Bull Durham script
Bull Durham (1988)
Synopsis: 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.

FADE IN:

A series of still photos. Black and white. Ancient.

BABE RUTH SWINGS -- An icon of American history. His giant

upper body balanced delicately on tiny ankles and feet. The

huge bat in an elegant followthrough...

DISSOLVE TO:

TY COBB ROUNDS THIRD -- The most vicious ballplayer of them

all, a balletic whirling dervish.

DISSOLVE TO:

JACKIE ROBINSON STEALS ROME -- Yogi Berra applies the tag.

Too late.

DISSOLVE TO:

JOE DIMAGGIO WITH HIS SON in the Yankee clubhouse. Walking

down the runway, Joe in uniform. Number five.

PULLBACK REVEALS:

A WALL COVERED WITH BASEBALL PICTURES behind a small table

covered with objects and lit candles. A baseball, an old

baseball card, a broken bat, a rosin bag, a jar of pine tar--

also a peacock feather, a silk shawl, a picture of Isadora

Duncan. Clearly, the arrangement is--

A SHRINE -- And it glows with the candles like some religious

altar.

We hear a woman's voice in a North Carolina accent.

ANNIE (V.O.)

I believe in the Church of

Baseball.

(beat)

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...

PAN AWAY FROM THE SHRINE across the room. Late afternoon

light spills into the room, across fine old furniture, to a

small dressing table. A WOMAN applies make up.

ANNIE SAVOY, mid 30's, touches up her face. Very pretty,

knowing, outwardly confident. Words flow from her Southern

lips with ease, but her view of the world crosses Southern,

National and International borders. She's cosmic.

ANNIE (V.O. CONT'D)

I know things. For instance--

(beat)

There are 108 beads in a Catholic

rosary. And--

(beat)

There are 108 stitches in a

baseball.

(beat)

When I learned that, I gave Jesus

a chance.

(beat)

But it just didn't work out between

us The Lord laid too much guilt

on me. I prefer metaphysics to

theology.

(beat)

You see, there's no guilt in

baseball...and it's never boring.

ANNIE OPENS A CLOSET DOOR -- Dozens of shoes hang from the

door. She chooses a pair of RED HIGH HEELS, with thin straps.

She sits on a bench and

ANNIE:

Which makes It like sex.

(beat)

There's never been a ballplayer

slept with me who didn't have the

best year of his career.

(beat)

Making love is like hitting a

baseball--you just got to relax

and concentrate.

ANNIE SLIPS ON THE RED HIGH HEELS -- Smoothing her hands up

her calves as she does.

ANNIE:

Besides, I'd never sleep with a

player hitting under .250 unless

he had a lot of R.B.I.'s or was a

great glove man up the middle.

(beat)

A woman's got to have standards.

SHE HOLDS OUR HER LEGS DISPLAYING THE HEELS, side by side.

Like a little girl showing off her new shoes.

ANNIE:

The young players start off full

of enthusiasm and energy but they

don't realize that come July and

August when the weather is hot

it's hard to perform at your peak

level.

(beat)

The veterans pace themselves

better. They finish stronger.

They're great in September.

(beat)

While I don't believe a woman

needs a man to be fulfilled, I do

confess an interest in finding

the ultimate guy--he'd have that

youthful exuberance but the

veteran's sense of timing...

ANNIE STARTS PACKING A HUGE HANDBAG -- With fruit, an official

scorebook, binoculars, a radar gun, and lipstick.

ANNIE:

Y'see there's a certain amount of

"life-wisdom" I give these boys.

(beat)

I can expand their minds.

Sometimes when I've got a

ballplayer alone I'll just read

Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman

to him. The guys are so sweet--

they always stay and listen.

(beat)

Of course a guy will listen to

anything if he thinks it's

foreplay.

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Ron Shelton

Ron Shelton (September 15, 1945 in Whittier, California) is an American Oscar-nominated film director and screenwriter. Shelton is known for the many films he has made about sports. more…

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