A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A recurring idea is that it's not enough simply to be born with natural talent; talent must be developed and practiced by the person with the talent.
Positive Role Models
Roy Hobbs is humble with his talents, always takes the time to sign autographs and meet the fans, especially the kids who go to the ballpark. He doesn't compromise himself by taking a payoff to throw games so his team loses.
Violence & Scariness
A woman shoots the lead character in the chest. He falls backwards, presumed dead. Later, an image of this woman dead on a sidewalk and covered with blood is shown. A baseball player dies after being shown running head first into the outfield wall. An infielder is hit in the crotch with a ground ball, falls to the ground writhing in agony. In a flashback scene, lead character's father shown falling to the ground, dying of a heart attack.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Implied sex. Woman drops her coat after entering the lead character's hotel room, implied that she is naked underneath; no nudity.
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"Son of a bitch." "S--tkicker." "Hell." "Jesus."
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Products & Purchases
Players drink Schlitz beer.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigar and cigarette smoking. Characters drink liquor, wine, champagne, and beer; no one acts drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Natural is a 1984 movie in which Robert Redford plays a mysterious and gifted baseball player who emerges as a rookie in his mid-30s and turns his team's fortunes around. For lovers of baseball movies and sports films in general, this is one of the all-time classics. As a movie set in the late 1930s, there's regular cigarette and cigar smoking. The lead character is shot in the chest and falls to the ground bleeding; the woman who shot him is later shown in a picture on the sidewalk dead and covered in blood. Implied sex when a seductive woman enters the lead character's hotel room, removes her coat, and reveals nothing underneath (no nudity). Beer and alcohol drinking, but no one acts drunk. Cursing includes "son of a bitch" and "s--tkicker." The lead character's father dies of a heart attack in a flashback scene. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Off the field, the dialogue is often inexplicable and women, in general, are trouble. Barbara Hershey and Kim Basinger play femme fatales, and Glenn Close is Hobbs' reticent lady in white. Each are given complexity to flesh out character, but some scenes fall head-scratchingly flat: the true trouble stemming from the strain of forcing legend into a modern script.
Still, The Natural has iconic moments (Glenn Close in the stadium under a sunlit halo of a hat, and the cascading shards of popping stadium lights), and is off-kilter enough to temper much of the sentimentality. Baseball fans will appreciate that this movie is at its most intelligent and loosest in the ballpark, where happily, Redford and Levinson are also most comfortable. The lead's unwavering integrity is the movie's heart: The Natural does not glamorize vice but triumphs over it with a wholesome finale.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.