The Natural

The Natural

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

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

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Overview

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: 13,424

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

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