Bull Durham (1988)
Bull Durham (1988)
Bull Durham (1988)
Bull Durham (1988)
Bull Durham (1988)
Bull Durham (1988)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:
Bull Durham

Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm  
Instructor: Alice Bullitt, M.A., BMFI Board Member

Like a backdoor slider, Bull Durham  (1988) just barely squeaked into the strike zone of existence. Writer/director Ron Shelton was a relatively inexperienced filmmaker who’d previously spent five years playing minor league baseball and drew on that background to pen the script. Although the Robert Redford film The Natural had been released a few years prior, baseball films had fallen out of favor, and it was difficult to find a production company to back the film. But when Bull Durham was finally released by Orion Pictures, it became a big commercial and critical success, paving the way for many more baseball movies in the following few years, including Field of Dreams, Eight Men Out, Major League, and A League of Their Own. 

The story focuses on the Durham Bulls, a down-on-their luck minor league baseball team hoping that their fortunes will change with the arrival of Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins), a rookie pitcher with major league ambitions. Two people are trying to unlock his potential: Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), a jaded but principled minor league player rounding the third base of his career, and Annie (Susan Sarandon), equal parts sports psychologist and sexual Svengali, a siren in thigh-highs spouting transcendental poetry. Sexy, silly, and eminently quotable, Bull Durham smartly investigates and subverts the genres of the sports film, comedy, and romance. 

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Wednesday, April 17 · 6:30 pm