center>
THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE
I really enjoyed this film. If you like allegory and parable, you will enjoy it too. Movies like this are few and far between.
Review by David Bruce


LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE
(2000)


This page was created on November 5, 2000
This page was last updated on May 29, 2005

Directed by Robert Redford
Writing credits: Steven Pressfield (novel) Jeremy Leven

Will Smith .... Bagger Vance
Matt Damon .... Rannulph Junuh
Charlize Theron .... Adele Invergordon
Andrea Powell .... Mary Jones
Jack Lemmon .... Hardy Greaves (old)
Michael Moncrief .... Hardy Greaves (young)
Bruce McGill .... Walter Hagen
E. Roger Mitchell .... Aaron J.
Michael O'Neill .... Ben Hogan
Lane Smith .... Grantland Rice

Produced by Jake Eberts, Michael Nozik, Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg (uncredited executive)
Original music by Rachel Portman
Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus
Film Editing by Hank Corwin

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content.


TRAILERS AND CLIPS

RealVideo Trailer
RealVideo Clip

QuickTime 3.4 MB
QuickTime 4.3 MB
QuickTime 4.8 MB
QuickTime teaser 7 MB



Click for information

"Inside each and every one of us is our one true, authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that is ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned ... something that got to be remembered."
-- Bagger Vance

SYNOPSIS:
Life is presented as a game of golf.

Review by David Bruce
Web Master HollywoodJesus.com

THE THING HE WAS.
As a young man Rannulph was a great golfer, a legend in his hometown. He loved life/golf.
THE HERO DEPARTS.
World War 1 happens and our hero becomes a soldier.
"Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence." -1 Cor. 10:12 Message
THE THING HE BECAME.
War does bad things to the mind. Ranndulph returns a war hero. But he has seen too many comrades die. He may be a hero, but inside he has experiencing painfully devastation. He returns an alcoholic. The game of life/golf is over.
"I will say to God my rock, 'Why hast Thou forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?'" -Psalm 42:9 Message
AND A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM.
Little Hardy Greaves enters the lost world of Ranndulph to redeem his golf hero. To bring him back from the dead.
"In that day ... a little child will lead them all." -Isaiah 11:6 NLT
ADELE -THE ASSERTIVE WOMAN.
Left with her late father's bankrupt estate and golf course in the midst of the 1930's depression, Adele promotes a golf game featuring the greatest golfers of the day. She attempts to involve Rannulph, her former sweetheart.
SOMETHING HAPPENS.
Rannulph, in the still of the night, secretly goes out onto the golf course to find his "swing" again.
"I strum my lute all through the night, wondering how to get my life together." -Psalm 77:6 Message
GOD HAPPENS
God suddenly appears on the golf/life course. It is very typical of God to suddenly appear at the most unexpected time and in the most unusual manner.
"When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!" -Philip. 2:7 Message
"BAGGER VANCE IS THE NAME"
"If God hadn't been there for me, I never would have made it." -Psalm 94:17 Message

GOD AS A GOLF CADDY.
God comes to help.

"...even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you." -Psalm 139:12 NLT
GOD SPEAKS:
"Inside each and every one of us is our one true, authentic swing. Something we was born with. Something that is ours and ours alone. Something that can't be learned ... something that got to be remembered."
"However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ." -Ephes. 4:7 NLT
GETTING BACK INTO THE SWING OF LIFE -DISCOVERING ONE'S UNIQUE GIFT/SWING.
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might..." -Eccles. 9:10
"...neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy...." -Acts 20:24 KJV

LISTENING TO GOD
Bagger Vance: "You lost your swing, we got to go find it
."

Rannulph: "I can't do this."

Bagger Vance: "Yes you can"

REBUILDING RELATIONSHIP
Adele: "For ten years, not one single solitary word from you. You don't do that to some one you love."

Rannulph: "It was too long ago"

Adele: "No it wasn't'

SEEING THE GOLF COURSE AS THE COURSE OF LIFE.
Bagger Vance: 'Inside each of us is something that is ours and ours alone.'

Rannulph: "This isn't your shot Bagger."

Bagger Vance: "No sir, it's yours."

EYES THAT FINALLY SEE.
Life's journey does not end when we invite God to be a part of our lives. That is only the beginning.
"I once was blind,
but now I see..."

THE CROWDS LIKE A WINNER.
Most go through life as a spectator. This movie invites us to be a player.

BEHOLD, I MAKE ALL THING NEW AGAIN.
Faithfulness in the journey brings great reward.

Rewards in life are good, but there is a greater reward...

THE ENDING
Hardy, as an old man, meets Bagger Vance again. A sort of second coming. Bagger Vance takes him into the next life.

Now there is the greatest reward.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. -Hebrews 12:1 NLT

BAGGER VANCE CHARACTERS BASED ON A HINDU EPIC POEM
Subject: legend_of_bagger_vance
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001
From: Steve Fridsma

Hi, David -
This potential spoiler may shed more light on the question of "Who is Bagger Vance?" I recently read a story which quoted author Steven Pressfield explaining that the two main characters are derived from a Hindu epic poem the "Bhagavad-Gita" (sort of an "Odyssey" or "Ilead" for India) considered "the great epic of India." http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/gita/bg-eg-hp.htm

In a paraphrase of the poem by William Q. Judge, the subtitle of the Bhagavad-Gita would translate into English:

"The Holy Song of God Himself, who, at the beginning of Kali yuga or the dark age, descended upon earth to aid and instruct Man."

In the epic, avatar "Bhagavan Lord Krishna" leads and guides a young follower named "Arjuna" and explains the mysteries of war and life, declaring that he will "feed the lamp of spiritual wisdom." I may be reaching, but it's interesting that some of the key scenes of transformation for Hardy and Junuh involve lamps. The first chapter of this document is translated, "The Despondency of Arjuna." which pretty much describes Rannulph Junuh when Bagger Vance comes on the scene. I read a bit of the poem and a bit of commentary.

Bhagavan = "Bagger Vance" = Supreme Personality
Arjuna = "R. Junuh" = Follower

The names are uncannily similar and are an obvious reference.

At first, discovering this connection disappointed me as a Christian, having strongly sensed the person of Jesus Christ in the character Bagger Vance. This revelation may disappoint some of your Christian readers.

But I came to realize that just because the author may not have intended to depict Jesus specifically, God is certainly there, despite perhaps coming around to it from another direction. All truth is God's truth! Who do we claim "descended upon earth to aid and instruct humankind" who "is right there beside us and has always been there" who "feeds the lamp of our spiritual wisdom" who "desires for us to find our one true authentic swing", our God-destinies, and who is present when we are absent from our bodies? So, to me, it is still Bagger Vance reflecting the Holy Spirit and the way He reaches out to us: sometimes nagging, sometimes playful, sometimes gripping, sometimes nudging, sometimes direct, sometimes permissive, sometimes urgent, sometimes patient, always loving and wise.
Steve Fridsma
The Culture Code
CentrePointe Church

THE BOOK
Subject: Legend of Bagger Vance
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001
From: Paul Sullivan

Hi, I read your review and I guess each of us can manipulate Bagger Vance into what we will. Most of the people I spoke to that had seen the movie could not quite put a handle on him. I, however, read the book first. I have a different picture of Bagger. While the book portrays him as an etheral, caring, and intelligent being; he is far from God. This book was deffinatley written by a secular Author with his own versions of heaven and hell. Good book, and good movie. Nonetheless I find no "Christian" connection.
Paul Sullivan

Response: You say, he is "an ethereal, caring, and intelligent being" and yet you "find no Christian connection." Well, okay. Whatever. Thank you for contribution. Story speaks differently to each person And that is the power of story. Story even transcends the author and his/her intention. Story intersects each listener at different points. -David

From Silke Force: Many of the comments from readers have dwelt on the fact that the film is based on a story that is a deliberate re-telling of a two-thousand-year-old Hindu Epic poem and have criticized the Christian analysis offered here.
Although David's review focuses on a Christian interpretation, it is not an invalid reading, just one that is based on a different theology from that of the original writers'. I personally believe in a compassionate God, and that means that I believe that God cannot have revealed himself and the message of salvation in only one way to only one small group of people. In fact, we are all only capable of perceiving the divine based on our social and cultural upbringing.

God is greater than the boxes that we use to define Him/Her and we need to keep our minds open to receiving His message. As children, we understand the message through simple stories; when we grow up, we put away childish things and understand the message in another way. In this story, Rannulph Junnah was able to understand the message of salvation through the medium of golf. In the original story, Arjunah understood the message through the channel of the battlefield. How fortunate we are that the message still comes through ---- as long as we keep our eyes and ears open.

MORE THAN GOLF AND ROMANCE
Subject: Legend_of_Bagger_Vance
Date: Sat, 5 May 2001
From: Trey Harris New Orleans, LA

I know I am way behind, but just saw Bagger Vance on video. Thought the movie could have done a lot more with either golf or romance didn't do enough with either. However there were many preachable moments. Your review left out one of the most powerful. When Junuh hits a shot into the woods and goes into a flash back and Bagger tells him to lay his burden down, in my opinion, is the most powerful scene in the movie.

This is what God invites us all to do: "Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:29-30 NLT)
Peace and Grace,
Trey Harris New Orleans, LA

VANCE AS GOD
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001
From: Dianne Astle

I wondered if I was out to lunch when I saw Bagger Vance as representing God. Your web site has been a useful one when a movie has spoken to me and I think it has sermon potential. This one will certainly spice up a sermon.
Thanks. Dianne Astle

EVALUATION OF BAGGER VANCE
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001
From: jmc

I liked this movie very, very much; however, I wasn't really sure why. I am a golfer and I actually got a few useful tips on playing that I employed (i.e. visualizing the panorama of a shot and "feeling the putter to the point of impact, etc.). However, once I read this review, I realized how many implications I had missed. I loved the movie for its cinematic elements; wonderful vistas, tight close-ups on the action; the relationships between Hagen, Jones and Randullph as sportsmen who supported each other's efforts were all very attractive. Looking at this thematically as the visitation of God into our lives as one who leads us back to find ourselves had simply not occured to me. Now, I need to see this movie again. Thanks for a great insight to enjoying this film again.

WONDERFUL!
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000
From: Cindy Florence, MS

This has to be one of the best movies Robert Redford has ever produced! My husband and I took our teenage daughter (because of the hormone thing) and the three of us came out completely moved. If you dig deep into your soul, God finds a way to touch each one of us in completely different ways. He opened our eyes to the majesty that the "course of life" holds and that we should never take it for granted!
Cindy Florence, MS

DISAPPOINTMENT
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000
From: KENT

I found this film to be a disappointment. It did indeed have some good messages, but I do not believe they were artfully delivered and came across contrived rather than inspired.
Kent

OFFICIAL SITE
Legend of Bagger Vance © 2000 Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox