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


Robert Redford


Steven Pressfield (novel), Jeremy Leven (screenplay)
2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... Bagger Vance
Matt Damon ... Rannulph Junuh
Charlize Theron ... Adele Invergordon
Bruce McGill ... Walter Hagen
Joel Gretsch ... Bobby Jones
J. Michael Moncrief ... Hardy Greaves
Peter Gerety ... Neskaloosa
Lane Smith ... Grantland Rice
Michael O'Neill ... O.B. Keeler
Thomas Jay Ryan ... Spec Hammond
Trip Hamilton Trip Hamilton ... Frank Greaves
Dermot Crowley ... Dougal McDermott
Harve Presnell ... John Invergordon
Danny Nelson Danny Nelson ... McManus
Bob Penny ... Laidlaw


A disillusioned war veteran, Captain Rannulph Junuh, 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


Some Things Can't Be Learned. They Must Be Remembered. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

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 Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. 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 »


Bagger Vance: See, the trick is... to find your swing...
Rannulph Junuh: What'd you say?...
Bagger Vance: Well you lost your swing... We got to go find it... Now it's somewhere... in the harmony... of all that is... All that was... All that will be...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The DreamWorks logo, the 20th Century Fox logo, and the opening credits are all silent when the film opens, except for the sound of the wind and crickets of the golf course. See more »


Referenced in Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) See more »


King Cotton March
Written by John Philip Sousa
Performed by The Williams Fairey Band
Courtesy of Chandos Records Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

The great game of golf
24 March 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

What I really liked about The Legend Of Bagger Vance is the great care that director Robert Redford did in evoking the feel and ambiance of Savannah, Georgia in the Great Depression. I really did feel like I was back in that time watching this story about a match between the greatest golfers of their era, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. A match where a local man, Matt Damon gave the greats a run for their money.

Harve Presnell one of Savannah's leading citizens has invested everything in the development of a new golf course and when stock market crashed he loses everything and takes his own life. Staving off her father's creditors Charlize Theron vows that this course will open and will feature a match between the two best of their time Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. However for a little local rooting interest the townsfolk insist on a local player in with the big guys.

Said local player is Matt Damon who went to war in 1917 and came out bitter, disillusioned and drunk. Back in the day people in Savannah thought Damon might have a future in professional golf then really at its beginning. But he hasn't swung a club in a decade.

This entire story is seen through the eyes of young J. Michael Moncrief who in time grows up to be Jack Lemmon who appears at the beginning and end of the film in his farewell role. Lemmon also provides the narration for The Legend Of Bagger Vance.

Damon eventually accepts, but it's only when Will Smith comes along playing the title role as a most mysterious man who offers to be his caddy that Damon plays. Smith imparts some real life lessons that both Damon and young Moncrief take in.

Other than Will Smith the only time you see any black people in the film is when Damon is discovered, living reclusively, drinking heavily and in a poker game with several black people. In segregated Savannah of the Twenties while you see a genteel version of the South it still has its racist mores and only Damon and Moncrief break them. The only black face you see in the crowds at the celebrated match is Will Smith's.

Joel Gretsch as Bobby Jones and Bruce McGill as Walter Hagen exactly fit the conception I had of both Jones and Hagen. They were as different as baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Hagen was a cheerful hedonist who was quoted as saying he didn't want to be a millionaire just live like one. Jones was the epitome of clean living and good sportsmanship. Among those covering the match was Grantland Rice played here by Lane Smith in his farewell role.

How the match comes out is for you to watch the film for. But some life lessons are learned by all the players.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

3 November 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Bagger Vance See more »

Filming Locations:

Beaufort, South Carolina, USA See more »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,516,712, 5 November 2000

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX | SDDS | DTS-ES


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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