It's the start of the minor league baseball season, and Annie Savoy, for who baseball is *the* religion, is going through the annual process of choosing the one player on her home team of the Durham Bulls of the Carolina League, he who she will take under her wings, sexual and otherwise, solely for the season, and who has always gone on to have his best year as a player. She has narrowed her choice to two recent acquires: Ebby Calvin LaLoosh, the wild neophyte pitcher with a wicked fastball - the pitch on which he solely relies - but can't aim, the more he thinks about it, the more erratic the pitch gets, while he doesn't appreciate anyone criticizing him or it in believing he knows best in his lack of self-awareness; and catcher Crash Davis, the veteran who has been around the minor leagues for twelve years and who was brought in solely to harness and reign in Ebby's power. While Ebby would gladly accept Annie's offer in seeing sex as an inherent part of his being, Crash, who is as ...Written by
There are several scenes showing the seating section for the wives of players. The sign says "Player's Wives". Unless the team has a bigamist, it should read "Players' Wives". See more »
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's ...
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Crash Davis loves baseball more than it loves him. He believes in the game. He deserves to be in the show, but he isn't and never will be. But still he plays on, dutifully and to a certain extent, joyfully. Better to play crappy A-ball than sell shoes.
That for me is the central theme of this film. It is all summed up when Crash tells Nuke, the wild young star pitcher "You don't respect yourself. That's your problem. You don't respect the game. That's my problem."
Take a player that passionate, and a youngster that annoying, add in a sexy yet maternal fan and you have great comedy. Bull Durham works scene after scene, because the film never forgets that baseball is what binds all the characters together.
Tim Robbins is nothing short of brilliant and Nuke Laloosh, the rising star youngster who walks 18 batters and strikes out 18 batters in his first minor league appearance - both league records. But Nuke is caught up in his fat contract, his Porsche, and his endless parade of women. Baseball is a sideline. Eventually, Crash's mentoring begins to pay off until he finally realizes that winning is "like, you know, better than losing!"
The love triangle between Annie (Susan Sarandon), Crash and Nuke is wonderful and funny, but it mainly provides us with set up for the baseball scenes, like when Sarandon convinces Nuke to wear women's underwear while he pitches. Or my favourite scene, when Annie and Crash take batting practise together, Annie dressed like she is ready for a wedding, but determined to correct Crash's swing. Crash is determined to take Annie home. They flirt and practice batting in one of the best prolonged foreplay scenes ever filmed.
The ending is satisfying but the real depth of this film is harmony that the game brings to the characters. **** out of ****.
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