A blend of comedy, drama and romance, Bull Durham follows the intertwining of three lives brought together by the great American pastime. Crash Davis (Kevin Costner, showcasing his Midwestern charm) is a perennial Minor Leaguer assigned to the Durham Bulls, a hapless team with a long tradition of mediocrity. There he tutors a young, dim-witted pitching prodigy, Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) in the ways of baseball, life, and love. Each strikes up a romance with Annie (Susan Sarandon), the team's "mascot" who takes it upon herself to sleep with a new player every season. Each has his/her own conflict: Crash struggles to end his career with some measure of dignity; Nuke struggles to make it to the "big show"; and Annie struggles to find something more than a roll in the hay -- and of course, Crash and Nuke come into conflict over Annie's affections to further complicate matters. The film treats the sport of baseball with a sort of casual reverence, highlighting both the drama and the humor inherent in the game, illustrated by Annie's numerous references to baseball as "her religion."
Appreciation of the film from 2008 featuring former players, broadcasters, and sports-film aficionados
Interview with Max Patkin, known as the Clown Prince of Baseball, from a 1991 episode of NBC's Today
NBC Nightly News piece from 1993 on the final season of baseball at Durham Athletic Park, where Bull Durham takes place and was shot
New conversation between Shelton and film critic Michael Sragow
Program from 2001 featuring interviews with cast and crew, including Shelton, Costner, Robbins, and actor Susan Sarandon
Two audio commentaries, featuring Shelton and actors Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins
I have probably seen Bull Durham at least 30 times since the movie was first released (VHS, then DVD, now Blu-Ray DVD), and even now, it's as funny and uplifting as ever. IMHO, you do NOT have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this movie, but it certainly helps--especially if you're familiar with Minor-League professional baseball. As a youngster, I remember seeing Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball, perform in person at more than one minor-league game in our city (Reading, PA, now known as Baseballtown, USA). In those days, the clubs did whatever they could to get folks into the stands, and IMHO, Bull Durham is a pretty accurate representation of those times. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins get a lot of screen time, either :-) . Sassy, smart, funny, enduring--take a seat and join The Church of Baseball!
This is a older movie that I originally saw in a movie theater and was delighted when I was able to purchase it from BestBuy at a good price so my wife, who has not seen it, can watch it anytime we want.