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The Natural (1984)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 11 May 1984 (USA)
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1:04 | Trailer
A middle-aged unknown comes seemingly out of nowhere to become a legendary baseball player with almost supernatural talent.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Bernard Malamud (novel), Roger Towne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,240 ( 1,089)
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:

He lived for a dream that wouldn't die. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the newspaper pictures of Memo and Roy is doctored to show the General Motors Futurerama Pavilion from the 1939 to 1940 New York World's Fair in the background. See more »

Goofs

When Pop benches Bump Bailey and sends Roy up to bat for the first time (at around 38 minutes), Bump is walking up the steps of the dugout to the field. When Pop stops him, Bump is clearly holding a bat, since he raises it to his left shoulder as shown from behind. After the quick cut to the front view of the dugout, when Pop is still talking to him, Bump's bat has disappeared from his hand. See more »

Quotes

Roy Hobbs: The only thing I know about the dark is you can't see in it.
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Alternate Versions

There is an edited version which was released in several European countries (e.g. United Kingdom, West Germany). This version edits many dialogue and playing scenes to tighten up the pacing. It runs approx. 14 minutes shorter than the US theatrical version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Darktown Strutter's Ball
(uncredited)
Written by Shelton Brooks
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User Reviews

 
Pick me out a winner Bobby
8 April 2006 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** Wanting to be a professional baseball player since he first picked up a baseball as a little boy Roy Hobbs, Robert Redford, was on his way to becoming one when he was shot and almost killed by a unstable young woman fan whom he met the day before on a train traveling to Chicago where he was to be signed to play for a major league team.

With all of his hopes of becoming a major leaguer dashed and a faded memory at 19 Hobbs, 16 years later, now at the age of 35 is back from playing a year of semi-pro ball to play in the big leagues and see if he still has it as a middle-age rookie and if he can make the team. Playing anywhere he's needed, on the bottom-dwelling New York Knights, and hoping against hope that the manager Pop Fisher, William Brimley,will put him in the lineup. Pop does reluctantly only to find out that Roy was heaven sent to not only win the pennant for the Knights but to save him from being brought out by a bunch unscrupulous shysters and gangsters from his share of stock he has in the team.

At times corny but still very moving story that despite its unbelievable plot is based on a true story that's almost as incredible as the movie itself. On the evening of June 14, 1949 Phillie first baseman Eddie Waitkus was gunned down in his hotel room by a crazed female fan and admirer. Waitkus with a bullet in his gut was left almost bleeding to death with his future as a professional baseball player non-existent. In only a year Waitkus came back, literary from the dead, to guide the Phillie "Whiz Kids" to the 1950 National League pennant! The "Whiz Kids" Won it on the last day of the season, like Roy Hobbs' Knights did in the movie, against the heavily favored Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.

A real crowd pleaser with Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs out to prove to himself, as well as the sports world, that he still has what it takes to be a professional baseball player and comes across his old girlfriend Iris, Glenn Close. Iris unknown to Roy had and is raising his 15 year-old son Ted, Robert Rich III.

The movie "The Natural" has Roy torn between sweet and caring Iris and party girl and gold-digger Memo Paris, Kim Basinger,who together with the sleazy owner of the Knights Judge Prosky and big time bookie and gangster Gus Sands, Darren McGavin, wants Roy to throw the final game with the Pittsburg Pirates. This in order to put out Pop and make a killing betting against the heavily favored Knights.

Playing his heart and guts out Roy's past injury comes back to not only haunt but possibly kill him as his stomach wound opens up causing him to miss three games that the Pirates won. With the pennant on the line Roy, despite orders from his doctor not to, returns for the final do or die game at Knights Stadium and ends it, and his career, with a hot and sizzling Forth of July explosion on a cool windy and lighting struck October evening.

Predictable but still heart-lifting and exciting movie "The Natural" ranks right up there with the best baseball, as well as sports, films ever made. "The Natural" both beautifully and touchingly shows how the human spirit can overcome every obstacle that's thrown in front of it, natural or man made, when it frees itself from all the fears and negativity that's around it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Natural See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,088,381, 13 May 1984

Gross USA:

$47,951,979

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,951,979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Director's Cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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