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Bull Durham
Bull Durham
Actors: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl
Director: Ron Shelton
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sports
R     2002     1hr 48min

Baseball season gets off to a rocky start when the Durham Bulls' new catcher, "Crash" Davis (Kevin Costner), punches out the cocky young pitcher, "Nuke" LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), he's just been hired totrain. Then sexy Annie ...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl
Director: Ron Shelton
Creators: Bobby Byrne, Ron Shelton, Adam Weiss, Charles Hirschhorn, David V. Lester, Mark Burg, Thom Mount
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sports
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance, Baseball
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/02/2002
Original Release Date: 06/15/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 06/15/1988
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 7
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
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Member Movie Reviews

Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Reviewed on 3/29/2014...
If I could give this movie more than 5 I would. First, I love Kevin Costner. Second, I love baseball. Third, I love the comedic romance. Awesome!
Kate T. from ITHACA, NY
Reviewed on 9/17/2009...
Great movie that holds up over time. I saw it again this summer in Maine at a benefit in which Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins were present to discuss it. That increased my enjoyment of it, of course, and led to me wanting my own copy.

Movie Reviews

Welcome To The "Show"!
R.A. McKenzie | New York | 03/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you've never seen "Bull Durham" before, and are tempted to write it off as another sports flick, I beg you to rethink your position. Let me tell you my all-time favorite sports movie: "Hoop Dreams". What about it resonates with me so strongly? It's not a basketball movie --- instead, it is a character drama that just happens to exist within a basketball court. In other words, where the story takes place is irrelevant; what dominates the picture is how the story (or real-life events) affects the characters (documentary subjects).

"Bull Durham" might not belong in the realm of that classic, but skeptics shouldn't dismiss it simply because it involves baseball. Overlookers won't realize that it's a funny exploration of how people discover their own ambition; the dirt diamond & ball are circumstantial.

The story begins when a minor league team is joined by veteran catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Costner). Crash has been given the unenviable task of mentoring an immature pitcher whose deadly fastball "couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat". Tim Robbins plays the pitcher, Eddie Laloosh. Eddie soon takes the nickname "Nuke"; Crash decides "Meat" is a better way to condescend the undisciplined rookie.

Let me pause there, because this sound like we're going to get a fairy tale of how a cynical teacher and hotshot student will become better humans by the end of their journey. Thankfully, writer-director Ron Shelton was much smarter than this, and doesn't treat his story like a whimsical children's book. Crash and Nuke engage in some of the harshest (and funniest) banter in the history of comedies; the only times either learns anything from each other is because one just can't deal with the tension and submits. I won't give anything away, but if you've never seen this movie before, you'll thank me later when Nuke shakes off Crash's pitching calls --- twice! If for whatever reason you don't like Costner or Robbins, their perfect chemistry will change your mind. It's been 20 years since "Bull Durham", and both actors have rarely been better.

When this unbearable pairing of Crash & Nuke begins, they soon meet Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon). Annie is a strange blend of sexual creature and muse. She takes one player per season, and selects that player as her mate and student. In the hands of another actress or director, this would come off as sleazy & trashy. But once Annie begins to make her new choice stimulate his mind with poetry BEFORE satisfying his primal urges, it becomes clear that eroticism is not even a factor. You know, when I think of Sarandon, "sexy" is not the first word to come to my mind. But "Bull Durham" convinced me otherwise. Just look at the boxart! But then wait until you watch the performance: it's a treasure from her opening monologue to the emotional finale!

What results from the Crash/Nuke bickering, Annie's sensual tutoring, their bizarre triangle, and the adventurous Durham Bulls season is a movie that is achingly funny...but then Shelton gently pulls the curtain back to reveal some more layers.

I forgot the mention the Durham Bulls team name earlier because they're not the primary focus. I haven't revealed many plot points because the plot's mostly in the background. I can't recall any 'BIG GAMES' or 'TWISTS'. Hell, there's hardly any baseball for the last 30 minutes of the picture! What "Bull Durham" leaves with viewers are the characters & the little details. We don't care which games the Bulls won, but we remember the teammates' weird superstitions & conversations. Annie's teachings are incredibly silly, but she eventually acknowledges how ridiculous some of her behavior is. The three principals do discover their dreams, but in a most unlikely way. The romance is sweet, patient, and believable offbeat. Best of all, "Bull Durham" works on all paces --- it speeds up to make us laugh, and still keeps our attention when it slows down for reflection.

"Bull Durham" is a hard movie to describe because there's really nothing else like it. Ron Shelton has created a small-town comedy that resembles something from Frank Capra's mind. It's as much a celebration of life as it is a parody of it. There are no grossout gags; just strong acting and intelligent writing. The game of baseball is merely a catalyst of more meaningful ideas. But have no fear: there's plenty of baseball comedy for sports buffs.

"Bull Durham" includes the good times of a "movie", but earns its place as a "film" --- the perfect balance of entertainment and genius!

This new DVD won't come out until March 18th. Here's what's been advertised:
* Audio Commentary from director Ron Shelton
* Audio Commentary from Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins
* "The Greatest Show On Dirt" featurette - Twenty years later the cast, crew and fans remember Bull Durham
* "Diamonds In The Rough" featurette - Explores minor league baseball
* "Between The Lines: The Making Of Bull Durham" featurette
* "Kevin Costner Profile"

I'll come back and review these special features. Just looking at these Extras convinces me that the earlier DVD release will soon be obsolete."
Minor League Baseball Masterpiece
Mark J. Fowler | Okinawa, Japan | 07/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ron Shelton spent some time in the minor leagues represented in his screenplay for Bull Durham, so he knows about the baseball things represented. But he also clearly has a gifted ear for the tempo of real life, and he knows about hopes and desires and the things that make human beings tick. The setting for this film with the minor league Durham Bulls works, and works perfectly, but the characters, especially among the central love triangle, could just as easily have been traveling salesmen or race drivers or con artists or gangsters.Susan Sarandon plays Annie Savoy, a slightly older woman who is a Durham Bulls groupie of sorts: once a season she picks out a promising young player and begins an affair with them. During that season the promising young player has the year of his life and gets called up to the big leagues, leaving Annie to look for next year's promising young player.The Bulls also have a million-dollar prospect of a pitcher with a right arm who the gods reached down and turned into a thunderbolt. He also has less control than a seven year old with hyperactive attention deficit disorder without his Ritalin. He's as likely to throw it over the backstop as throw a strike, although his "stuff" is like Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson. Tim Robbins brings "Nuke" LaLoosh to life in his best comic performance.Kevin Costner, in the best of his many baseball-movie appearances, plays "Crash" Davis, a power-hitting catcher with enough talent to be a leader on minor league teams, but only 21 days in "The Show" in years of minor league work. Crash is not only a competent minor league catcher though - he also knows the history of the game, and he knows how to get into the heads of players who have mental blocks preventing them from achieving all they can as baseball players.Crash, meet Nuke. Both of you - meet Annie.The dialogue is so witty and sparkling that more than a decade after the film's release, it still shows up frequently in discussions about baseball movies and on ESPN. Crash envies Nuke's god-given talent, and by degrees the clueless Nuke begins to appreciate Crash's baseball wisdom. Annie has the hots for both of them, and they for her, and the way this triangle evolves and resolves makes for a very satisfying baseball movie watching experience.The movie would be worth watching if only for the hilarious little scenes that happen out on the playing field between catcher Costner and pitcher Robbins. Nuke has the million-dollar arm and the ten-cent head. Crash knows his job (and everyone elses as well) like the back of his hand. Whenever Nuke starts trying to think for himself, he quickly gets into trouble, frequently with active assistance from Crash.Crash "calls" the game - signalling to the pitcher which pitches to throw. When Nuke listens things go well. When Nuke doesn't listen, Crash whispers to the hitter what pitch is coming so that the batter can tee off on the pitch. Then as the batter circles the bases after his home run Crash goes out to the mound to remind Nuke not to try thinking for himself. "Boy, the last thing I saw fly out of here like that had a stewardess and passengers on it!"Supporting parts are performed to hilarious perfection as well, with particular kudos to Trey Wilson as the manager and Robert Wuhl as a team coach. They have many entertaining scenes, including the one following Nuke's minor-league debut - when he struck out 18..... but also walked 18 - both league records! A must for grown-up baseball fans."
The best sports movie ever (so far, anyway)
Craig MACKINNON | Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada | 11/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is that it's not really about baseball, but about baseball players. As such, the movie does NOT lead to an annoying, cheesy climax like most sports movies (i.e. the big game). Instead, it starts about a dozen games into the season and ends a few months later, with no mention of playoffs or championships. During this time, players are released/traded, get married, etc. The main characters are a veteran catcher (Costner) brought in to help mature the young gun with the big fastball and no brains (Robbins). Both are stellar performances by actors that were little known at the time.It is a very funny movie. The tone is maintained perfectly throughout the whole show, so you become absorbed and care about the characters, even the peripheral ones. The parallel story, about the relationship between the main characters and the team's groupie (Sarandan) is also entertaining, amusing, and interesting.I personally prefer the baseball story over the romance story - the romance well done, but standard. The director, Shelton, was a minor league player for several years, and there are numerous little details that make the story ring true - time on the busses, meetings on the pitcher's mound, etc.As for this DVD edition, there are not a lot of extras, except for a director's commentary. It's almost more of a writer's commentary, as Shelton also wrote the story. I'm always surprised at how candid directors are at pointing out scenes they don't like. Especially interesting are his description of scenes that were cut (unfortunately, these scenes are not included as extras), and why they were axed. He also relates the "true stories" behind a number of the antics that appear in the movie. There is one complaint of his that I can't agree with - he apologises a number of times for certain scenes that don't look as good as they could, but this is a strength of the movie. A movie about the minor leagues should have an unpolished look - it adds to the authenticity."