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The Natural [Director's Cut] [2 Discs] [DVD] [1984]

  • SKU: 8302339
  • Release Date: 04/03/2007
  • Rating: PG
$9.99

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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (69 out of 71)

    Special Features


    • Video introduction by director Barry Levinson
    • Featurettes:
    • When Lightning Strikes: Creating the Natural:
    • Pre-Game: A novelist steps up to the plate
    • The line-up: Assembling the moviemaking team
    • Let's play ball: Filming the show
    • Clubhouse Conversations
    • A Natural Gunned Down: The stalking of Eddie Waitkus
    • Knights in Shining Armor: The mythology of the Natural
    • Extra Innings
    • Heart of the Natural

    Synopsis


    The Natural
    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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • Robert Redford
      Robert Redford - Roy Hobbs
    • Robert Duvall
      Robert Duvall - Max Mercy
    • Glenn Close
      Glenn Close - Iris Gaines
    • Kim Basinger
      Kim Basinger - Memo Paris
    • Wilford Brimley
      Wilford Brimley - Pop Fisher



    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 71 reviews

    97%
    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

      Why Change What Was Perfect Already?

      Posted
      kevman79

      This is a film that needed no Director's Cut whatsoever, and this new cut actually did nothing but lower my opinion of the film. What's to expect? The film was perfect the way it was theatrically. If it's already perfect to begin with, then usually the only way you can go is down from there. Not only has the film itself been altered but the high-def image seems overdone, and the audio, much to my dismay, has been reworked in certain scenes as well. I've never understood this new craze for all these director's cuts we have floating around now. The bottom line is that the director isn't always right, and I can truthfully say that I have seen very few director's cuts that I actually preferred over the original release. Making a movie is a huge cooperative undertaking that involves the creative efforts of scores of people. They all have the same goal, to produce the best film they can, and within the time and budget constraints they have been given by the investors and/or studios. What you get when you're done is what you get. It is what it is. It drives me nuts when I listen to certain directors nowadays complain about how they wished things would have been different. Like how they would have done this or that differently, or how they didn't have enough time or money to finish the film, or they blame someone else involved in the production for hurting or slowing everything down...the only think I can think of is "Wow, that is a really bad director". It is a director's job to guide the production to its succesful completion on time and within budget. If they can't do it, then they shouldn't have signed onto the project. I'll bet every director wishes that they could go back and fix or change things they did when making a film, but the bottom line is that it is all a part of the creative movie making process, and just because something turned out differently than a director envisioned, doesn't mean they should go back and start changing things afterwards. Audiences generally like the film they fell in love with at the theater, therefore, if the audience loves it the way it is, why change it? And finally, just because the director wanted something done a certain way, doesn't necessarily mean everyone else involved in the production agreed with him, and in many cases it was a good thing those other people prevailed, because I have seen some awful director's cuts, and this is one of them...

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Baseball Fairytale

      Posted
      royvee
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      "The Natural" has a lot of elements from baseball lore, evoking Babe Ruth, the ruthless team owner and his conspirators, and a lot of baseball cliches. If you like baseball and suspend disbelief like you would for any fairytale, this movie might be for you. Unlike "Major League," which also borrows cliches from baseball, this one is more sentimental for the good, old glory days of baseball rather than comic relief ala "Major League." I'm an admitted baseball sentimentalist, so I would recommend this movie to other baseball sentimentalists.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic Robert Redford

      Posted
      Drizzle14
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I bought this movie on a whim because I remembered it from my days as a child when I watched it with my family. Baseball is America's past time and this story is excellent with a bit of make believe mixed in with it as well. What if some baseball player, who came from nowhere, was as good as Roy Hobbs? Can you imagine if something like this happened in real life? This is a great family movie to watch with your kids on a Saturday night.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      A timeless sports-movie classic.

      Posted
      Nukegunner
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      A great feel-good sports-movie classic. One of the best baseball movies ever made despite the stars lack of actual skill for the real game. The blue-ray edition is a nice change with high-definition on the big screen making the stadium scenes even better. The story-line is great and uplifting for the whole family to watch and keeps you involved throughout. It's one of "those" movies you can watch again and again over the years and still enjoy each time.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      A true classic

      Posted
      BipD
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      I absolutely love this movie. It is one of my favorites and I'm glad to see that the picture quality is pretty good here with the BR conversion. Sometimes when you see this movie in SD on television (I can't help but watch it if it is on) the quality looks poor on a bigger screen, but this HD version is fine for watching on a bigger screen. Thoroughly recommend.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

      Warning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Posted
      DrSyn

      This is one of my all time favorite baseball films ever, the problem with this Blu Ray is that the packaging looks like the the new Director's Cut and even rings up that way, but this is really the the original PG theatatrical. Still a really good film, but if you're looking for the new cut, this is not it.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      One of Redford's bests

      Posted
      BradmanTX
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Almost "greek tragedy" like Plot with the fall of a great man, his humbling and his redemption. One of my all time favorite movies with superb acting, great cast and tremendous soundtrack. Along with Field of Dreams, might be the best baseball fictional movies of all time.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great baseball movie

      Posted
      Dragonsfyre
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      This is an old favorite that has enough of a character study to allow the characters to interact with meaningful intent. It tells a story of a man who got one of life's second chances and made the most of it. Truly inspirational story of what can be.

      I would recommend this to a friend



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