Widely regarded as one of the best sports movies of all time, Ron Shelton’s 1988 feature debut, the quick-witted minor-league comedy Bull Durham, has an unparalleled feel for the ins and outs of the game of baseball, from its idiosyncratic pace of play to the foulmouthed clubhouse camaraderie to the grind of a long season that drags through the dog days of summer. As a former minor leaguer himself, writer-director Shelton brought to the film an insider’s knowledge of what it’s like to play pro ball, a bred-in-the-bone familiarity charmingly brought to life by stars Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon (with Tim Robbins as the hotshot pitching prospect whom Costner’s veteran catcher and Sarandon’s devoted fan take under their respective wings). In this clip from an interview on our new edition of Bull Durham, moderated by film critic Michael Sragow, Shelton illuminates some of the challenges in bringing the national pastime to the big screen, chatting about his desire to depict the game as the “talking sport,” and the difficulty of finding actors who will make believable ballplayers. And watch to the end to hear him tip his hat to Costner—who starred for the director not only as Durham Bull Crash Davis but also as a golf pro in the 1996 comedy Tin Cup—as the best athlete of the many performers he has cast.
A Subtler Side of the Hepburn-Grant Magic
Filmmaker and distributor Michael Schlesinger and critic Michael Sragow dive into the pleasures of Holiday, a romantic-comedy classic that has long stood in the shadow of The Philadelphia Story but has a poignancy all its own.
Wim Wenders Looks Back on the Digital Future He Predicted
From search engines to all-engrossing handheld devices, the technologies that the German director conjured for his 1991 opus Until the End of the World are now common features of contemporary life.
John Bailey Breaks Down a Tour de Force of Gothic Lighting
The veteran cinematographer takes a close look at the highly stylized and atmospheric lighting in one of the most pivotal scenes in pre-Code classic The Story of Temple Drake.
All About Mankiewicz
One of the most celebrated Hollywood writer-directors of his time, Joseph L. Mankiewicz offers a window into the way he sees his characters in this illuminating clip from an archival interview.