Farm boy Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is the best baseball player anyone has ever seen. His bat, handmade from the wood of a tree felled by lightning following the death of his father, is magic in his hands. But before his career can start, the mysterious Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey) inexplicably shoots him, sidelining him for more than a decade. Fifteen years later, Hobbs returns to play for the New York Knights, whose coach, Pop Fisher (Wilfred Brimley), begrudgingly accepts the aging rookie as a member of the team. Pop is as surprised as the rest of the team when Hobbs knocks the ball out of the park time and again and can still play a mean outfield as well. However, when the politics of the business side of the game get in the way, Hobbs has to make some life-changing decisions. Meanwhile, he becomes involved with Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), a sultry siren with her own agenda. Glenn Close plays Iris, the hometown girl whom Hobbs left behind but never forgot. Director Barry Levinson (DINER, RAIN MAN) manages to re-create the excitement of old-time baseball while telling an all-American tale of success and failure, based on the novel by Bernard Malamud.
Filmed in Buffalo and New York City.
The film version has a vastly different ending than Bernard Malamud's novel.
"...Impeccably made....Redford is perfectly cast....[The] supporting roles have been wonderfully filled by topflight character actors..." (Variety)
"Shining up the golden age of baseball, Barry Levinson conjures another sporting fairytale..." (Total Film)
"Redford's charisma is at full wattage and the finale is truly magical." (Uncut)
4 stars out of 5 -- "One of the best movies with a sports backdrop....An '80s who's who of acting talent..." (Ultimate DVD)