Roy Hobbs....The Natural







Transforming Bernard Malamud's fabulist first novel into a
mythical morality play, THE NATURAL follows the fortunes of Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) as the 19-year-old farm boy makes his way to try out with the Cubs. 

En route, he wins a bet by striking out the Whammer (Joe Don Baker), a slugger of Ruthian proportions, proving greatness is in his future. But in Chicago, a mysterious woman (Barbara Hershey) lures Roy to her hotel room and shoots him with a silver bullet. 

 

Fifteen years later, in 1939, Roy joins the hapless New York Knights and literally knocks the cover off the ball, leading the team back into contention. 

The Knights' owner (Robert Prosky), who is betting against his own team, sends Roy a beautiful temptress (Kim Basinger) so that he falls into a terrible slump, but his virtuous former girlfriend (Glenn Close) appears to revive his hitting. 

Without using his familiar "Wonderboy" bat for the big game, Roy still blasts an awe-inspiring home run into the lights, setting off a magical shower of fireworks to the strains of Randy Newman's evocative score. 

Somewhat overly sentimental, lacking the novel's subtlety,
and less interesting when the action leaves the ball park, Barry
Levinson's beautifully shot film is nonetheless a charming fairy
tale. Redford, who played baseball at the University of Colorado,
gives an appropriately iconic performance as Roy Hobbs--part
Shoeless Joe Jackson (EIGHT MEN OUT), part Joe Hardy (DAMN YANKEES)--and the supporting roles are also well handled, especially Wilford Brimley as the manager. 

Filmed partly in Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium, a minor league park built in the 1930s, THE NATURAL also offers an appearance by "Super" Joe Charboneau, who had his own miracle season with the Cleveland Indians before disappearing from the big leagues.




Academy Award Nomination:
Best Supporting Actress - Glenn Close
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration - Angelo Graham, Mel Bourne,
James J. Murakami, Speed Hopkins, Bruce Weintraub
Best Cinematography - Caleb Deschanel
Best Original Score - Randy Newman
Country of Origin: U.S.
Genre: Sports
Color or b/w: Color
Production Co(s).: Natural
Released By: Tri-Star
MPAA Rating: PG
Parental Rating: Cautionary; some scenes objectionable
Running Time: 134



Robert Redford  -   Roy Hobbs
Robert Duvall  -   Max Mercy
Glenn Close  -   Iris
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  -  Young Roy
Rachel Hall  -  Young Iris
Robert Rich III  -  Teb Hobbs
Michael Madsen  -   Bump Bailey
Jon Van Ness  -   John Olsen
Mickey Treanor  -   Doc Dizzy
George Wilkosz  -   Bobby Savoy
Anthony J. Ferrera  -   Coach Wilson
Philip Mankowski  -   Hank Benz
Danny Aiello III  -   Emil LaJong
Joe Castellano  -   Allie Stubbs
Eddie Cipot  -  Gabby Laslow
Ken Grassano  -   Al Fowler
Robert Kalaf  -   Cal Baker
Barry Kivel  -   Pat McGee
Steven Kronovet  -   Tommy Hinkle
James Meyer  -   Dutch Schultz
Mike Starr  -   Boone
Sam Green  -   Murphy
Martin Grey  -   Knight
Joseph Mosso  -   Knight
Richard Oliveri  -   Knight
Lawrence Couzens -   Knight
Duke McGuire  -   Knight
Stephen Poliachik  -   Knight
Kevin Lester  -   Knight
Joseph Charboneau  -   Knight
Robert Rudnick  -   Knight
Ken Kamholz  -   Knight
Sibby Sisti  -   Pirates Manager
Phillip D. Rosenberg  -   Pitcher Youngberry
Christopher B. Rehbaum  -   Pitcher John Rhoades
Nicholas Koleff  -   Umpire Augie
Jerry Stockman  -   Umpire Babe
James Quamo  -   Memorial Game Umpire
Joseph Strand  -   Home Plate Umpire at Final Game

Copyright 2003 TV Guide Magazine Group, Inc.



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