THE NATURAL
1984, Sony Repertory, 134 min, USA, Dir: Barry Levinson

Based on the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud. Barry Levinson (RAIN MAN, BUGSY) directs Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an over-the-hill rookie who appears out of nowhere to lead a losing 1930s baseball team, the New York Knights, to the top. A tragic turn had destroyed Hobbs' early playing career, and now he is going to live what should have been. The all-star cast features Glenn Close (nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award), Kim Basinger, Robert Duvall and Barbara Hershey. The great music score, one of the most recognized in film history, is by Randy Newman. Life often imitates art, as the Oscar-nominated score is now recognized as the soundtrack behind the legendary Kirk Gibson home run for the L.A. Dodgers in the 1988 World Series. Redford’s bat, "Wonderboy," rivals CITIZEN KANE’s sleigh, "Rosebud," as one of Hollywood’s best-known props. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel.


GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND
1993, Sony Repertory, 115 min, USA, Dir: Walter Hill

A modern action master, director Walter Hill also displays a reflective side and almost Rossellini-esque historical perspective in his retelling of the last days of resistance of the great Apache leader. One of the most impressive and overlooked late Westerns. With Wes Studi, Matt Damon, Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman and Scott Wilson. Music by Ry Cooder.


TENDER MERCIES
1983, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Bruce Beresford

In another Horton Foote-Robert Duvall collaboration, Duvall (in an Oscar-winning performance) plays a fallen-from-grace Texas country singer who gets a second chance at life with an attractive widow (Tess Harper) and her son. A purely character-driven collection of episodes rather than a conventional story, TENDER MERCIES represents Foote at his observational best, with expert direction by Bruce Beresford and fine performances by Betty Buckley, Ellen Barkin and Wilford Brimley.


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