- The Legend of Bagger Vance
name = The Legend of Bagger Vance
caption = film poster
Steven Pressfield(novel) Jeremy Leven(screenplay)
Will Smith Matt Damon Charlize Theron
producer = Michael Nozik
distributor = - USA -
- non-USA -
20th Century Fox
November 3, 2000
runtime = 126 min.
language = English
budget = $60,000,000 (estimated)
imdb_id = 0146984
"The Legend of Bagger Vance" is a 2000
filmdirected by Robert Redford, based on the same-titled 1995book by Steven Pressfield. The story takes place in the US state of Georgia in 1931. The explicit parallels between Pressfield's novel and the Bhagavad Gitaare brought out in a book called "Gita on the Green: The Mystical Tradition Behind Bagger Vance" (Continuum, 2000), written by Hinduism scholar Steven Rosen ( Satyaraja Dasa). Pressfield himself wrote the foreword for Rosen’s book. It was also Jack Lemmon's final film before his death in 2001.
Promising golfer Rannulph Junuh is
Savannah, Georgia's favorite son, and Adele Invergordon is his beautiful girlfriend from a rich family. But after fighting in World War Itraumatizes Junuh, he returns to Georgia and lives a shadowy life as a drunk outcast outside of Savannah. Years later (circa 1930[Technically, the film must be set in 1931or after as James Cagney's " The Public Enemy(1931)" is playing at the theater in the scene shown just after Junnah hits the hole-in-one during his 2nd round come-back.] , as Bobby Jones retired from golf at age 28-- during the Great Depression), Adele is trying to recover her family's lost fortune by holding a four round, two day exhibition matchbetween Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen, the best golfers of the era, with a grand prize of $10,000. She's holding it at the golf resort that her father finished building as the depression struck. However, she needs a local participant to generate local interest, so she asks her estranged love Junuh to play.
After a contentious meeting with Adele earlier that evening, Junuh is approached by a mysterious traveler carrying a suitcase who appears out of the darkness whilst Junuh is trying to hit golf balls into the dark void of night. The man identifies himself as Bagger Vance, and says he will be Junuh's
caddy; He then helps Junuh to come to grips with his personal demons and helps him to play golf again. When the match starts, Jones and Hagen each play well in their distinctive ways, but Junuh plays poorly and is far behind after the first round. But with Bagger caddying for him and giving Junuh wise advice, Junuh rediscovers his game in the second round and makes up some ground. In the third round he plays well enough to close the gap between Jones and Hagen and himself. During this time, Junuh and Adele become reacquainted and find their romance rekindling.
Late in the final round, Junuh disregards Bagger's advice at a crucial point and after that plays poorly, until he hits into a forest. In the forest, he has a flashback to his World War I trauma, but Bagger's words help him to put the trauma behind him and focus on golf. Then, after pulling back to a tie with Jones & Hagen, Junuh has a chance to win on the final hole, but calls a penalty on himself when his ball moves after Junuh tries to remove a loose impediment. (Bobby Jones actually did this during the 1925 U.S. Open and would later go on to lose by one stroke. [Lambert, Craig (March/April 2002), " [http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/030220.html Bobby Jones] ", Harvard Magazine, Retrieved on
June 30, 2007] ). Seeing from this that Junuh has grown and matured, Bagger decides Junuh doesn't need him anymore, and leaves him as mysteriously as he met him, while the 18th hole is unfinished. Though losing a chance to win because of the penalty, Junuh sinks an improbable putt to tie Jones and Hagen, the match ends in a gentlemanly tie, the three golfers shake hands with all of Savannah cheering, and Junuh and Adele get back together.
During the match, Bagger Vance has a young assistant, Hardy Greaves, who caddies for Junuh when Bagger leaves. The beginning and end of the film features Hardy Greaves as an old man playing golf in the present day, and the movie ends with Hardy meeting Bagger Vance for the first time since Junuh's golf match.
Differences between the book and the movie
The movie differs significantly from the book in places.
Though the film gained positive reviews, and Will Smith's performance was largely applauded, the film was a box office bomb, taking only $38,000,000 in ticket sales, a large loss on a budget of $60,000,000The movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 42% approval rating and 39% from its top critics.
The now out-of-print soundtrack to "The Legend of Bagger Vance" was released on 7th November, 2000. It was mostly written by
Rachel Portman; except for tracks one ("My Best Wishes"), thirteen ("Bluin’ the Blues") and fourteen ("Mood Indigo"), which were written by Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller, Joseph "Muggsy" Spanier and Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, respectively. The tracklist is as follows:
#My Best Wishes (2:27)
#The Legend of Bagger Vance (2:11)
#Savannah Needs a Hero (4:53)
#Bagger Offers to Caddy for Junuh (4:07)
#Bagger & Hardy Measure the Course at Night (2:32)
#The Day of the Match Dawns (3:07)
#Junuh Sees the Field (5:11)
#Hole in One (2:30)
#Junuh Comes Out of the Woods (3:55)
#Bagger Leaves (3:12)
#Old Hardy Joins Bagger by the Sea (5:50)
#Bluin’ the Blues (2:27)
#Mood Indigo (3:07)
*Total soundtrack time: 47:15
* [http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/Legend_of_Bagger_Vance Buddhist interpretation of "The Legend of Bagger Vance"]
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