I certainly love baseball movies, especially old school baseball movies. I was going to look at my all-time favorite, The Bad News Bears, but I'm just going to stick with three favorites from the 80's, since that's the next decade I'll be looking at on this here blog.
The first one is The Natural. I'm not going to lie to you. The first time I saw this movie at the theater I was really..."under the influence of an illegal substance that is ingested orally but seems to have gained a certain recent acceptance in the state of Colorado." That was all right though. The Natural had a certain dream-like feel to it that seemed appropriate to the state of mind I was in at the time. It will be interesting to see it now. I still can't shake that dreamlike feel I get even after viewing today. That feeling is part of baseball's mystique. This movie could never be about football. It has to be about dreams, redemption and second chances. The music thundering, the ball slamming off the Wonderboy Bat-smashing lights, clocks or nearly decapitating a sportswriter. What exactly happened to Roy Hobbs before he made his comeback? Eh, you fill in the blanks, it isn't what matters here. Accept the mythology, accept the movie.
The next one on the list is Bull Durham. The church of baseball-It says it in that narration right off the bat. This movie also relies on its own baseball mythology. But it's not a poetic dream (even if you are being read Walt Whitman while you're tied up). It's superstition, it's disappointment, it's low wages, it's hard working class hard knocks and it's everyone living their dream. It's the minor leagues done right by Ron Shelton, someone who lived and breathed minor league baseball during his playing days and shows it for all of baseball's fun and hardships (mostly fun for the audience). Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins play the veteran catcher/goofball-hotshot- young pitcher combo very well. And who wouldn't want to be in the minors if you get chosen for the season by minor league baseball tart, Susan Sarandon?
|Field of Dreams|
And for good measure, here's a list of 10 other baseball movies I have an attachment to.
1. The Pride of the Yankees-Certainly a baseball classic with Gary Cooper as the ill-fated baseball legend Lou Gehrig. But the scene where Babe Ruth promises the kid he'd hit a homer and Lou Gehrig trumps him by promising the kid he'd hit two always bothered me. At least, Babe got to play himself.