It was almost a golden rule for a time that if you were making a baseball film that you should cast Kevin Costner in it. He has been in two of the best baseball movies ever (this one and Field of Dreams) made, so he is the lucky charm it seems. Director Ron Shelton (Play It to the Bone, Tin Cup) has succeeded in doing the seemingly impossible in making a sports film that women like as it has baseball coupled with romance.
Veteran minor-league catcher Crash Davie (Kevin Costner – Dances With Wolves, The Upside of Anger) is demoted to Class A ball, which angers him as it is further away from The Show (the major leagues). He has been brought there to act as a mentor to young ace prospect Nuke Laloosh (Tim Robbins – The Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River). The two really butt heads over team ‘supporter’ Annie (Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking, Enchanted) who takes a boyfriend from a member of the team each year. Instead of focusing on baseball the two fight for her attention. On the baseball field, Crash finally teaches Nuke that he not only has to rely on his talent, but has to respect the game in order to be good. It is going to be an interesting season for the Durham Bulls!
This is a baseball film in which you do not have to know anything about baseball to enjoy it. The analogy of the film is that baseball is life for some people, but it is not a technical film, rather it is a film about being passionate. Baseball (the American national sport) is what links everyone in the film together, but interestingly enough they are all different people. The chemistry between the three main actors is second to none which renders the film very believable.
Your prototypical crowd pleaser Bull Durham has a little bit of everything to please everyone. There is comedy, sports scenes, drama, romance, and the kitchen sink in this film, but great acting by the cast and a tightly run ship by the director causes this film to be a home run.
- Two audio commentaries featuring Shelton and actors Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins
- New conversation between Shelton and film critic Michael Sragow
- Between the Lines: The Making of “Bull Durham,”
- The Greatest Show on Dirt
- NBC Nightly News piece from 1993 on the final season of baseball at Durham Athletic Park
- Interview with Max Patkin, known as the Clown Prince of Baseball
- Original trailer
- Excerpts from a 1989 piece by longtime New Yorker baseball writer Roger Angell, with new comments from the author