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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hollywood & baseball

With the start of the baseball season right around the corner, I was thinking about the best baseball movies and it dawned on me that there really aren't that many.

Tops on the list has got to be The Natural. Although, Hollywood had to give it the melodramatic ending that test audiences want. I read Bernard Malamud's novel on which the movie is based and Roy Hobbs is nothing like the All-American boy portrayed by Robert Redford. He's a man tormented by demons, and I was devastated by Malamud's ending. I have always wanted either a New York Knights jersey or the leather jacket.

Second, it's Field of Dreams. It can get sappy at times, but the final scene has me reaching for the box of Kleenex every single time. It too was based on novel - W.P. Kinsella's "Shoeless Joe." For another good read, check out his "The Iowa Baseball Confederacy."

Throw in Eight Men Out, The Bad News Bears and that's about it for good baseball movies. Bang the Drum Slowly is probably in there as well, but I've never seen it. And, frankly, Bull Durham and Major League are a bit overrated.

For a sport as dramatic as baseball, you'd think Hollywood could do a better job adapting it for motion pictures.


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