Monday, June 16, 2008

It was 20 years ago today ...

OK, so not exactly today. But it has been 20 years since the movie "Bull Durham" made Durham, N.C., a popular culture trivia answer. and ESPN The Magazine have dubbed this "Bull Durham Week" in honor of the anniversary. Among the highlights: an interview with writer/director Ron Shelton and interviews with Tim Robbins and Kevin Costner.

Both of those men have returned to Durham in honor of the anniversary. Costner revealed a Durham-focused anecdote from the days of filming.

"... Anyway, there's a guy in the film who was really enjoying himself in town when we weren't shooting, and may have had a good time out at the bars with a lady or two on the young side. Anyway, Ronny decides to get a local cop to come out and walk onto the set while we're in the middle of shooting a game scene and confront the guy, cuff him and arrest him for what would be, in the cop's words, having a little too much fun with an underage girl, unbeknownst to him. I mean, this is Durham and nobody's checking ID's. So the cops are basically there arresting the guy, and you can see the horror. Everybody else just loves this and it makes me almost want to throw up. I wanted to go hide in the dugout, and I'm dying. But the kid, the guy, he's just seriously watching his entire life crumble in front of him and it's in front of everybody! I'm pretty sure I snapped a bit and had to sort of reveal the prank, just for my own sanity. My stomach is just f**ing turning! And I mean, the thing is, Ronny had gotten actual cops to do this. They were taking him off the field. For all intents, this was no joke. I couldn't take the suffering. "

And Robbins is asked if "Bull Durham" is the greatest sports movie of all time.

"Yea, I mean I am biased, but I'd have to say yes, it is," he answers wisely.


Kevin Brewer said...

"Bull Durham" was named the best sports movie of all time by Sports Illustrated twice, most recently in 2003:

... and by Page 2 on

Tuesday, the American Film Institute has another TV special in which it will reveal the top 10 films in various genres -- including sports.

Kevin Brewer said...

"Bull Durham" was named the No. 5 sports movie of all time by the AFI.

M. Lail said...

Thanks for the link. Didn't see any other NC-related movies on the list, unless you count "Gone With the Wind." Margaret Mitchell patterned Rhett Butler after a husband of hers, "Red" Upshaw. Upshaw is buried in Raleigh's Oakwood Cemetery.