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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Bull Durham (1988) feat. Roger Wolkoff

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Plot Summary: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon). As the team's season begins, Annie selects brash new recruit Ebby Calvin Laloosh (Tim Robbins), whom she christens "Nuke," to inspire with the religion of baseball. Nuke also receives guidance from veteran player Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), who settles Nuke's erratic pitching and teaches him to follow the catcher's lead.

*Recognition: Nominated for Best Original Screenplay (Ron Shelton); In 2000, the American Film Institute placed the film on its 100 Years...100 Laughs list, where it was ranked #97, and, in 2008, AFI included Bull Durham on its Top 10 Sports Films list as the #5 sports film.

What is this movie is about?: The intersection of a dream vs. talent and loving something your whole life that seemingly doesn't love you back.

Best Performance: Kevin Costner/Susan Sarandon

Best Secondary Performance: Susan Sarandon/Tim Robbins/Robert Wuhl

Most Charismatic Award: Tim Robbins/Kevin Costner

Best Scene: Crash First Steps In/What do you believe in?

Favorite Scene: Batting Cage/Final Crash-Nuke moment/Drunk Crash

Most Indelible Moment: "Don't think, just throw, meat"/Annie's Monologue/Costner thinking about becoming a manager

Best Line:

Annie Savoy: I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball, and it's never boring... which makes it like sex. There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I'd never sleep with a player hitting under .250... not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there's a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I've got a ballplayer alone, I'll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. 'Course, a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. 'Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball - now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God's sake? It's a long season and you gotta trust. I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.

Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

Honorable Mention:

Crash Davis: I just want to be.

Crash Davis: It's time to work on your interviews.

Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: My interviews? What do I gotta do?

Crash Davis: You're gonna have to learn your clichés. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends. Write this down: "We gotta play it one day at a time."

Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Got to play... it's pretty boring.

Crash Davis: 'Course it's boring, that's the point. Write it down.

Funniest Line:

Crash: The rose is on the front, big guy.

Larry: Excuse me, but what the hell's going on out here?

Crash Davis: Well, Nuke's scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man's here. We need a live... is it a live rooster?

Crash Davis: We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose's glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present.

Crash Davis: Is that about right?

Crash Davis: We're dealing with a lot of shit.

Larry: Okay, well, uh... candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let's get two! Go get 'em.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 7.17

Impact/Significance: 8

Novelty: 7.5

Classic-ness: 7

Rewatchability: 7.67

Audience Score: 8.2

Total: 45.54

Remaining Questions:

  • Why does Crash bring his dad to meet Annie?

  • Why is Crash a seemingly better manager than the actual manager?

  • How awkward is it that Crash paints Annie's toes as part of fore-play?

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