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The Natural is a 1984 film adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s 1952 baseball novel of the same name, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close and Robert Duvall. The film, like the book, recounts the experiences of Roy Hobbs, an individual with great “natural” baseball talent, spanning decades of Roy’s success and his suffering.
The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close), and nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger). Many of the baseball scenes were filmed in Buffalo, New York’s War Memorial Stadium, built in 1937 and demolished a few years after the film was produced. Buffalo’s All-High Stadium stood in for Chicago’s Wrigley Field in a key scene.
It was the first film produced by TriStar Pictures.
A young Roy Hobbs plays baseball with his father on the family farm. Roy’s father dies suddenly under a tree. That tree is split in half by lightning, and Roy carves a baseball bat from it. He burns a lightning bolt on the barrel and calls it Wonderboy.
In 1923, a 19-year old Hobbs (Redford) is granted a tryout by the Chicago Cubs as a pitcher.
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