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.


THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
1988, Universal, 164 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

An insightful, intensely personal adaptation of the Nikos Kazantzakis novel that dares to portray Jesus as human as well as divine. Willem Dafoe is a realistic, believable Christ beset by doubt, whose faith and selflessness finally triumph in the ultimate self-sacrifice. This indelibly moving film features a dream cast, with Harvey Keitel as an idealistic Judas tortured by unfolding destiny and a luminous Barbara Hershey as a sensual, sensitive Mary Magdalene.


LAST SUMMER
1969, Warner Bros., 95 min, USA, Dir: Frank Perry

Bruce Davison, Barbara Hershey, Richard Thomas and Catherine Burns star in this aggressively unsentimental coming of age story. Director Frank Perry charts the behavior (and misbehavior) of a group of teens on Fire Island whose tastes for sex, drugs, and rock and roll devolve into more sinister interests as the summer progresses. Ultimately the characters' loss of innocence mirrors that of America in the decade during which the film was made and takes place.


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