and it will start up its filters in order to judge whether the food is good or bad. And every time you think you can fit it with a negative label, you will gladly make known that you made that recognition.

In the other way, you enter the movie fully and openly, without expectations. And as the experience unfolds, you feel into the characters and relate it to your own being.

From the first perspective, this movie is not very good. It's slow, a bit airy-fairy, and the plot quite boring. Your mind will probably already know what's going to happen all the time, and find plenty of negative labels it can paste onto the movie. On to the next one, the next thing to consume, it will tell you.

From the other perspective, this is one of the best movies if not the best ever created in the history of humanity, if you ask me. It gradually unfolds into showing how R. Junuh (Matt Damon) becomes more present in where he is, as he makes crucial steps in his mind and lets go of the baggage that remains inside of it. By following this process and relating to it ourselves, this movie is a wonderful tool for becoming more present and being masterful in whatever we happen to be doing in our own lives.

Bagger Vance (Will Smith) basically tells that the only thing that Junuh can do in order to win this game of golf is let go of his thoughts. The thoughts that tell him who he is or should be in relation to others, what he feels about the present 'situation', or what he needs to do in order to succeed. He learns that he needs to simply drop that self-centeredness, essentially that whining child inside, and let the moment that is already there take him over instead of his mind.

By doing so ourselves during the movie, we might become more present too as our thoughts fade to the background and as we become more aware of what's going on around us, instead of being absorbed only in what's going on inside the screen, behind the electronic window. We can get into that state where we feel our environment, where we drop all mental baggage, and where we can simply excel in what we do, whatever it is that apparently wants to be done through us. We can remember how it was before all the mental conditioning started somewhere in our childhood, and become present again. That's the real potential of this movie, the experience it can drag you into. Which is much better than a temporary pleasure, if you ask me.

And is that not the only thing to do in this game we call life? Is that not the ultimate teaching that the Bhagavad Gita and ultimately the mystical branches of all religions point to? In this movie, it's not Bagger Vance that awakens R. Junuh, it simply all happens pretty much independently of anything, in the true experiential recognition of itself. And that's really all we need to know, and the limit of all that we can really get from any type of immersion in media content.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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