The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Directed by: Robert Redford
Junnah Ranulff is the best golfer in Savannah. He’s living well and has a girl, Adele Invergordon, who’s the daughter of a wealthy landowner. The First World War starts, though, and Junnah goes to Europe to fight. The only survivor of a dangerous mission, Junnah doesn’t return to Savannah for 15 years.
In 1930, he returns, and Adele’s father has already committed suicide during the Depression. Pressured by tax collectors to sell the golf course her father built to pay off debts, Adele, now older, vows to bring to Savannah the greatest match ever played on the greatest golf course, her late father’s. She’s able to round up the 2 greatest golfers of their time, Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen to play for $10,000. The townspeople insist on having “one of their own” compete also, and Rannulph Junnah is rounded up.
Junnah now hangs out with bums and is an alcoholic, as he has lost his authentic swing from 15 years ago. At first he turns down the offer. He gets his old clubs and balls and starts practicing. He has lost his ability. Suddenly, Bagger Vance shows up. He offers to be Junnahs’s caddy and help him regain his “authentic swing”. He does, and Junnah agrees to play in the big match.
The film follows Junnah struggles with regaining his ” authentic swing”, where he is faced with many memories and challenges along the way.Matt Damon plays the role of JUNNAH, and does an excellent job but, for me, it is the performance of “Will Smith”, who plays , Bagger Vance, that steals the show. He is perfect and really pulls the entire film together.
You don’t have to like golf to be entertained with this film however, the film may not be suitable for all ages and caution should be taken. There are scenes where a woman offers to trade a man sex for a favor. She does not go through with it, even though it is clear that she loves him, in fact, probably because she loves him. A man commits suicide (off-camera). Junuh abuses alcohol in an attempt to forget his experiences and his pain. The film is rated PG-13 but, I am unsure if I would take my 13 year old to see this but, you can decide that on your own.