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The Natural [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]

Robert Redford , Robert Duvall , Barry Levinson    Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
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From the sun-dappled heartland, a young man (Robert Redford, in soft lighting) emerges as maybe the best baseball player anybody's ever seen. On his way to the majors, he is cut down by an enigmatic black widow (Barbara Hershey) and vanishes for many years. When he reemerges, a silent mystery, he lands a spot with the New York team and begins tearing up the league--he's still the natural. Fans of the Bernard Malamud novel will be dismayed at the pure mythical hokum of this film, but baseball fanatics have been known to watch and rewatch this one; after all, it's constructed as a kind of shrine to the national pastime. Barry Levinson (Rain Man) directs the movie with an unabashed devotion to the game, although the film could use more of the realities of chewing tobacco and pine tar. Redford is fine, and Kim Basinger and Oscar-nominated Glenn Close are effective as the women in his life. The crowning touch is the soaring, extraordinary music by Randy Newman, the singer-songwriter turned orchestral composer. --Robert Horton

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Baseball Film Ever July 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
THE NATURAL, based on the book of the same name by Bernard Malamud, is probably the greatest baseball film ever produced. Why? Because it contains no magical realism, no "tricks," no "gimmicks." It's just a film about second chances and redemption, in this case, redemption through the game of baseball. THE NATURAL is not nearly as dark as the book on which it is based and it's not totally factual in its portrayal of baseball, but who cares? This film gives us something better than facts. It gives us the poetry and lyricism of the game, the magic that made baseball "America's Pastime."
THE NATURAL is the story of Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford), a Midwestern boy who dreams of being "the best" in the world of baseball. Roy's dreams aren't just "pie in the sky." This kid has talent, talent like no one's ever seen before. But, as he's making the trip to Chicago to try out, he encounters Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey), an enigmatic and dangerous woman, and Roy's life changes forever. Sixteen years later, though, Roy Hobbs is given what most people can only long for, a second chance. Yes, this second chance requires a stretch of the viewer's imagination, but not so much that it becomes an impossibility.
I know many people didn't care for Robert Redford's portrayal of Roy Hobbs, but I thought he was perfect. He really makes us believe in Roy and in his dreams and in his principles. I can't think of any other actor who could have carried off this role and carried it off so perfectly. Wilfred Brimley is perfect as Pop Fisher, Hobbs' manager. Robert Duvall as Max Mercy is also perfectly cast as is a very young Kim Basinger as Memo Paris, the woman who wants to be Hobbs' nemesis "the second time around." I didn't particularly like Glenn Close as Iris, but that's just personal preference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie on baseball Sept. 3 2010
Format:DVD
One of my favorite movies on baseball, I knew I wanted this movie before I purchased it. It is a great asset to my collection. What this movie at least 4 times a year. Love it. Highly recomended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Redford at his memorable best July 3 2013
By Dan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A classic, sports-themed movie, with all the struggles of the human condition about love and loss, ambition, failure, perseverance, and eventual success.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of ten March 27 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have watched this movie any number of times and enjoy it each and every time.Another review complains of Mr.Redford's age.Mr.Redford is out standing at any age.Sure there are some minor faults in the movie but then movies are about entertainment and this one is tops with me.Jon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Natural Aug. 13 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very good movie. Robert Redford and Glenn Close are so good together. The story line is good and the ending is great. A very sweet love story. Glad I bought it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Redford to the rescue July 7 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Director: Barry Levinson
Format: Color
Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios
Video Release Date: September 26, 2000
Cast:
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 Jr. ... Young Roy
Rachel Hall ... Young Iris
Robert Rich III ... Ted Hobbs
Michael Madsen ... Bartholomew 'Bump' Bailey
Jon Van Ness ... John Olsen
Mickey Treanor ... Doc Dizzy
George Wilkosz ... Bobby Savoy
Anthony J. Ferrara ... Coach Wilson
Philip Mankowski ... Hank Benz
Danny Aiello III ... Emil LaJong
Joe Castellano ... Allie Stubbs
Eddie Cipot ... Gabby Laslow
Ken Grassano ... Al Fowler
Robert Kalaf ... Cal Baker
Barry Kivel ... Pat McGee
Steven Kronovet ... Tommy Hinkle
James Meyer ... Dutch Schultz
Mike Starr ... Boone
Sam Green ... Murphy
Martin Grey ... Additional Knight
Joseph Mosso ... Additional Knight
Richard Oliveri ... Additional Knight
Lawrence Couzens ... Additional Knight
Duke McGuire ... Additional Knight
Stephen Poliachik ... Additional Knight
Kevin Lester ... Additional Knight
Joseph Charboneau ... Additional Knight
Robert Rudnick ... Additional Knight
Ken Kamholz ... Additional Knight
Sibby Sisti ... Pirates Manager
Phillip D. Rosenberg ... Pitcher Youngberry
Christopher B. Rehbaum ... Pitcher John Rhoades
Nicholas Koleff ... Umpire Augie
Jerry Stockman ... Umpire Babe
James Quamo ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie April 29 2004
By Mark
Format:DVD
The Natural is the best baseball movie ever made. Great for everyone in the family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Could this be the best baseball movie ever? March 5 2004
Format:DVD
Having not read the book, the movie was not a disappointment. On the contrary, I think it ranks with, if not, the best baseball movie every made. It is a story of second chances both in baseball and in love.
The movie avoids the usual Hollywood pitfalls of making a statement where no statement is needed (Holly Hunters library speech in Field of Dreams) and by avoiding meaningless cliques by the effective use of archetypes. For instance, the mystery woman who abruptly ends Hobbs fledging career is dressed in black as contrasted to Iris, Hobbs lost love, who stands in the bleachers backlighted by a halo of light. Also the use of lightening at critical movements of Hobbs life and career are but two examples of powerful archetype.
Aside from a good story, this is movie making at its best. The cinematography is beautiful. Case in point: The contest between Roy Hobbs (the Robert Redford character) and the Whammer (played to the tee by Joe Don Baker). Cool summer evening, setting sun, beautiful light, the cottonwood fluff floating gently in the air and steam periodically erupting from the locomotive- it is a visual masterpiece. Add to the beautiful cinematography, the musical score from Randy Newman. Nineteen years after the making of this movie when one hears Newman's score we think- Baseball!
The attention to detail and editing were also superb. Who make those advertising signs in the outfield? Bump Baileys meeting a premature end crashing into the outfield wall next to the crying baby sign? That is what I call attention to detail. How about this? In the train scenes the train actually rocks on its tracks as it speeds along its way- Roy has to steady himself as he talks to the woman in black. The editing is surperb- especially the water stop scene and the final at bat scene. Could this be the best baseball movie ever made?
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