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Bogdan Petrovan , Imagine, Anul II Sem.

I
The natural(1984)
In 1923, a 19-year-old Hobbs (Robert Redford) is on his way to Chicago to try out for
the Chicago Cubs as a baseball pitcher. Along the way, the train stops at a carnival,
and Hobbs is challenged to strike out "The Whammer" (Joe Don Baker), the top
hitter in the Majors. Sportswriter Max Mercy (Robert Duvall), traveling with
Whammer, draws a cartoon of the event.

Hobbs also encounters Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey), an alluring woman, who
becomes fixated on him after he strikes out Whammer. Bird lures Hobbs to her hotel
room, shoots him, then commits suicide. It is revealed that Bird kills rising athletes,
having already murdered two others.

Skip to 1939. The New York Knights sign the now 35-year-old Hobbs to a contract, to
the ire of the team's manager and co-owner, Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley). Pop is
angered over being saddled with a "middle-aged" rookie and does not play him or
even let him practice with the team. Eventually in desperation, the manager allows
Hobbs to take batting practice, where Hobbs shows hitting ability with his special
"Wonderboy" bat that he made out of a tree near his boyhood home that was hit by
a bolt of lightning.

During the next game, the team's star player, "Bump" Bailey (Michael Madsen),
angers Pop with his lackadaisical playing, and Pop sends Hobbs to pinch hit. Hobbs
literally knocks the cover off the baseball, winning the game. When Bump later dies
after crashing through an outfield fence, Hobbs becomes the league's sensation,
turning the Knights' fortunes around.

Hobbs' success prompts Mercy to try to unearth Hobbs' background. Later, Hobbs is
summoned to a meeting with the principal owner of the team, The Judge (Robert
Prosky). The Judge has an agreement with Pop that if the Knights fail to win the
Pennant at the end of the season, Pop's share of the team reverts to the Judge. To
ensure the team loses, the Judge had a scout stock the roster with unknown players
like Hobbs.

When Hobbs refuses a bribe to throw the season, gambler Gus Sands (Darren
McGavin) and the Judge devise a plan to manipulate him though Memo Paris (Kim

Basinger), Pop's niece and Bump's former girlfriend. She will be sent to seduce
Hobbs. Mercy finally remembers where he had seen Hobbs before. Later, Mercy
introduces Hobbs to Gus and Memo. Pop warns Hobbs that Memo is "bad luck", but
they begin a relationship and Hobbs soon falls into a playing slump.

At Wrigley Field in Chicago, Hobbs comes to bat. A woman dressed in white rises in
the stands, and Hobbs, seeing her, promptly hits a game-winning home run. The
woman is his childhood sweetheart, Iris (Glenn Close). They meet later and Hobbs
asks her to come to the next game. The following day Iris is waiting for Hobbs after
the game and they go for a walk. Hobbs confides to her about the shooting and how
he lost his way in life. Iris tells him she has a 16-year-old son and says the boy's
father lives in New York.

With Hobbs hitting again, the Knights surge into first place, needing just one more
win to clinch the pennant. Hobbs again refuses a payoff from Gus to throw the
game. During a party at Memo's, Hobbs collapses and awakens in a hospital a few
days later. Without Hobbs, the Knights have lost their last three games, setting up a
one-game playoff against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the pennant. The doctor informs
Hobbs that his stomach lining has been deteriorating due to his old gunshot injury. If
he continues to play, the physical strain could kill him.

Memo encourages Hobbs to accept Gus' payoff, and The Judge later increases the
amount. Hobbs refuses, but the Judge has a contingency plan, because he has
bribed another key team member. Hobbs later tells Iris he still blames himself for
failing to achieve his full potential, but she insists he is a great player. Before the
final game, Pop tells Hobbs that he is the best hitter he ever saw. Hobbs realizes
during the game that the Knights' starting pitcher, Fowler, is the player the Judge
bribed. Hobbs confronts him on the mound, warning him not to throw the game.
Fowler replies he will start pitching when Hobbs starts hitting. Iris, in the stands with
her son, asks an usher to deliver a message to Hobbs saying she and her son are at
the game and that Hobbs is the boy's father. Shocked, Hobbs peers out from the
dugout but cannot see them.

The Knights are trailing and Hobbs comes up to bat. The Pirates bring in a young,
hard-throwing, left-handed pitcher who sees that Hobbs is affected by his old injury.
Down to his last strike, Hobbs hits a foul ball so hard it splits "Wonderboy", the bat
he made after his father's death, in two, shaking his confidence. Bobby, the bat boy,

brings Hobbs the "Savoy Special", the bat that Hobbs helped Bobby to make. Hobbs
hits the next pitch into the overhead lights, winning the pennant.

The screen fades to a wheat field, Hobbs playing catch with his son as Iris looks on.