Tommy T's Baseball Flix Pix
The Natural (1984)
To say that this movie has just about everything a movie could offer would not be an exaggeration. What do I mean by everything? How's this for starters? Academy-Award winner (and pretty good athlete and one of the all-time great screen heartthrobs) Robert Redford . It's an adaptation of a classic novel by another Academy-Award winning director, Barry Levinson. You want gorgeous women who can act? How about Tony-Award winning and 5-time Oscar-nominated actress, Glenn Close, Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey and one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood - Oscar winner, Kim Basinger? Okay, so the women are all top-notch, what about the men??? Again, nothing but all-stars—including Academy-Award winner Robert Duvall—and solid character actors such as Wilford Brimley, Robert Prosky, Darren McGavin, and Oscar nominee, Richard Farnsworth. (And it was filmed at War Memorial Stadium in my hometown, Buffalo, New York. Yes, that's a big plus...and a whole other article....)
The Story? Well, it's classic movie-making. You want mystery? It's there. You want good versus evil? In there. Rags to Riches (to Rags to Riches to Rags)? It's in there, too. Underdog? Got it. Romance? Yessir. Rekindled Love? Yep. Father/Son in a game of catch? Got that, too. Dramatic ending? Sorry...can't tell you, that's rule Number One in the Reviewer's Handbook—we can't give away (or hint at) the ending.
I know what you're saying: Hollywood has a tendency to take a great story, add the brightest stars, give it great direction and production and the film still has only a 50/50 chance of being a great film. See "The Great Gatsby" starring the same guy that's in this movie.
However, this is a very good movie and one of the best baseball movies of all-time. If you've seen it, see it again. If you haven't, go out and rent it!
I give it a solo shot homer. You knew it was gone as soon as it was hit!
Review by Tom Tilert