Books and Movies Reviews

Bull Durham: Tale about Baseball

The 1988 romantic baseball comedy "Bull Durham" contains many of the oldest cliches typical of baseball films since the beginning of cinema. "Bull Durham" tells the tale of a young, upstart player, looking to supplant an older and more seasoned player on a minor league team called the Durham Bulls. The film examines how the power of baseball can bring men who love the game together, and how the love of women can drive even players on the same team apart. It even contains the stereotype that sex can deplete a good ballplayer's talent and energy before an important game, as well as other quirky superstitions of ballplayers on winning or losing streaks. Yet the film manages to transcend all of these cliches through sheer force of character, most notably in the unique persona of the brilliant, sensual English college teacher and baseball fan Annie Savoy.
Annie Savoy is no typical sports fan or groupie. Rather, she is portrayed by Susan Sarandon as a strong, confident woman who is sure of her sexual power, and who cheers for the minor league team for her own physical and emotional gratification, not merely to boost her self-esteem as a mature woman. At the beginning of the film Annie explains that every year she chooses one player, and only one player to spend the season with and mentor, before he heads to the'big leagues.' One of herfirst scenes shows her challenging the two finalists to do their best, without any question in her mind that she is a prize worth winning. But only one season-Annie likes her affairs quick and easy, with rising stars, not people who have settled into a comfortable and mediocre commitment and career on a minor league team.
The film is more about character than about the plot-the Durham Bulls are an'okay' team, but anyone who is really gifted on the team will likely seek greener fields of dreams elsewhere. The film is not so much about the question of whether…


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