Tag Archives: Robert Redford

Top 5 Baseball Movies

Spring is in the air and baseball is finally here after a long, long winter. We’re big fans of America’s pastime here at The Movie Brothers, so we decided to present to you our Top 5 Baseball Movies. There are a lot of great baseball movies, probably more than any other sport because of its tradition, history and heartfelt place in our country. Many great baseball movies didn’t make the list, like “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “61,” “A League of Their Own” and “The Bad News Bears.” But to get to the Top 5, a lot of them had to be cut.

5. The Sandlot
sand lotThis is definitely as sentimental a movie as they come, but it’s hard not to fall in love with. It’s the story of a new kid on the block who has no club about baseball, but it’s how he connects with the children in his new town. Placed in the 1960s, it’s a coming-of-age story wrapped in a love letter to baseball. It’s a great one for the entire family, with plenty of memorable scenes and moments.

EightMenOut-Still1CR4. Eight Men Out
There  may be no sadder story than that of Shoeless Joe Jackson — who makes two appearance in our Top 5. He went down with the ship when his teammates threw the 1919 World Series, even though he played incredibly well. This is a great film with a great cast that pulls the cover off a sad chapter in baseball with plenty of frustrating drama.

3. Moneyball
Money BallIt could be easy to write this film off as too “inside baseball” — no pun intended — but it’s understandable. It’s a movie about guys who created a numerical system to put together a baseball team on the cheap and win. But it’s more than that. It’s the story of Oakland A’s general manager, Billy Beane, and what is often a very sad and frustrating existence. It puts a human element to the story and offers some genuine human drama.

the natural2. The Natural
I get goose bumps every time I see Robert Redford in The Natural. That final scene, with the light being blown out, rounding the bases. It just gets me every time. It’s loaded with great performances, especially by Glenn Close and Robert Duvall, and heaps on authentic period uniforms and fields with timeless production value. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a wonderful film full of romance, drama, humor and baseball lore.

1. Field of Dreams
The final scene of this film gets me every time. Who wouldn’t like to have one last catch with their dad. One more chance to heal his pain, and yours in the process through a common glue — baseball. This is a film that has everything to do with baseball, and yet nothing at all to do with the game itself. It’s a wonderful fantasy drama where a farmer hears voices to clear his corn field and build a baseball field — which ends up being a portal for dead ball players to visit and play on. On the surface, illogical. But I like ilogical. This film is an incredibly imaginative film, loaded with nostalgia, history, excellent acting, and engaging as the game itself. Hands down, the best baseball film ever made.

Three Days of the Condor

Robert Redford stars as Joe Turner, a New York-based CIA researcher who returns from lunch to find all his co-workers murdered. In the next 72 hours, everyone Turner trusts will try to kill him, in this conspiracy thriller by director Sydney Pollack. Double-crossed and forced to go underground, Turner kidnaps a young woman (Faye Dunaway) and holds her hostage as he unravels the mystery. Max von Sydow and Cliff Robertson co-star.

Rating: 8 out of 10

“Three Days of the Condor” is a spy/drama thriller directed by the late, great director Sydney Pollack (Tootsie, Out of Africa). Even though it was released in 1975, it remains very ahead of it’s time. It stars Robert Redford, turning in a great performance as Joe Turner, an employee of a very secretive and clandestine department of the CIA. He is involved in a pretty freaky power struggle within the agency and since he is not a field agent gets hung up at every turn by the steely machinations of the plot provided by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr, adapted from James Grady’s novel of the same name. Faye Dunaway portrays Kathy Hale, an unfortunate hostage victim taken by Redford at a ski shop until he can figure what his next move is among all the confusion, deceit and betrayal. The film is photographed by Owen Roizman, the same talented cinematographer of Bill Friedkin’s “The Exorcist.”

While out getting lunch one day, Turner’s co-workers are murdered by deadly armed assassins led by the seditious and icy Joubert played so intensely by the awesome Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Shutter Island). After getting the code name Condor, he sets out with the help of fellow CIA operative Cliff Robertson to find out why everyone was murdered. Now the reason I say that this film is ahead of it’s time is because back in it’s day the content and subtext that permeate the film was just not prevalent in most modern day espionage thrillers. It gives much thought and depth to foreign affairs of the day which predate many plot twists and turns of many films of the same genre today. That is because Pollack stays true to the material and believes that his audiences are smart, reflective and savvy. He trusts his actors to bring realism to the performances and he really digs using that funky, groovy music of the times, too.

“Three Days of the Condor” is a film of it’s times and it is very reflective of a turbulent era in history where we did not trust our government very much. It is about huge power struggles and intense themes of balances of power.  It is a taut and suspenseful thriller that does keep you guessing and expands our ideals to include things that affect us and other countries we do business with. And it’ll make you think twice before taking a package from a Postman ever again.