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.


BREAKING THE LIMITS
NAJLEPSZY
2017, 108 min, Poland, Dir: Lukasz Palkowski

Previously known as THE FASTEST, this uplifting biopic about one man’s remarkable transformation tells the true story of Jerzy Gorski, former junkie turned athletic champion. After spending 13 years struggling with heroin addiction, Gorski underwent intense physical and mental rehabilitation to become Poland’s Double Ironman World Champion. Director Lukasz Palkowski spares none of the gritty details in this realistic yet inspiring account of Gorski’s journey. The film was a major blockbuster in its native Poland, as well as winning Best Production Design and Best Debut Actor (actress Kamila Kaminska) at the Polish Film Awards.


DRIVE, HE SAID
1971, Sony Repertory, 90 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson’s first trip behind the camera as director is a subtle character study about basketball, college and Vietnam. It stands as one of the best sports-related movies ever made and captures the true feeling of the late ’60s/early ’70s college experience. William Tepper is a star basketball player with a drug-addled best friend (Michael Margotta) who is dodging the draft and a faculty-wife girlfriend (Karen Black) bent on giving him the boot. Bruce Dern's performance as the snide, take-no-prisoners coach is masterfully hard-nosed. With Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom in prime supporting roles, and cinematography by Bill Butler. "Nicholson deftly illustrates the background cynicism of big-time sports against the more obvious cynicism of college life." – Variety.


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