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The legend of Bagger Vance

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

In 1931, a WWI war hero has the opportunity to play against golf great in a tournament in Georgia USA. The local man, Rannulph Janah (Matt Damon) had been poised for golf greatness until he became a soldier. As Rannulph achieves success during the tournament, he is able to rekindle the relationship with his former lover.

During the tournament, Rannulph faces off against champions Bobby Jones (Joel Gretsch) and Walter Hagen (Bruce McGill). What Rannulph has that the two champions do not is a mysterious black caddie named Bagger Vance (Will Smith), the caddie said to possess the secret of the "authentic swing". During the tournament Vance provides both spiritual and golf guidance.

Novel based on The mahabharata and The bhagavad gita.

Persons of interest

  • Will Smith .... Bagger Vance
  • Matt Damon .... Rannulph Junuh
  • Charlize Theron .... Adele Invergordon
  • Bruce McGill .... Walter Hagen
  • Joel Gretsch .... Bobby Jones
  • J Michael Moncrief .... Hardy Greaves
  • Lane Smith .... Grantland Rice
  • Peter Gerety .... Neskaloosa
  • Steven Pressfield .... Author
  • Jeremy Leven .... Screenwriter
  • Robert Redford .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Down home storytelling.

When Robert directs a film you can rest assured that it's going to be (a) well made, (b) well received, (c) warm fuzzy and (d) worth watching. Think The horse whisperer. The legend of Bagger Vance is just the same, except there are no horses, only golf balls.

Matt is as warm and fuzzy as the rest of the film while will actually manages to act. Even his wisecracks are in character (god). Unfortunately, it's the third film in a row to present god and his delivering angels (is that like Fed-ex? - Director of Intelligence) as African-Americans in contrast to the evil white folks. In Bedazzled it's Elizabeth Hurley and Gabriel Casseus, in The family man it's Nicolas Cage and a brother whose name is escaping me at this moment in time. Perhaps it's a proactive approach by Anglo-Americans to enrich the stature of the descendants of slaves, but more likely it's because those strange people with funny coloured skin are more in touch with the primitive side of humanity, being less civilised and all.

There's a lot of golf action for the blokes, lots of unrequited love for the chicks and lots of deep and meaningful stuff for the brains. There's humour, there's eye candy and there's heart-warming drama. What more can you ask for?

FYI: Bagger Vance is a pun on bhagavad.

Security censorship classification

PG (Adult themes, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

121 minutes (2:01 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: 4 July 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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