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The Natural: Director's Cut (1984)

Robert Redford , Robert Duvall , Barry Levinson  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley
  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Writers: Roger Towne, Bernard Malamud, Phil Dusenberry
  • Producers: Mark Johnson, Philip M. Breen, Robert F. Colesberry, Roger Towne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Unknown), French (Unknown), Japanese (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Japanese, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Japanese, Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (425 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MNOX94
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,626 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Natural: Director's Cut" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "A Natural Gunned Down" The stalking of Eddie Waitkus  featurette
  • "Clubhouse Conversations"  featurette
  • "Extra Innings 1: Slow Motion" featurette
  • "Extra Innings 2: Uniform Color" featurette
  • "Extra Innings 3: The Sandberg Game" featurette
  • "Extra Innings 4: The President’s Question"  featurette
  • The mythology of The Natural featurette
  • "The Heart of The Natural"  featurette
  • Three "Creating The Natural"  featurettes
  • Video Introduction by Barry Levinson
  • Digitally Remastered Audio and Video

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Director Barry Levinson mentions in his video introduction the 1984 movie was rushed to theaters and this 2007 DVD is more the film he originally intended. This "director's cut" adds about 15 minutes of footage and deletes 5. It tightens the first third of the film, yet any fan of the lyrical prologue set in perfect synchronization with Randy Newman's score will be disappointed. Now the beginning is told in flashback as the elder Hobbs returns home. (It's also confusing to keep track of which Hobbs story you are watching when they are both on a train.) The changes do not improve the story or character; it simply packs in more information before Hobbs enters the Knight's dugout. After that, there are a few new scenes and many extensions, most involving Memo (Kim Basinger) and Red (Richard Farnsworth). None of the additions are exceptional. One could hope there is an Easter egg with the remastered original edition. What is on the second disc are above-average featurettes with interviews from most of the major talent. The best little ditties includes Newman's playful "lyrics" to his theme music and Levinson's divulgence that he is the radio play-by-play man. There's a good discussion on adapting (and changing) the novel, the allegorical myths, and the real-life inspirations including a heart-felt segment on Eddie Waitkus, a baseball player who was shot by an obsessed fan. A 5.1 Dolby soundtrack is now available and compliments an excellent video upgrade. --Doug Thomas

Product Description

Nothing was going to stop Roy Hobbs from fulfilling his boyhood dream of baseball super-stardom. Robert Redford stars in this inspiring fable that begins when 14-year-old Hobbs (Redford) fashions a powerful bat from a fallen oak tree. He soon impresses major league scouts with his ability, fixing his extraordinary talent in the mind of sportswriter Max Mercy (Robert Duvall), who eventually becomes instrumental in Hobb's career. But a meeting with a mysterious woman shatters his dream. Years pass and an older Hobbs reappears as a rookie from The New York Knights. Overcoming physical pain and defying those who have a stake in seeing the Knights lose, Hobbs, with his boyhood bat, has his chanceto lead the Knights to the pennant and to finally fulfill his dream.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was to play this game." For admirers of the original theatrical and, later, DVD version, of "The Natural" this is obviously A MUST. The story of Roy Hobbs, a great young talent in the Ted Williams mode (they even share the same number - 9), struck down in his prime, and then, like a phoenix, reborn into athletic glory, is one of the classic American stories of all time, based on the fine novel by Bernard Malamud. This new "Director's Cut" version is like revisiting a great fairy tale from childhood and being given more - and often longer - scenes with some of your favorite characters. Director Barry Levinson explains, in a video introduction to the film, the reasons for this new edition: how the original film was somewhat rushed into theatres and how he and his editor (and others) wanted a much different first act to the film. And here it is: the new footage deepens and darkens and gradually brightens the film into a much more satisfying experience and still does not diminish the impact of the original at all. In a word, PERFECT. The musical score, by the great Randy Newman, perhaps a little too insistent in the original film, cueing us to how we should feel, sneaks up on you more in this version and makes all the wonderful moments in the film that come later that much more moving. Also, Robert Redford's performance as Roy Hobbs is immeasurably helped here: the new footage (often original scenes with more footage added), even certain quick cuts, make for a more layered, textured performance that gives us greater insights into this troubled, but noble character - and show how a once, great, guileless young ballplayer still exists inside the older, careworn, but still talented, man he has become. Read more ›
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but why fix something that ain't broke? April 10, 2007
Format:DVD
I loved the Natural when it came out in 1984. The mythical quality of the story, terrific acting by a perfect cast, great editing, and great direction made this film one of my all time favorite sports movies.

So this year a new dvd version is being released that is being called the Director's cut. Apparently there are 20 minutes of new footage added in, but the editing results in a film that is only 6 minutes longer than the original. The chief difference between the two versions is that the backstory is relayed primarily through flashback from the "present", as Roy Hobbs returns to his childhood home after 16 years away. He retrieves "Wonder Boy", then goes to New York to start his career with the NY Knights.

The new version works okay, but I frankly preferred the original. I preferred its slightly more deliberate pacing, and I don't think the new scenes (primarily extended versions of already existing scenes) added any real value or perspective. Indeed, one scene in which Memo travels to meet Roy on the road actually detracted from the cohesion of the story.

Bottom line: if you loved the original, you'll like this one. It's still basically the same film. I just don't think it needed any tinkering.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, inferior "Director's Cut" January 12, 2008
Format:DVD
When I was first made aware of this new "Director's Cut" of The Natural, I wanted to rent it before deciding whether to buy it or not. Unable to find it for rent, I bought it. Having watched it twice (alternately with the original theatrical version DVD), I will probably toss it.

Director's Cut? Even the director, Barry Levinson, concedes in the introduction to this new version that it is not meant to replace or be better than the original theatrical version. It's merely an intriguing chance to see the movie edited to match his original vision more closely (made impossible in 1984 by post production time constraints). He makes no judgment that his original vision was better. For me, this cut is quite inferior.

Not only were 15 minutes of footage added, but 9 minutes were deleted. In the original version, the opening act (before Roy returns to the game after 16 years) ran 20 minutes. In the new version, despite a lot of added material, it runs 17 minutes. The relaxed, natural pace of the original sequence is now full of somewhat abrupt, quick edits. Gone also are some beautiful shots, such as the young Roy and Iris running towards each other at night across the horizon of a field. Gone are moments of character development, such as The Whammer's wisecrack on the train, "Oh, first Pete and now Repeat?"

And much later in the film, one added scene derails a major theme. Iris is a positive influence, and Roy excels in the game under that influence. Memo is a negative influence, and under her spell Roy fails. Yet in this new verson of the film, Roy returns to New York after several highly successful games (under Iris' influence) on the road, and then a scene has been added where Memo welcomes him home in a hotel lobby and gets cozy with him in a phone booth.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
I can easily remember watching "The Natural" for the first time and for any kid who enjoyed baseball, the character of Roy Hobbs was truly inspirational! Many people thought Roy Hobbs was a real fictional character and in some ways, he is.

"The Natural" is a film that is an adaptation of a 1952 baseball novel "The Natural" written by Bernard Malamud and was inspired by the real life shooting of Philadelphia Phillies baseball player Eddie Waitkus who was a promising young star until an obsessed teenager gunned down the baseball player and nearly killing him. The novel is also inspired by Shoeless Joe Jackson (who was one of the eight Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing their games against the Cincinnati Reds during the 1919 World Series) but the film adaptation while loyal to Hobbs as a player is completely different from the novel, as Roy Hobb in the film version is a hero and a character that continues to inspire many kids wanting to play baseball today.

"The Natural" is directed by Barry Levinson ("Sleepers", "Wag the Dog", "Bugsy", "Rain Man") and a screenplay written by Roger Towne ("Hawaii Five-O") and Phil Dusenberry. The film features cinematography by Caleb Deschanel ("National Treasure", "The Spiderwick Chronicles", "The Passion of Christ", "The Patriot") and music by world renown musician Randy Newman ("Toy Story" films, ""Cars", "Monsters, Inc.", "Meet the Parents" films). The film has been released previously as a single disc DVD, a Director's Cut DVD and a gift set. Now, "The Natural" makes its debut on HD via Blu-ray in April 2010. This version is the theatrical 136-minute cut not the 144-minute director's cut.

VIDEO:

"The Natural" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I saw the original movie but this version is terrific! Love the scenes...
I saw the original movie but this version is terrific! Love the scenes they cut out of the original. They add so much more depth. Read more
Published 11 minutes ago by Randall G. Shelden
1.0 out of 5 stars The computer was fine and everything else worked but this movie would...
Movie only played about 1/3 through and stopped. The computer was fine and everything else worked but this movie would not restart or resume play :(
Published 22 hours ago by Dawn M Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic movie with great actors.
Published 5 days ago by Tink M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Worth owning and watching and enjoying with baseball enthusiasts.
Published 6 days ago by Rose Leuty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my favorite child hood movie! Love the blu ray version!!
Published 7 days ago by jeff blakeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Redford to me has never done a bad movie. I watched this and it...
This one came with another movie I ordered at the time, Robert Redford to me has never done a bad movie. I watched this and it too has a story to tell. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Marcia A. Petry
5.0 out of 5 stars As Advertised.
As Advertised.
Published 11 days ago by Lucas Geyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a fun watch.
Just watch it. Its a fun watch.
Published 11 days ago by smokenu73
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What a classic
Published 14 days ago by bbbeab
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie.
Published 16 days ago by Vic Fish
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Is the blu ray the longer director's cut?
Blu ray has theatrical cut.
Nov 10, 2013 by D. Jacobs |  See all 2 posts
Best Baseball Movie, Ever.
This will be out on Blu-ray April 6th, 2010.
Feb 11, 2010 by Rushead 2112-Hemispheres |  See all 4 posts
2-disc blu ray available?
The eBay listing I looked at also listed a UPC number which belongs to the single-disc version.
Aug 12, 2013 by M. Turner |  See all 2 posts
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