7.5/10
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The Natural (1984)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 11 May 1984 (USA)
Trailer
1:03 | Trailer

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

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Bernard Malamud (novel), Roger Towne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,045 ( 66)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Roy Hobbs
Robert Duvall ... Max Mercy
Glenn Close ... Iris Gaines
Kim Basinger ... Memo Paris
Wilford Brimley ... Pop Fisher
Barbara Hershey ... Harriet Bird
Robert Prosky ... The Judge
Richard Farnsworth ... Red Blow
Joe Don Baker ... The Whammer
John Finnegan ... Sam Simpson
Alan Fudge ... Ed Hobbs
Paul Sullivan Jr. Paul Sullivan Jr. ... Young Roy
Rachel Hall Rachel Hall ... Young Iris
Robert Rich III ... Ted Hobbs
Michael Madsen ... Bump Bailey
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Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The best there was! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mejor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,088,381, 13 May 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$47,951,979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although big league baseball players at the turn of the twentieth century sported long hair, handlebar mustaches, and pork chop side burns, it had changed by the time of this story. The strict edict of the day from the Commissioner of Baseball required a player to possess a clean shaven countenance. This continued right up to the early 1970s and included everyone; even the Black and Latin American prospects were compelled to comply, and yet, Manager Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley) and coach Red Blow (Richard Farnsworth) both sport thick walrus mustaches. See more »

Goofs

During the singing of the National Anthem the woman singer adds a high note to "free" when she sings "land of the free," something that didn't start happening until decades later when singers sought to promote themselves, rather than the Anthem. See more »

Quotes

Pop Fisher: People don't start playing ball at your age, they retire!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in It's Garry Shandling's Show.: The Natural (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Memo
(uncredited)
Composed and Conducted by Randy Newman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Ultimate Sports Fantasy Movie
25 October 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is THE classic sports-Walter Mitty-fantasy movie, with an ending that may seem corny to cynical critics or those who prefer the book, but was perfect for me and a lot of other people.

Granted, I am a little biased in my review since the movie was made in the area in which grew up. Having made many trips to the ballpark in which the movie was filmed, and to the old-fashioned soda shoppe where Robert Redford and Glenn Close re-unite, this movie was special to all of us in Western New York. It always a kick, too, (and a bit odd) to watch the final scene since the opposing pitcher is a personal friend.

I think I would have loved this movie regardless of the "home-field advantage." It's an interesting, involving story that has you really rooting for Redford's character. To have actors like Close, Robert Duvall, Richard Farnsworth, Kim Basinger, Wilfred Brimley, Darren McGavin, Barabara Hershey, Robert Prosky, Joe Don Baker and others in the "lineup" doesn't hurt, either!

The cinematography is beautiful, too. That was something I never really appreciated until after several viewings. There are some wonderfully subdued brown and golden hues in here. This is very pretty motion picture.

All the characters - the good and the bad, and there are plenty of both - are fascinating. It's also nice to see an actor in a baseball film that actually knows how to throw, hit and field a baseball. This is a great, old-fashioned storytelling.


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