The Natural

The Natural

Director: Barry Levinson Cast: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close

4K Ultra HD (Blu-ray - 2 PACK / with Blu-ray)

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The film version of The Natural pulls off the neat trick of conveying the spirit of the Bernard Malamud novel upon which it is based, even while changing both the outcome and the meaning of Malamud's closing chapters. In his first film appearance in four years, Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, a farm boy with a hankering to be a great baseball player. With his faithful homemade bat "Wonderboy" in hand, Roy heads to the big city. En route, he arouses the fascination of the mysterious Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey). Luring the boy to a hotel room, Harriet asks Roy what he wants out of life. Roy brashly responds he wants to be "the best there is," whereupon Harriet whips out a gun and shoots Roy down. Sixteen years later, a humbler Roy Hobbs emerges from the bush leagues to become a 35-year-old "rookie" on the 1939 lineup of the New York Knights. He soon becomes the team's star player, and in so doing once more attracts enigmatic woman Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), the glamorous niece of the Knights' manager Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley) and the mistress of Rothstein-like gambler Gus Sands (a curiously unbilled Darren McGavin). Roy's fascination with Memo compromises his ability to play, but this time he finds salvation in the form the angelic Iris Gaines (Glenn Close), his childhood sweetheart. From this point forward, the script for The Natural bears very little resemblance to the Malamud original. Without giving anything away, it can be said that Roy Hobbs is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compensate for the mistakes of his youth, despite the demonic intrusion of inexplicably spiteful sports writer Max Mercy (Robert Duvall). The Natural elevates the art of slow-motion photography to new heights; while this technique would become precious and boring in later baseball films, it works beautifully here, as does the decision by director Barry Levinson and cinematographer Caleb Deschanel to convey the symbolism inherent in the story in purely visual rather than blatantly verbal terms. (If the characters told you that the story was a retelling of the Camelot legend in baseball terms, would you have watched?) Another plus is the pastoral theme music by Randy Newman, which has been well utilized on sports broadcasts and "human interest" TV documentaries ever since. The baseball scenes in The Natural were staged at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/04/2019
UPC: 0043396544512
Original Release: 1984
Source: Sony Pictures
Format: Blu-ray
Sales rank: 15,344

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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 Young Roy
Rachel Hall Young Iris
Robert III Rich Teb Hobbs
Michael Madsen Bump Bailey
Danny Aiello Emil LaJang
Joe Castellano Allie Stubs
Eddie Cipot Gabby Laslow
Sam Green Murphy
Barry Kivel Pat McGee
Elizabeth Ann Klein Stern Nurse
Darren McGavin Gus Sands
Bernie McInerney Hospital Doctor
Mike Starr Boone
Joseph Strand Home Plate Umpire at Final Game
Ralph Tabakin Al's Customer
Jon Van Ness John Olsen
Gayle Vance Maid at Party
Edward Walsh Newsreel Presenter

Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director
Mel Bourne Production Designer
Philip Breen Executive Producer
Robert F. Colesberry Associate Producer
Patrick Crowley Asst. Director
Caleb Deschanel Cinematographer
Phil Dusenberry Screenwriter
Angelo P. Graham Production Designer
Gloria Gresham Costumes/Costume Designer
Speed Hopkins Art Director
Stu Linder Editor
Mark Johnson Producer
Chris McLaughlin Sound/Sound Designer
James Murakami Art Director
Randy Newman Score Composer
Bernie Pollack Costumes/Costume Designer
Chris Soldo Asst. Director
Roger Towne Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Bruce Weintraub Set Decoration/Design
Jeff Wexler Musical Direction/Supervision,Sound/Sound Designer
Bernard Malamud Source Author

Customer Reviews

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The Natural 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the finest films on baseball I've ever seen, given that it raises some aspects of the game to truly mythic levels. Great work by Redford and Duvall, of course, but the movie is nearly stolen by Wilford Brimley and Richard Farnsworth. Well worth seeing. And his bat is actually called "Wonderboy" not "Wonderbat," as the B&N synopsis states.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a large sports fan, movies about sports always grab my attention. If you ask me, The Natural was not only the greatest baseball movie ever made, but it also ranks amoung the greatest sports movies ever. I strongly recommend this movie to any baseball or movie fan. If you are both, then this movie is definitely for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I watched this movie with my wife, I noticed that among other things, she was actually interested in this flick! The story line kept her attention until the very end. We paused it only for a popcorn-making break. I'd recommend this as not only a great baseball film but as another reviewer said, a great movie about the lessons of life. Finally, my wife reminds me that the film also captivated her for not only the charm of Mr. Redford, but also the interesting contrasts in the three female characters as then moved through Roy Hobb's life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another Robert Redford great. If you enjoy his down-to-earth film style, you'll love this film ... even if you don't like baseball. The film is as much about men & women as it is about the sport. The seductress Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey) is evil incarnate as is the beautiful Memo Paris (Kim Basinger) ... and well ... the sweet Iris Gaines (Glenn Close) is just perfect. If you can't learn a least two or three life lessons from this film, you're just not watching.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Natural is a film version of every kid's dreams, and Roy Hobbs is the type of ballplayer my father describes from his youth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was definitely hollywood-itized. If you have ever read the book, then you would know that the movie does take some drastic changes that were not originally in the book. It is a good baseball movie though. If you ever get a chance, read the book written by Bernard Malamud. Then you will see how many changes occur in this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What is the American pastime? Baseball. When one thinks about a great baseball movie they might say ¿Major League¿ or ¿Field of Dreams.¿ Well, this movie should be included on everybody¿s good sports movie list. Unlike any other baseball movie it shows the realistic yet entertaining flair. ¿The Natural¿ doesn¿t only have a sports side to the plot. It also has some drama and romantic tones that add to the out of this world movie. This story begins on a farm in Chicago with Roy¿s dad and Roy playing catch and expressing towards each other. It continues to change as Roy tries to play and succeed at making the big league. After being shot just before he has a Chicago Cubs tryout, he has to wait sixteen years before he takes another at the baseball field. Only this time he has to play right field instead of the position he grew up to love. The New York Knights sign Roy to a one-year $500 contract. Hobbs wants fame and to be the best that there ever was, but he also has excellent morals. Roy (Robert Redford) isn¿t given a chance to play because the old fat coach doesn¿t want an old rookie to take over for one of his few decent players. Hobbs gets a chance and makes the best out of his opportunity after taking over for the recently killed right fielder. 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. With the addition of Hobbs to the team they are able to get to the World Series, creating the sale back to Pop Fisher of the team. ¿The Natural¿s¿ cast was put together perfectly. Duvall (who plays as the sports reporter), Close, and Redford were fantastic. Madsen, although his role in the movie was short, played a funny entertaining position. Most people have seen Mr. Duvall in at least one of his many movies. He almost always gives a spectacular performance and has done so since his first movie in 1962. Glenn Close adds another great actor into the picture by playing Iris. She has been apart of some hit movies (¿101 Dalmatians¿, ¿Tarzan¿, and ¿Air Force One¿). New York, which is usually known to have good baseball teams, in this movie doesn¿t. Roy comes to a team with not a very good chance to come into even second place in their division. He turns the Knights around in the right direction by hitting the ball very consistently for extra base hits. From Hobbs playing his game the rest of the players on the team become better and have a chance to keep Pop Fisher in. Also, Hobbs doesn¿t let his team down when it¿s a matter of life and for him. Roy gave everything he had to offer to this New York squad and it paid off dividends for them. This film is a good, old-fashioned, sentimental, and even uplifting story. Hobbs answer to the bribe was naturally low. It was a matter of integrity. Thus, the title of the movie symbolizes not only his natural talents, but also on how doing the right thing came natural
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