The Natural

Drama | English| 138 minutes

Info

Roy Hobbs is a young boy growing up in 1910s Nebraska. When lightning strikes a tree, splintering it, Roy carves a baseball bat from the tree trunk and burns into the bat the word “Wonderboy” into the bat.   Now 19-years-old, Roy bids goodbye to his girlfriend Iris Gaines, and boards  a train to Chicago for a tryout with the Chicago Cubs. On the train he meets a mysterious, seductive woman, Harriet Bird. Harriet invites Roy to her hotel room in Chicago. Shockingly, she shoots Roy in the abdomen. Sixteen years later, now middle-aged, Roy signs on as a rookie with the hapless Knights, a baseball team managed by the avuncular coach, Pop Fisher. Roy becomes a hero as he homers the team into contention. Roy meets the ravishing, but evil Memo Paris, who causes Roy to go into a slump. A disconsolate Roy reunites with Iris, his true love, in Chicago. Both are unmarried, but surprisingly, Iris has been raising their son. When Iris attends a game, Roy breaks out of his slump. Before the championship game, Roy becomes  seriously sick as the surgeon removes the bullet from Roy’s stomach. A recovering Roy manages to appear at the stadium and Pop is elated. But can Roy gather enough strength in what probably will be his last game, and become a hero? And will Roy be able to reunite with Iris and their son?  

Cast
Robert Redford (Roy Hobbs) / Glenn Close (Iris Gaines) / Kim Basinger (Memo Paris) / Wilford Brimley (Pop Fisher)
Why Stream This Film?
Sports journalist James Berardinelli stated  “THE NATURAL is arguably the best baseball movie ever made.”
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 82
  • Metacritic Score: 61
Accolades
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Glenn Close); Best Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel); Best Original Score (Randy Newman)
  • Golden Globes: Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Kim Basinger)
  • Writers Guild of America: Nominated, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Phil Dusenberry, Roger Towne)
THE NATURAL is a fairy tale from start to finish, full of wildly implausible scenes that will win over our emotions because, frankly, that’s the way we’d like life to be. Being a baseball fan involves repeatedly experiencing exquisite pain and exquisite joy. Well, there’s a lot of both in THE NATURAL.
Gene Siskel

Chicago Tribune

“THE NATURAL is an impeccably made fable about success and failure in America.
VARIETY staff

VARIETY

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