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 RIGHT STUFF
1983, Warner Bros., 193 min, USA, Dir: Philip Kaufman

Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward and Jeff Goldblum head the stellar ensemble cast of THE RIGHT STUFF, which is based on Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book chronicling the exciting early years of the United States’ race to conquer the final frontier, and the daredevil test pilots who ultimately became the first Americans in space. Kaufman also wrote the screenplay for the film, which Pauline Kael of The New Yorker called “astonishingly entertaining and great fun.”


BEING THERE
1979, Warner Bros., 130 min, USA, Dir: Hal Ashby

In one of his most sublime performances, Peter Sellers stars as a simpleton who gains great influence when his pronouncements are mistaken for profundities in director Hal Ashby’s hilarious adaptation of the Jerzy Kosinski novel. As gardener Chance, he must leave the Washington, D.C., estate to which he’s tended his entire life after its owner dies. Wandering the streets, he’s struck by a limousine and taken under the wing of its passenger, Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), and her power-broker husband (Oscar winner Melvyn Douglas). Be sure to stay through the end credits!


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