If you are looking for a VHS or R0 DVD copy of the film contact me.
There are finer things than winning championships.
Cast | Articles | Classic Lines | DVD | DVD-ROM | E-mail | Interviews | News | Notes | Pictures | Quotes | Press Releases | Summary - Official | My Summary | My Review | Trailer
|O.B. Keeler||Malcolm McDowell|
|Bobby Jones||Jim Caviezel|
|Mary Malone Jones||Claire Forlani|
|Walter Hagen||Jeremy Northam|
|Harry Vardon||Aidan Quinn|
|Clara Jones||Connie Ray|
|Camilla Brown||Elizabeth Omilami|
|Colonel 'Big Bob' Jones||Brett Rice|
|John Malone||Larry Thompson|
|Stewart Maiden||Dougie Henshall|
|Grandfather Jones||Dan Albright|
|Young Girl||Amanda Alch|
|Eben Byers||Kenny Alfonso|
|Ralph Reed||Tom Arcuragi|
|Stewart Maiden||Alistair Begg|
|Well Wisher #3||Brian Bremmer|
|Reporter #4||Pat Cusick|
|Interlachen Golfer||Rudi Davis|
|Inwood Runner||Mitch Dean|
|Reporter #2||Phillip Devona|
|Law Professor||Richard Dobkin|
|Gene Homans||Kevin Downes|
|Perry Adair||Brian F. Durkin|
|Reporter #3||David Dwyer|
|Well Wisher #2||Mary Jean Fenton|
|Oakmont Official||Wilbur Fitzgerald|
|Young Lady||Angie Fox|
|Bobby Age 6-8||Devon Gearhart|
|Merion Reporter #8||Mark Russell Gray|
|Mr. Beecham||Bill Greely|
|Charlie Cox||Jim Grimshaw|
|Constable O'Brien||Jim Harley|
|Worchester Senior Official||Bob Harter|
|Major Cohen||Rand Hopkins|
|Fraternity Guy||Ted Hurt Huckabee|
|Chick Evans||Clark Jarrett|
|Milt Saul||John Kohler|
|Nell Woodruff||Happy LaShelle|
|Guy On Street||Justice Leak|
|Coed #2||Kasey Leigh|
|Bobby Age 14||Thomas Lewis|
|Doctor Applegate||Andrew Masset|
|Parking Valet||Kelly McCormick|
|Jimmy Maiden||Hilton McCrae|
|Bob Gardner||Roy McCreary|
|St. Andrews Starter||Alan McGregor|
|Starter #2||Bruce McKinnon|
|Merion Reporter #9||Geoff McKnight|
|Philadelphia Reporter #6||Jamie Moore|
|Attractive Woman||Julie Moore|
|U.S.G.A. Official||Rodney Mull|
|Merion Reporter #7||Scott Oliver|
|Camilla Brown||Elizabeth Omilami|
|Grantland Rice||Allen O'Reilly|
|Pencil Necked Reporter||Robert Pralgo|
|Worchester Official||Rick Rueckert|
|Billy McAfee||Bob Seel|
|Perry's Girlfriend||Eleanor Seigler|
|Bob Woodruff||John Shepherd|
|Alexa Stirling - Child||Erin Smith|
|Alexa Stirling - Adult||Stephanie Sparks|
|Reporter #5||Kevin Stillwell|
|Jess Sweetser||Woody Taft|
|Reporter||Frank Hoyt Taylor|
|John Malone||Larry Thompson|
|Perry Adair||David Van Horn|
|Little Clara Jones||Kelsey Walter|
|George Adair||Tim Ware|
|Bobby Jones' Caddy||John Quintiliani|
Directed and written by Rowdy Herrington
Golf Digest teaching Professional
By Tom Ness with Matthew Rudy Golf Digest 4/04
I'm just like everybody else. I've seen all the golf
movies - where the actors make some swings that look more like those of a
high-handicapper than a professional. So when I was hired by the producers of
the new movie, "Bobby Jones -- Stroke of Genius," to work with Jim
Caviezel on his swing during filming at Chateau Elan Golf Club outside Atlanta,
I knew it was going to be challenging. And when I first saw Jim's swing on
video, in director Rowdy Herrington's trailer, I had some misgivings. We're
talking about a guy who had never played golf in his life, and, on top of that,
I seriously underestimated Jim Caviezel.
The first thing Jim told me was that he wanted to look better than the other actors who played golfers. He got very serious, and told me whatever I wanted from him, he would give. Honestly, I thought that was kind of arrogant. Golf is hard.
But after 14 days on the set, I learned what kind of talent great actors have for mimicking physical movements -- especially actors as athletic as Jim, a former college basketball player. Plus, he's had some experience. To play the title role in "The Count of Monte Cristo," Caviezel (ca-VEE-zle) went through intense training to learn how to fence. An expert might tell the difference on screen, but it looked great to the average person.
Jim was able to make the same transformation for this movie, and it made me believe that the skills he used to learn Jones' swing (and how to fence) can help you with your own game. His key to "getting" Jones' swing was forgetting about the outcome -- where the ball went -- and concentrating on copying the correct motions the hands go through in the swing. Kids learn this way, by copying what they see. Jim paid such close attention to his hands and where they needed to go that it took him just two or three takes to nail what the average player requires two or three months to develop. The average player might not have Jim's skills, but I'm convinced anyone can use this copying technique to improve much more quickly.
Jim is a perfectionist, and he worked hard to get the right look for the movie. I've only seen a rough cut of the movie, so I'm still edgy about it. I know he made a lot of good swings. He actually got so much better during the filming that I was afraid the viewer would be able to tell at what point the scenes were being shot. I just hope they put all the good ones in the movie!
Tom Ness' work with Jim Caviezel, which included a quick tip between takes while shooting on the Queen Mary in December (above), was just a small part of the six-month process of turning Bobby Jones' life story into "Stroke of Genius," a $20 million Hollywood motion picture.
Caviezel, who also plays the title role in the "The Passion of The Christ," Mel Gibson's controversial new film, not only had to learn to swing a golf club from scratch (and do it like Jones), but also underwent a two-hour hair-and-makeup transformation each morning to capture Jones' mien. "Genius" also stars Claire Forlani ("Meet Joe Black") as Jones' wife, Mary, and Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange") as golf writer O.B. Keeler.
Filming started last summer at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, then moved to Georgia. Jones' American triumphs were staged at East Lake, where he learned the game, and Chateau Elan.
Those who have only a boilerplate familiarity with Jones' life -- Grand Slam, Masters, debilitating illness -- will be pleasantly surprised by the film's depth. Director Rowdy Herrington takes advantage of the chemistry between Caviezel and Forlani to do more than simply retell the stories of Jones' victories. "The story was the first thing that attracted me to this project," says Caviezel. "It's a great story, not just a great golf story -- in the same way 'Hoosiers' isn't just about basketball."
The film is scheduled to be released on April 30, two weeks after the 2004 Masters - Jones' lasting legacy to tournament golf - is played. - M.R.
Thousands of people in Atlanta this week paid $100 to $500 each to watch Jesus play golf and talk about it.
It was a charity screening of the upcoming film "Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius," which stars Jim Caviezel as the famed Georgia golfer. The actor who portrayed Jesus in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" didn't walk on water Wednesday, but he did stop traffic in both directions as he arrived at the Fox Theatre. The movie opens in theaters nationwide on April 30.
"About 13 years ago, I was a waiter at a Hollywood party full of celebrities, and I talked to Jimmy Stewart to get advice," Caviezel told the gathering. "He said, 'Make good movies, make good movies.' I think this is one of those things Jimmy Stewart was talking about."
Malcolm McDowell, who plays Atlanta Journal writer O.B. Keeler in "Bobby Jones," also attended the screening. The film tells the story of Jones, who in 1930 became the only man in history to capture the sport's grand slam, which then was the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur.
10/28/03 The Scotsman
- Legend of Bobby Jones given the Hollywood Treatment
10/15/03 The Age - Bobby Comes in Swinging with Malcolm quotes
Not all classic - just all of Malcolm's dialog.
"Thank you. Keep the change."
"Oh, my. He's just a boy. Brilliant. What a swing. Little Bobby Jones, a toe headed boy from East Lake Golf club was born on St. Paddy's day, but luck is not an issue. His golf can only be described as brilliant. I'm going on record. Bobby Jones is destined for greatness. Dixie whiz kid lights up Georgia Amateur by O.B. Keeler."
"Half a league, half a league. Half a league onward, 'Forward, the Light Brigade!'..."
"The face of an angel, the temper of a tin whistle."
"If he keeps playing like this, I'm telling you he can win this thing. I've never seen anyone putt like this."
"You can call me O.B. What are you reading? I know, I was there. I saw it - the will to win. That's the price of fame son. I'm afraid you're gonna have to live with it. It's too late now."
"What's it say? What am I gonna say to him? The way I see it he's trying to please you, his mom and the whole damn city of Atlanta. Throwing clubs may be the only thing he has to relieve the pressure. I don't think so. Nope."
"I guess this is your runner up year. Well, you know what Will Rogers said. "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment." If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs. If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same. And which is more you'll be a man, my son! Aw hell, just keep it."
"A little closer. Smile Bob!"
"You see? The betting is 10 to 7 on Cruickshank, he's got the momentum coming from behind. And they're saying you are weak under the belt. This playoff means a fortune to Cruickshank. You're just playing for fun. This telegram came for you. "Keep the ball in the fairway and make all the putts go down. Signed Robert Tyre Jones Sr." In case you haven't realized it yet you are the...best...golfer in the world. When you get that through your head you're not just going to win one tournament, you're going to win them all."
"He thinks he's a jinx."
"Bobby Jones lost the U.S. Open by one stroke. In calling a penalty on himself he demonstrated to all of us the highest ideal of sportsmanship - personal honor. I'm prouder of him than if he won. There are things finer than winning championships."
"What's your handicap coming into this season Mr. Hagan?"
"It's the U.S. open next week. Bob the doctor..."
"No one can do that."
"You're gonna kill me with those 40 footers."
"I know you - you're the British Open champ. A very good year. Mary gave me your stomach medicine. And yet they'll be another parade for you."
"It's 110 in the shade. (Laughs)"
"Bobby Jones is a true athlete and a gentleman. There'll never be another one like him. Money is going to ruin sports."
"I'm O.B. Keeler bringing you the first ever live radio broadcast of the U.S. Amateur golf championship. Mr. Bobby Jones quest for grand slam. As the world watches I'll be here to the very end. Will the German take the whole way?"
"Bobby Jones to putt...and this putt should break left. Jones just misses left. Mr. Hawking putts. This put should break to the right. Not even close. Mr. Hawking concedes. Bobby Jones wins! Bobby Jones has won the grand slam! There are things finer than winning championships."
"You know I love what Graham wrote. 'When the one great scorer comes to write against your name. He writes not whether you won or lost, but how you played the game.' You won all these tournaments for your dad and the people of Atlanta. You got two college degrees for your mother, became a lawyer for your grandfather. You retired from golf for your wife. What are you gonna do for yourself?"
Special Edition released 11/30/04
Cover - Back
Director Commentary with guest Prof. Richard Brown
"Celebrating the Legend" - The Making of Featurette
Featurettes on the Bobby Jones legacy
Narrative track for the visually impaired
Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation (2.40 aspect ratio)
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Thai
Rated PG for Language
Running Time: 129 Minutes
ISBN 1-4049-6781-8, UPC 0 43396 08510 7
Given out to the press and at previews. Contains:
First Tee/PGA Charities
Behind the Scenes
Special Message to Friends of Bobby Jones
Every once in a while, a great independent film is made that deserves special
attention. Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius is one of those movies. Starring Jim
Caviezel in his first role since playing Jesus in The Passion of the Christ,
this epic film captures the spirit of Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., one of America's
great sports heroes. It will change you and inspire you.
There is no "Hollywood hype" surrounding the release of this film. The film's producers and individual investors instead launched an unprecedented release strategy to create grassroots awareness while raising millions of dollars for charities like The First Tee, Special Olympics, children's hospitals, Athletes In Action and others. Word is spreading that this may represent an entirely new model for releasing a major motion picture.
That's why I'm forwarding this e-mail to you. The major studios will try to squeeze this film out of theaters ASAP. So if you want to join in the celebrating the legacy of Bobby Jones, see an award-winning film, and help ensure that quality independent films can make it to the theatres, you can do two things:
· Pass along this e-mail to your friends (it includes links to the moviewebsite and trailer); and
· Go see the movie (theater listings are available on the website) - www.bobbyjonesthemovie.com. Together, we will make this film and its philanthropic legacy a great success!
Go to www.bobbyjonesthemovie.com for more and www.bobbyjones.tv to send the trailer to your friends!
All the best,
Rick Eldridge, Kim Dawson, Jim Van Eerden & Tom Crow
Bobby Jones Film LLC Producer Unit
4/29/04 Palm Beach
Post with Bobby Jones IV
4/28/04 Kane County Chronicle with investors of the film
4/26/04 Journal News with Malcolm McDowell, Jim Caviezel + Kim Dawson
4/15/04 Daily South with Jim Caviezel
3/12/03 SI.com with Jim Caviezel
3/04 Golf Magazine with Malcolm McDowell + Jim Caviezel
8/31/03 Sunday Herald with producers Carol McGregor and Janice Cutting
Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius has been nominated for "Best Sports Movie!" The ESPY Awards were created by ESPN in 1993 and are given for Excellence in Sports Performance. You, the fans, determine the winners by voting for the categories via the Internet. The 2004 ESPY Awards will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and air on ESPN on July 18 at 9 p.m. ET.
Chateau Elan Hosts Major Motion Picture Production `Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius' Sept. 29, Oct. 3
Filming at Chateau Elan commences Monday, September 29 on a $14 million production starring Jim Caviezal as the legendary Bobby Jones. Co-starring is Claire Forlani as Bobby's wife, Mary, Jeremy Northam as Walter Hagen and Malcolm McDowell, as O.B. Keller, veteran Atlanta Journal sports staffer. The movie, written and directed by Rowdy Herrington is set primarily between the period of 1920-1930 when Bobby Jones dominated the golfing world on his way to winning the Grand Slam of Golf. Hundreds of extras from the Greater Atlanta area, dressed in period attire from the 1915-1930 era, will be utilized for various scenes shot primarily on Chateau Elan's three golf courses.
Who: Jim Caviezal whose screen credits include "The Count of Monte
Christo," opposite Jennifer Lopez in "Angel Eyes"; and "The
Passion," Mel Gibson's new movie. Claire Forlani played opposite Brad Pitt
and Anthony Hopkins in "Meet Joe Black" and starred opposite Jackie
Chan in "Medallion." Malcolm McDowell, world class character actor
whose memorable role as Alex in
Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange," secured his place in movie history. Jeremy Northam, one of Britain's finest actors starred opposite Michael Caine in "The Statement"; "The Singing Detective," with Mel Gibson and "Possession," with Gwyneth Paltrow.
Where: Principal filming depicting the triumphs, disappointments and drama
surrounding Bobby Jones' most memorable matches during the 1920s and 1930s will
be recreated on Chateau Elan's three championship courses, The Woodlands, The
Chateau and The Legends. Tons of equipment, antique cars, cameras, movie sets,
hundreds of 1920s and 1930s men's and women's costumes, makeup, styling, and
dressing room trailers for a production cast and crew of 115 plus hundreds of
extras will turn Chateau Elan into a huge Hollywood movie set.
When: Beginning each day from 7 a.m. through evening sunset. Monday and
Tuesday (Sept. 29, 30) on the Woodlands golf course. Monday, #11 tee and
fairway; #10 tee, fairway and green. Tuesday, #8 tee, fairway, green; #2 and 3
green; #4 tee; #15 tee, fairway and green.
Wednesday (Oct 1) on The Legends golf course. #1 tee; #9 green. Thursday, (Oct.2) The Legends. #1 tee and #9 green (again). Thursday afternoon (Oct. 2) The Chateau course practice facility. Friday, (Oct. 3) Chateau course. Hole #5, Clubhouse behind #18 green, #14 hole and the "Wee Links."
Location: Driving North on I-85 take a left at exit 126. Go past the main entrance of Chateau Elan 1 mile to the Chateau Elan Golf Club which is on your left.
Star Telegram 9/15/03
Brent Hyder jetted off to Scotland at the drop of a hat after he bumped into his old friend actor Malcolm McDowell. It seems Malcolm had landed a big part in the new film Stroke of Genius, the story of legendary golfer Bobby Jones. He was filming in Scotland and he invited Brent to go along. Soon the two were playing the storied "old course" at St. Andrews with the "Keeper of the Green" - on a Sunday, yet - something that just doesn't happen. "We all wore 1920s clothes, and I was clapping along with all the extras," says Brent, who is bemoaning the fact that he didn't invest in this venture as did several other Fort Worthians who are involved with the Private Consulting Group.
Newton County location planned for movie about Bobby Jones
Thursday, September 4, 2003 online edition of the Augusta Chronicle
Covington, GA - "Stroke of Genius," a movie about golfer Bobby Jones, will begin filming in Newton County on Sept. 8.
A historic plantation will be used as the Jones family home, and a portion of the property will be made to look like Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club, said Mike Cheaves, chairman of the Friends of Gaithers, which supports the plantation, now used for special events.
Cheaves said the contract for the property calls for about 28 days, but only four dedicated to filming. "The rest will go towards prep work needed to achieve the desired look," he said.
Jim Caviezel, who was opposite Jennifer Lopez in "Angel Eyes," has been cast as Jones, whose wife, Mary Malone, will be played by actress Claire Forlani.
Malcolm McDowell, known for the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece "A Clockwork Orange," has signed to play Atlanta sportswriter O.B. Keeler.
Producers of the film, which could have budget up to $20 million, are eyeing a March release, possibly to coincide with Jones' 102nd birthday on St. Patrick's Day.
Director Rowdy Herrington has said the movie will focus on Jones prior to his retirement from the game in 1930 after winning golf's Grand Slam - the British Amateur, British Open, U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open.
Portions of the movie also are being filmed in North Carolina and at the Old Course of St. Andrews in Scotland, where Jones won his first British Open.
The Courier © D C Thomson
Life of golfing great being filmed in Fife
Hollywood came to St Andrews yesterday with the start of filming on and around the Old Course of the $15 million production charting the life of US golfing legend Bobby Jones.
The area around the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club was transformed into a film set from early morning as the production team and stars Jim Caviezel in the title role, Claire Forlani as his wife and Scotland’s Dougie Henshall as his mentor Stewart Maiden from Carnoustie, began work on the period drama. The cast also includes Malcolm McDowell as Jones’ manager O. B. Keeler.
Hundreds of people turned out hoping to catch a glimpse of the action, which involved more than 1000 extras in period costume, many of them St Andreans. Vintage cars, a bus and horse-drawn coaches lined nearby streets.
Traffic was disrupted for a time and police were on duty at the worst affected areas.
The film company was granted permission by St Andrews Links Trust to film on the first and 18th holes of the Old Course yesterday and again next Sunday. Filming also took place from the balcony of the R and A clubhouse.
The film, Bobby Jones—Stroke of Genius, directed by Rowdy Herrington, will be released worldwide in 2004. It focuses on the life of Jones, winner of the Open Championship at St Andrews in 1927 and the Amateur Championship in 1930 —also the year of his famous Grand Slam.
The American producers of the film, Bobby Jones Films, LLC, in association with Dean River Productions, asked Scottish-based production company McDongall Films to co-ordinate the Scottish element of the shoot.
Behind McDongall Films is Ewan McGregor’s mother Carol and her colleague Janice Cutting. They develop and produce commercial films with a Scottish thread and are currently involved in 10 projects.
The film is being styled in a manner similar to the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire, the opening sequences of which were filmed on the West Sands in St Andrews. Jones’ descendants are working with the producers to ensure authenticity of his character depictions.
St Andrews golf professional Jim Farmer is coaching Jim Caviezel, who had never played golf in his life. His body double is Jim Farmer’s son Jamie, a student at Aberdeen University.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning the Eden Course will be closed for more golfing scenes—the first tee-time available to the public will be 12.32 pm—and Market Street will be closed for several hours on Thursday.
This is the role Malcolm was born to play - a golf expert! Plus he gets paid to play golf on the two greatest courses in the world.
Malcolm is to co-star in Stroke of Genius to be filmed in Scotland and Atlanta about the legendary golfer Bobby Jones. It is also starring Jim Caviezel. It starts filming immediately. It's one of those crazy jobs where they offer it to you on a Monday then by the following week you are on the plane. At St. Andrews the home of golf and Augusta no less. He is very excited to do it! McDowell will play a sportswriter who discovers Jones and later becomes a good friend.
Budget was $17.5 million, with around half from private investors.
Press release about the filming released - 10/30/02.
I get word from MM that he is going to be in the film right away - 8/20/03.
Filming starts at St. Andrews in Scotland, the world's most famous golf course - 8/24/03.
They were hoping to get the film out on Bobby Jones's 102nd birthday on 3/17/04, but it had to be pushed back.
Filming begins in Georgia at the famous Augusta course - 9/8/03.
Filing also took place at Chateau Elan in North Carolina - 9/29-30/03.
Filming wraps on 10/23/03.
Test screenings of the director's rough cut of the film - 1/22-8/04.
Film is renamed from "Stroke of Genius" to "Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius".
PGA Merchandise show screenings - 1/29 - 2/1/04.
American Film Market screenings - 2/25 - 3/7/04.
Atlanta Charity Screening - 3/31/04.
Charitable pre-release screenings - 4/8-22/04.
The Masters (includes screenings for players and media) - 4/5-11/04.
Before the Masters on CBS TV at Noon 4/11/04 they were supposed to play "Celebrating the Legend: The Making of 'Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius'" 60 mins. Instead it doesn't air and later airs on the Golf Channel and is 30 minutes.
Augusta Premiere 4/2/04
Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation premiere 4/15. Tickets are $175 each. A red-carpet introduction of celebrities and VIPs begins at 5:30 p.m. Afterward, a cocktail party will take place for ticketholders. Following the movie's showing, a dinner will be held in the rotunda.
Los Angeles Press conference and Red Carpet Premiere 4/19/04 attended by Malcolm.
North Carolina premieres - Greensboro 4/22, Asheville 4/24 and Charlotte 4/28 by invitation only.
New York City Benefit premiere 4/26/04 attended by Caveziel. Tickets were $150.
Jim Caviezel promoted the film on Hannity and Colmes and Fox and Friends 4/29/04
Official release date was 4/30/04.
Jim Caviezel promotes the film on the Sean Hannity Radio Show 4/30/04.
Opening Weekend Totals: $1,233,297 in 1332 theaters. Averaged $926 per theater.
Totals at end of the second week $2,536,460.
59th place and is only in 54 theaters. Total is $2.62 million at the end of Week 3.
Bobby Jones National Tournament for charity - 6/21/04.
Nominated for an ESPY for best Sports Film July 2004.
French premiere 9/3/04 -12 at the 30th Deauville Festival of American Film
Opens in Brazil 10/22/04.
Won a Heartland Film Festival "Truly Moving Pictures" award 10/04.
DVD Release 11/30/04.
US TV premiere - Masters Weekend - 4/05
Sex/Nudity: None. Violence: 1 scene. Profanity: 30 expressions, mostly mild. Drugs: 8 instances of drinking, 8 of smoking, and 4 of both.
Behind the Scenes
Exclusive - The director conferring with Malcolm on a golf course set
Exclusive - Rowdy directing Jim at the table 9/16/03
Exclusive - OB Keeler with Sir Walter 10/13/03
Picture of MM in costume with the director and a kid on the set.
Malcolm Costume Test 1 - Standing casual with cane wearing tie
Malcolm Costume Test 2 - Close up in jacket and tie
Malcolm Costume Test 3 - Standing straight with cane wearing bowtie
Malcolm Costume Test 4 - Close up with glasses and bowtie
Rowdy telling Jim how to act in a scene
O.B. Keeler at Brookhaven
O.B. Keeler at the Jones/Hagan press conference
O.B. Keeler pointing out a shot
O.B. Keeler in front of Big Bob watching a shot
O.B. Keeler doing the first live radio broadcast from a tournament
O.B. Keeler at Oakmont
O.B. Keeler with a box camera at Bobby's graduation
O.B. Keeler at his typewriter
O.B. Keeler being driven to a course
O.B. Keeler watching the young Bobby play
O.B. Keeler sitting on a bench waiting for Bobby knowing he will come out early
O.B. Keeler writing his column about the young whiz kid
Collage of MM at the 4/19/04 press conference in LA
Collage of MM and Kelley at the 4/19/04 red carpet premiere in LA
Theater marquee from my local theater
Art Print w/MM
VIP badge for screenings
The Movie and the Man Book
Independent Film "Bobby Jones-Stroke of Genius" is
Scheduled for DVD Release Nationwide November 30, 2004
Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) November 16, 2004 -- Rick Eldridge, President and CEO of the Film Foundry had worked on numerous major television and sports broadcasts. He has even enjoyed critical and financial success with an animated TV series. His first feature length movie was different than any of his previous creative projects.
"Though we used many talented folks from Hollywood and around the world, this project was initiated right here in Charlotte, NC. And even with the excellent team we assembled, it was still the most challenging thing I have ever done," said Eldridge.
The Independent Film "Bobby Jones-Stroke of Genius" featured an excellent management team, cast and crew. With Kim Dawson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Producer and Rowdy Harrington (Roadhouse, I Witness) writing the script and directing, there was excellent experience at the helm.
An astounding cast was assembled for this one of a kind project. With only a modest $18 million-dollar budget, the film boasts Jim Caviezel (Jesus in Mel Gibson"s Passion of the Christ) who plays the adult Bobby Jones, and co-stars Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, The Rock) who portrays Bobby Jones' wife. Jeremy Northam (Gosford Park, Amistad) is the infamous golfer Walter Hagen and Malcolm McDowell (Clockwork Orange) plays Atlanta Journal writer O.B. Keeler who followed and wrote about much of Jones' career.
Many of the crew came directly from filming Mystic River with Cinematographer Tom Stern and they produced some absolutely magnificent footage at some of the world's best golf courses. Academy Award-winning composer James Horner (Titanic, A Beautiful Mind) created a moving soundtrack.
The movie, which won a Heartland Film Festival "Truly Moving Pictures" award last month, combines an inspirational life story with the backdrop of Golf.
Just prior to the theatrical run last April, Eldridge, Dawson and other key movie execs created the Bobby Jones Film Foundation and raised over a million dollars in charity by offering pre-release versions of the movie for fund raising events. Sony's Columbia Tri-Star division is handling the distribution.
New York, April 23, PRNewswire
Actor Jim Caviezel, fresh off his acclaimed role as Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ, is headed to the Hickey Freeman store @ 666 Fifth Avenue on Monday, April 26, 2004 for a book signing to promote "Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius" from 12:00 to 2:00PM and its world premiere to be held that night at the Loews Lincoln Square Theatre. A reception will follow at Tavern on the Green in New York City. The Hickey Freeman Fifth Avenue store is also the home to Bobby Jones luxury sportswear, the collection Jim Caviezel has been sporting while promoting the film. Jim will be signing the behind-the-scenes book, Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius The Movie and the Man, before heading off to the world premiere later that night. Caviezel plays Bobby Jones, who is long regarded as the greatest amateur golfer of all time.
Bobby Jones, the Sportswear division of Hickey Freeman tailored clothing, and Hickey Freeman, have been working closely with the films' producers in wardrobing the cast and crew both on and off-the-course from polo shirts to tuxedos. "It's been a very exciting time for us. We are proud to be associated with such a fine film," said Jim Leddy, Bobby Jones Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Over 800 guests will attend the New York City Premiere which will also feature appearances by co-stars Claire Forlani (Mary Jones), Malcolm McDowell (O.B. Keeler), Aidan Quinn (Harry Vardon), Connie Ray (Clara Jones), Brett Rice ('Big Bob' Jones), Devon Gearheart (Young Bobby - 6), Thomas Lewis (Young Bobby - 14) and director Rowdy Herrington, whose list of films includes Striking Distance (Bruce Willis) and A Murder of Crows (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Dr. Bobby Jones IV, grandson of the legendary golfer, will also be in attendance.
In the movie, Jones' inspiring life is traced from his early years in rural Georgia through his historic grand slam victory in 1930. It is fitting that the world premiere will take place in the Met Area where Jones had so many ties. His first major victory took place in the 1923 U.S. Open at Inwood CC on Long Island and he won the 1929 Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, an event that set the stage for his 1930 Grand Slam. Considered the most popular athlete of his time, Jones was twice honored with ticker tape parades in Manhattan.
More than a golf film, "Stroke of Genius" tells the story of a remarkable man who displayed great love for the game that tested both his resolve and his character, and great courage in the face of incredible adversity, including a lifelong battle against the crippling disease Syringomyelia that eventually claimed his life. Jones retired from golf in 1931, at the age of 28, but went on to create Augusta National Golf Club, home to tournament he founded, The Masters. Jones had a long and successful second career as a lawyer.
In keeping with the spirit of Bobby Jones, all proceeds from this event will benefit the MGA Foundation and the American Syringomyelia Foundation (ASAP), along with the Bobby Jones Film Foundation and their national charity partner, The First Tee®.
The MGA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Metropolitan Golf Association, offers a wide variety of innovative programs and educational initiatives aimed at underprivileged youth, junior golfers and the physically challenged. The MGA Foundation is about to launch a $5 million Capital Campaign to support its ever-expanding programs conducted to help grow the game of golf.
The American Syringomyelia Alliance Project (ASAP) is a charity that funds education, support and research projects for Syringomyelia, the disease that crippled the legendary golfer and eventually took his life in 1971. Their mission is "to improve the lives of those affected with Syringomyelia, Chiari Malformation, and other related disorders while we find a cure".
For more information regarding the Hickey Freeman in-store appearance, contact Erin Gaffney @ 212/840-4771. For further information on the film and its world premiere, contact Tommy Dee or Kate Keller at (914) 347-4653. Tickets for the film are $150 each with includes a gift bag with the film book. For $250 you also get to mingle with the stars afterwards at Tavern on the Green at 9:15pm.
Hickey Freeman Store @ 666 Fifth Avenue (between 52 & 53 Sts.) Store # (212) 586-6481
October 30, 2002
Atlanta, GA - The life story of legendary Atlanta golfer, Robert Tyre
"Bobby" Jones, Jr. will be made into a major motion picture, according
to Bobby Jones Film, LLC. The film, which will be styled in a manner similar to
the epic Chariots of Fire, will be set in the year 1930, during which Jones
achieved the Grand Slam, a momentous feat, which has yet to be repeated. Bobby
Jones Film, LLC has reached an agreement in principle with the heirs of Bobby
Jones and are working to finalize the details of that agreement.
Bobby Jones Film, LLC is headed by producer Kim Dawson of Orlando, Florida; executive producer Rick Eldridge of Charlotte, North Carolina; and consulting producer Tom Crow, the founder of Cobra Golf and a past Australian Amateur Champion. The heirs of Jones are working with the film's producers to ensure the authenticity of Jones' character depictions throughout the film. It is anticipated that portions of the film will be shot at venues where Jones learned and played the game. A percentage of the proceeds from the worldwide box office will benefit the East Lake Community Foundation and The Jones Scholarship Trust. Production will begin in the Atlanta area on Jones 101st Birthday, St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
Jones was considered a "hero for the ages" when he accomplished the seemingly impossible task of winning the Grand Slam with an energizing style, capturing the British Amateur at St. Andrews Scotland, and The Open Championship at Hoylake followed by the U.S. Open at Interlachen, Minnesota, and the U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf and Cricket Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Since Jones played only as an amateur, his accomplishments were all the more amazing. After his final victory in 1930, at Merion, he retired from competition. The personalities and the "stories behind the story" are riveting and full of intensity, romance, humor, and a powerful sense of conviction that the producers believe will be an inspiration to millions of viewers for many years to come.
"This will be an historic film that no serious golfer will want to miss, but which will have very broad appeal as well. It will be crafted with careful attention to the nuances, emotions and triumph of the game during an extraordinary period of world history. It will inspire anyone with a fire for winning and a passion for life," Dawson explained.
The film is budgeted in the $15 million range. It will be cast with a mixture of prominent Hollywood actors and some new faces, who will be identified in a nationwide casting search. "Deals will be set in the coming weeks for the director, writers, and other key personnel," Dawson noted. The film is being financed by The Private Consulting Group, a wealth advisory firm based in Portland, Oregon, and Net Fusion of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
BJ Film's producers and investors have created a unique model for producing and distributing the film, incorporating a pre-release strategy like that of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where special local screenings will be used to build word of mouth about the film. This will involve a pre-release screening at selected golf clubs across the country to benefit charitable causes, followed by a worldwide theatrical release, first in the US and then, abroad. The producers are also negotiating for an exclusive worldwide broadcast premiere as part of the release schedule. Announcements about the production details and distribution schedule are forthcoming at a formal event planned for next month in Atlanta.
"We're going to implement a unique marketing campaign targeting the world's growing golf community, and leverage the film's anticipated success to facilitate a host of outreach programs befitting of the legacy of Bobby Jones," said the film's executive producer, Rick Eldridge. This will include educational and community initiatives that will underscore Jones' philanthropic career as an amateur golfer, attorney, and prominent citizen of Atlanta and St. Andrews.
Producers Dawson, Eldridge and Crow bring an extensive list of credentials to the project, including production roles for Disney, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC Sports, Viacom, ESPN, PAX, and others. Dawson served as producer of one of the all-time most profitable and successful independent films, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Tom Crow, consulting producer for Stroke of Genius, promises that "audiences will cheer, laugh, cry, and applaud when they see this film. We are determined to create a film that balances old- fashioned storytelling with state-of-the-art filmography. The quality of this effort will be appropriate to the stature of the man whose story we will tell."
It was his style that set him apart from all others. A dashing smile.
Impeccable integrity. Unrivaled intensity. Legendary wit and intelligence. An
epic passion for life, born out of adversity.
During a seven-year period, Bobby Jones captured the attention of the world by winning an amazing 62 percent of the national championships he entered, including 13 of 21 tournaments. This amazing run culminated in his Grand Slam sweep of the four majors in the glorious summer of 1930, a feat that has yet to be repeated. Then he retired, never to play as a real competitor again.
Perhaps you've read about him or seen the documentaries. But now a major motion picture has been announced, to tell the story behind the legend of Bobby Jones.
It is an epic drama, in the genre of Chariots of Fire. A story that must be told. Bobby Jones Film, LLC is privileged to be able to tell it.
"Though we used many talented folks from Hollywood and around the world, this project was initiated right here in Charlotte, NC. And even with the excellent team we assembled, it was still the most challenging thing I have ever done," said Rick Eldridge, President and CEO of the Film Foundry
The story begins in Scotland during 1936. We see shots of the
coast, the sky and the old course at St. Andrews. After establishing the scenery
we see Bobby Jones driving his family through a town and having to stop the car because
some fat sheep block the road. An old man named Angus is asleep on a bench near
the course and
Jones wakes him up. Angus is thrilled to see him again and soon word spreads
like wildfire that Bobby is back. Jones was on his way to Europe and couldn't
pass up a chance to play the old course once again. By the time he is ready to
play every store in town has shut down with signs announcing things like "Our Bobby is
Back". He quickly finds himself surrounded by the town who have come out to
cheer him and watch him play. He hits his first shot and when it lands the
scenery has changed.
Then the story goes back to 1910 when Bobby was a young boy. His family lives in Atlanta across from the East Lake golf course and he can see the people play and walks over and watches them. He practices hitting golf balls in the yard and one shot hits off the side of the house and knocks a sheet off the clothesline. Camilla, the big black maid, gets mad at him and warns him not to break any windows or his father will tan his hide. She then asks how his stomach is feeling and he says it is OK. She wants him to eat some lunch for her and this is the first indication that he is sickly. He then goes inside and his mother weighs him and is happy to see he has gained another pound. He wants to place baseball now, but she still won't let him. Just then his father comes home from work and he runs out to see him. He picks him up and tells him he has something in his pocket and Bobby pulls out a candy cane. That night Bobby's mother tells him that he was born under the year of the tiger in the Chinese zodiac. There is a different animal repeating every twelve years and the animal you are born under is the one that you take your traits from. He asks her what her animal is and she tells him the dragon. They are leaders and go after what they want. He asks if she can breath fire and she says she can especially if she finds out he snuck out to play golf. She just gets worried and doesn't want anything to happen to him. He says not to worry because he is a tiger.
The next day a train arrives bringing a new instructor, Jimmy Maiden, from Scotland to work at the East Lake course. He is sore from the ride. Jimmy meets with another Scot that tells him how different things are in America. The next day Bobby's father, Big Bob is playing golf with some clients on the course and Bobby tags along to watch. Jimmy sees little Bobby staring at him and wonders if he is touched in the head, but learns he is just sickly. Big Bob takes a bad shot and loses it in the lake and his wife scolds him since each ball is twenty cents each. While they are playing Bobby's grandfather comes to the house. Camilla tells him no one is home and that they are playing golf. He is upset to hear they are playing golf on the Sabbath. She offers him a cold soda, but he declines because it isn't in the Bible. He wants only water.
Back at the course they are finishing up when Bobby's mother asks Jimmy why there are only 18 holes in golf. He says at St. Andrews they tried to figure it out and decided they are 18 shots in a bottle of whiskey and by the time you were done with the bottle it was time to stop. They return home and Bobby is happy to see is grandfather. His grandfather is not happy with his son for taking his grandson golfing though. He asks his son why he insists on playing golf. He says it is to win new clients. He can't believe his merits as a lawyer don't count for anything. Bobby brings out a windmill he made to show his grandfather. He is happy that Bobby might become and engineer instead of wasting time on golf. His father said he had to give up a promising baseball career to become a lawyer to please him. His grandfather says it was a wise choice, but Big Bob says he won't do that to his son.
Later a golfer is playing at East Lake and Bobby is watching in the woods. Eventually Jimmy spots him and tells him to go home. Bobby then goes around the golf course and collects golf balls that are lost and brings the a full bag to Jimmy since they are worth 20 cents each. Jimmy hopes none of them were in play and he assures him they weren't.
The next time Big Bob is out playing Jimmy says that if little Bobby is going to tag along every time he might as well play with them if he can keep up. He then gives little Bobby a bag of clubs he made for him. Jimmy tells him to hit the hell out of it. Later we see Bobby following along the course as people play and imitating their swings.
The next day Alexa rides her bicycle to Bobby's house. He has a string tied to his toe and out the window. She pulls on it to wake him up because a famous golfer named Harry Vardon is teeing off at 6AM at East Lake. They go to watch, but are shooed away for not being in school. Later Big Bob has some friends over and has Bobby demonstrate golf swings of the locals for them. He does one and then does the judge. He wiggles his butt and slams down the club cursing after a swing and everyone laughs. Right then his friends come up and ask him if he wants to play around and his dad says it is OK. His mother comes out and isn't happy about that.
Bobby then sets an old garbage can up in a field and swings balls at it. Eventually he can hit it, then he hits one inside. After much practice all his shots land inside the can. Then we see that Bobby is now a teenager.
Bobby is entering his first tournament, the Georgia State Amateur Championship and O.B. Keeler the sportswriter is there and can't believe how young he is. Bobby is introduced by his full name Robert Tyre Jones, Jr. and Milt Saul is his opponent who is much older than he is. Bobby is given the choice to go first. He asks Milt if he'd like to go first and Milt lets him go. He swings a tremendous shot that impresses the crowd. O.B. writes about the Atlanta whiz kid destined for greatness. He plays well and winds up winning. The promoter for the event tells Milt's dad that the boys should play the U.S. Amateur tournament. Milt's dad thinks this means they might win. He says they should play, but he doesn't know about winning. O.B. then talks to Bobby quoting him "The Charge of the Light Brigade". Bobby continues the quote which impresses everyone.
Next we see them taking a train to the U.S. Amateur tournament. Milt can't believe all the great people they are competing against, but Milt's dad says it's 18 holes like any other course. The first guy, Eben Byers, tees off and Bobby is worried that he can't cut it. Milt's dad say the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Bobby goes up to swing, but is nervous and backs off. When he does go back to swing he hooks a bad shot and curses. We then see more examples of his harsh temper when he messes up other shots and uses words like "son of a bitch" and "shit fire". We then see Eben have a bad shot and he throws the club in the woods and tells his caddy to leave it there. At the end of the first round Bobby has won. He tells the reporters he didn't play great, but that Eben ran out of clubs before he did. O.B. is quite impressed with Bobby's putting skills and thinks he has what it takes to be a champion. A man comes up to Bobby and tells him he has a great swing and must like ice cream. He says he does and can eat all he wants and the tournament is fun. Milt's dad says that man was a famous sportswriter.
The next day Bobby starts off round two. He hits a great shot and the second place challenger Robert Gardner gets off a bad shot. At the end of the day Bobby comes in second in the tournament. O.B. rides back home with him on the train. Bobby is reading a newspaper article about him when O.B. joins him. Bobby wants to know why they care if he wins or what kind of shoes he wears. He tells him that's the price of fame. Bobby says he doesn't want to be famous then, but O.B. says it is too late. When they arrive at the train station there is a large crowd with a banner welcoming him home. His father tells him the whole town is behind him and will be watching him. Bobby doesn't understand why since he lost. Big Bob says next time he'll win even though his mom doesn't like the pressure they are putting on him.
Now Bobby is an adult and playing in a Red Cross charity match with his girlfriend Alexa Stirling who is the U.S. Amateur championship. He has a bad shot that he has made 100s of times and throws his club over the heads of the crowd. She can't believe he did that and he says he had to express his emotions without the club in his hand. She says he is the star and the caddy paid $1500 to caddy for him and he shouldn't act that way. He says she is the champion, not him, he hasn't won anything. She says when he gets out of the way of himself he will win. He then hits a great shot way over the trees right by the hole that the crowd loves. She says he is a showoff and a star. He says he doesn't want to be a star. Then we see film reel highlights of the rest of the event.
In his next charity tournament Bobby is playing the professional golfer, U.S. Open champion, Walter Hagen. They call him Sir Walter because of his extravagant lifestyle. He shows up to the event late, drunk and passed out in the back seat of a car. The chauffer dropped off the girl he was with without Walter even knowing it. He then hits up the chauffer for some money to make bets to win side money since it is for charity. He can pay him the money he owes him then. Despite his condition he is able to play well. After three holes Bobby has made three every time. Hagan says to psyche him out that if he keeps it up that is a 54. After that Bobby goes down and ends up losing.
Afterwards in the clubhouse Bobby is sitting alone drinking soda while Hagan is partying with friends. Hagan sees him and comes over and pours a little liquor in his drink. Bobby says when he mentioned the 54 he couldn't concentrate any more. Hagan says to let that be a lesson to him. He also tells him he needs to win to make money, unlike Bobby, but some day he'll make a hell of a pro. Bobby says he doesn't want to be a pro, but wants to get an education at Georgia Tech instead. Hagan asks him why he plays golf then. He says because he loves it. Hagan only plays to win the money and not to play him again because he'll lose every time.
The next time we see Bobby he is at college and is studying in a local ice cream parlor. When a beautiful young girl comes in he is distracted. They make eye contact and there is a spark, but before he can say anything she leaves. He watches her go, leaning back in his chair until he falls over. He sees her get on a bus and runs out and races on his bike to keep up next to her. He waves and watches her and she tries to warn him to look out, but it is too late. He crashes into a stopped truck. She loses sight of him as the bus stops and wonders if he is hurt. When she turns she sees hat he is now sitting next to her smiling.
The next tournament is being played in a torrential downpour. O.B. and Milt's dad are watching from inside. No one has seen weather this bad during a tournament before. The papers talk about how Jones has such a bad temper. Big Bob asks O.B. talk to him, but he says that throwing clubs is the only thing he has to relieve the pressure. Bobby is in the next room on the phone with his girlfriend Mary, the one from the bus. Her father is right next to her so they can't talk too openly. After they hang up her father wants to know who this boy is she is dating. He hasn't heard of Bobby Jones and wants to know if he is a catholic and she says no. He isn't happy about that asks what he taught her and she says judge not, let thee be judged. He overheard her say the weather is horrible where Bobby is and she can't believe he listened in. He wants to know where he is where the weather is so bad. She says playing in a golf tournament in Pennsylvania. Now he is all excited because he realizes she is dating Bobby Jones the golfer. He wants to know if he is winning and she says he is in the finals.
The next day the weather is back to normal and Bobby is taking a shot. Right when he is swinging the man on the sideline yells "fore" and screws up Bobby's swing. Big Bob and O.B. are incredulous at his act of stupidity and yell at the man. He tells him people were moving and he had no choice.
Afterwards O.B. is sitting with Bobby in the train station. Bobby says how badly he played because of stupid mistakes. O.B. gives him inspirational quotes from Will Rogers and Rudyard Kipling to cheer him up. Bobby agrees with what he says and O.B. pulls out a flask and Bobby wants some and he tells him to keep it.
After returning home he takes Mary out to a swing club. It is January 15, 1920, the last day before prohibition kicks in. All of Bobby's friends that are there are golfers including his ex. They are all drinking and Mary doesn't drink, but they give her a beer anyway. Since Bobby is well known a drunk man falls all over him to buy him a beer and two girls approach him for a date like Mary isn't even there. Mary can't take it anymore and runs out. Bobby's ex tells him he better chase her down. Bobby catches Mary in the street and she says she doesn't belong there because she doesn't drink or play golf and if that is what he wants then he should find someone else. He says he wants her and they kiss on the street in the light rain. Soon after they are married.
Next we see Bobby and O.B. going to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth and he is giving a demonstration. They have a putting green set up and he is able to hit the ball in the hole even though the ship is rocking back and forth. When they arrive he is playing in his first tournament on the old course at St. Andrews against Harry Vardon the golfer he saw play near his house when he was a boy. He tells Mr. Vardon this, but he doesn't seem impressed.
Back at home Bobby's grandfather is over for dinner and he is upset with his son for letting Bobby jr. play golf. He wants to know why he goes against him. Big Bob says he isn't going against him, he is letting his son do as he wishes. He explains he isn't his son and Bobby is the only son he has and he will raise him as he sees fit.
At St. Andrews Bobby is having a tough time and can't understand what kind of madman designed the hellacious course. As the day goes on he learns to hate the course with a passion. He asks his caddy Angus who designed it and he says a glacier 15,000 years ago. Bobby hits into a sand trap on one hole and struggles over and over again to get out. He has such a bad hole that he picks up the ball and leaves. Angus says they'll never forgive him for walking away. Later Harry visits him and tells him not to let the course stop him. He says he never saw anyone play with more grace in 35 years than Bobby did and to never stop hitting the ball.
After this he decides he can win all four major tournaments if he puts his mind to it. At the next one he has a bad shot and slams his club down. It bounces away and hits a woman in the shin. Bobby is shocked and sorry for what he did. After that the officials tell him he isn't allowed back. His dad yells at him and Bobby realizes he has to change. His dad tells him not to let the pressure get to him and be a man. Bobby gets up to leave and he falls over grabbing his leg. They call the doctor and find out he has bad varicose veins on his legs. He has been in pain from them for a week or so now. His dad can't believe it and says he is too young for that.
Bobby returns from the doctor and writes a letter of apology to the officials that he'll never let his temper get the best of him on the golf course again. Soon after he is graduating from Georgia Tech and O.B. is there to take his picture. Then a man comes over to Bobby's grandfather and says he saw his son play baseball and he was a great player. Grandfather says that is the worst compliment he could give him. A friend comes up to Bobby and asks him what he will do now. He says he will go to Harvard to make his mother proud. The man asks Big Bob if Bobby will still play golf in the summer and he says that is up to Bobby.
Bobby is playing in the U.S. Amateur and a bunch of men are standing around the radio listening to it. When the boss comes in they turn it off. It turns out they are working for Bobby's grandfather and he is the only one who isn't interested. When he goes into his office they all go back to the radio.
Back at the course Bobby is with O.B. and he reads the paper saying they are betting against Bobby since he has less to lose. He then gets a telegram from his grandfather showing his support for the first time ever. O.B. says once he realizes he is the best golfer he'll be able to win all the tournaments. He then goes back out for the second round. Jimmy is there to watch him and Bobby sees him. He tells him to hit the hell out of it. Bobby plays with a renewed passion. Back at Big Bob's office he gets the phone call that Bobby won his first major championship.
In between tournaments Bobby is working as a real estate agent. One client is so excited that Bobby is showing him the house that he doesn't even care if his wife doesn't like it. He wants it if Bobby like it. He asks what his next tournament is and he tells him the U.S. Open. Bobby tries to get him to pay attention to he wife, but he doesn't.
In his next tournament his is once again playing against Walter Hagan. They are tied up and Bobby hits a shot off the fairway. He lines it up and stops. He tells the official he caused the ball to move. The official talks to the other refs, people in the gallery and even Hagan. No one saw the ball move. Bobby insists and loses one stroke. He is congratulated for being so honorable, but he feels he is just doing what is right. He winds up losing the tournament by one stroke and O.B. writes about how proud he was of him.
Afterwards they have a press conference. Reporters ask what it is like being the most famous golfer in the world and other things Bobby doesn't really feel. There is more joking than anything else. Hagan says he appreciates Bobby's generosity in playing for free. He then gives Bobby a pair of gold cufflinks. One reporter says it looks like he won the consolation prize and that it doesn't look like it'll be a good for him.
Next we hear the same reporter has to eat his words as Bobby wins the U.S. Amateur championship. Afterwards Bobby goes to a party and is miserable as everyone wants a piece of him. He is then putting and the ball stops right by the hole and he can't hit it in. It was just a nightmare and feels sick again. Mary wants to call the doctor, but he doesn't want her to. She does anyway and O.B. and Big Bob are there. The U.S. Open is next week and Bobby doesn't want to miss it. The doctor says it might be nerve damage and he doesn't want him to play. Bobby says all he needs is stomach medicine and he'll be fine.
He gets the medication, but is still in pain. He plays the U.S. Open and thinks he didn't play so well. He goes back to his room and is in terrible pain and throws his glass because he thinks he might've lost. Mary wants him to stop playing because he is in such bad shape, but he wants to win. Right after the phone rings and it turns out his did win.
In between the tournaments we see Bobby back in school at Harvard. He then makes his return to St. Andrews and finally realizes what a beautiful course it is and winds up winning the tournament. He is given the cup, but says it wouldn't be right for him to take it home and it should stay there. The crowd goes wild. He wins by 23 strokes and has passed the bar at Harvard.
He calls home to tell Mary he won, but she hangs up on him. She is upset she is alone with the two kids. Bobby then starts to work at his father's law firm and his dad is so proud. His first client is an old man who wants to sue because a man told him to go to hell. Bobby says there is no law against that and besides, he doesn't have to go.
Bobby then tells Mary about going to the British Open and that it is different as it will be all paid for by the USPGA and she can go, but she isn't happy about it. She says he is tired and depressed whether he wins or loses and she can't stand by and watch him kill himself over a stupid trophy. He has to promise that once he wins all four tournaments he will retire. He then practices in the house by hitting balls into a rug he hangs up.
A man says to O.B. that Bobby is going to win all four tournaments in 1930 and he says no one can do that. He tells him he has bet $500 on it because of the great odds. Bobby then goes against Roger in the British Amateur which he wins thanks to some great long putts. He then goes on to win the British Open at St. Andrews. He meets O.B. afterwards as he is writing his column and O.B. gives him a drink and his stomach medicine.
Back home O.B. drives Bobby to the U.S. Open tournament where once again he will be playing Hagan. The tournament will be brutally hot in the summer sun. Hagan tries to psyche Bobby out by saying he'll need to role up his sleeves. He says he can't and shows him why - he's wearing the gold cufflinks he gave him years earlier. What Hagan can't see is Bobby is in pain and his hand is shaking. Bobby wins the first round and Hagan is pissed off. He storms into the locker room at the end and yells at all the other pros for not picking up the slack when he is off his game. How can they let an amateur win? One guy says Bobby is the best there is and he knows it.
In the next round the crowd is chanting behind Bobby. They are tied up going into the last hole and Bobby is in the sand trap. He can't even see the pin and and hits a shot that goes up, over and right in the hole to win.
Afterwards in the club house one of the golfers has had too much to drink and wants to know when Bobby is going to cash in. He wonders when he will turn pro and start making the money. Bobby isn't interested and leaves. He asks if Bobby is some kind idiot and calls O.B. an ass kisser so O.B. punches the guy out. Later Bobby is sick again and Mary is worried it is his pancreas.
The last stop is the U.S. Amateur in Pennsylvania and O.B. is there reporting live for the first time in history. The crowd is huge and the marines are brought in for security. Bobby starts out strong as everyone gathers around their radios to listen. On the final hole Jones' putt just misses and his competitor misses bad and concedes the match so Jones wins the grand slam.
Later Bobby is driving with O.B. after Bobby announces his retirement. O.B. says everything Bobby did was for others. What is he going to do for himself? Bobby takes him to a field and says he is going to build a golf course there called Augusta National as a tribute to St. Andrews. He then hits a ball out.
At the end we are back where the story started at St. Andrews in 1936. Everyone watches and cheers as Bobby begins to play.
The postscript says Bobby fought in World War II and became a major, founded the Masters tournament, was eventually diagnosed with Syringomyelia and died on December 18, 1971.
I read many of the so called professional critics reviews
of the film and it was savaged in the bulk of them. This just proves my point
that if you want to see a film - go see it! Don't worry about what anyone else
thinks or says. I was happy with the film. It was far from perfect, but it is
certainly not the snooze fest it is made out to be.
How can you show the entire life of a famous personality in two hours? The answer is you can't. So they are forced to pick and choose highlights and low points. The people that are familiar with Jones know all these things anyway. The story progresses as you might expect starting with the young Jones, a teenage Jones then the adult one. In this case the film could be divided into three parts according to his age. The two kids that played the young Jones did an excellent job. In fact the entire cast all performed well and made an extremely believable portrait of the early 1900s.
Every reviewer seems to think it is so witty to compare Jones to Jesus because Jim Caviezel has played them back to back. The comparisons to the Messiah and the Messiah of Golf are endless and quite boring (e.g. "Jesus actor can't bring golfer movie down to Earth"). What if this film had come out before The Passion of the Christ? What would they be saying then? Thankfully for me I have not seen The Passion so my opinion of Jim was not clouded or overshadowed by his performance. I was able to just watch him as Jones. Even the producers couldn't resist by putting the word "passion" in the tagline. The other problem is it seems they were banking on the fact that Caveziel is in the film. They don't understand that no one went to see the Passion because of him, it was only for the story. No one is going to see Stroke for Caveziel either. I have seen footage of the real Jones including some of his golf lesson films and I know the real man was much more stocky than Jim. Also Bobby wore his hair really slicked down to his head where as Jim's Bobby's hair was a bit longer and looser. Otherwise they matched them up as well as they could. If he was padded up a bit they could've had a pretty good match. This doesn't take away from anything in the film, it is just a comment on how close they did try to match him up with his accent, swing, dress and style. I think Jim did a good job portraying a man who was great at golf, but was flawed. He drank, smoke, had a nasty temper and suffered with a disease that wasn't able to be correctly diagnosed at the time. Some say that they didn't show all his faults, but they didn't show all his victories either. Jones remains the only person ever to receive two ticker tape parades in the US, but they only showed one parade. This is the point. It is like a buffet, a little bit of everything. I don't fault the director for this because the film clocks in at two hours. They filled up as much as they could. The only criticism of Jim's performance I have is he was too laid back at times. I know that people weren't as excitable in the early 1900s, but sometimes he seemed a bit too stiff.
The real treat was that Malcolm has a ton of screen time and has an important role like in The Company. This is a role he was born to play an d probably would've played for free - just to get the chance to play privately at Augusta and St. Andrews would be enough payment for him. He first sees Jones as a teenager and stays with him the rest of the way first as a reporter, then friend and then as a bit of a mentor. O.B. worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal and his claim to fame was coining the phrase "The Impregnable Quadrilateral" before it became known as the Grand Slam. I have seen the real O.B. Keeler in film and to be honest he is nothing like Malcolm. He was younger, dark haired and American. Malcolm is none of these things, but because O.B. isn't remembered today except by hardcore golfers, it works out fine. O.B. is shown as a hard worker who likes the occasional drink and loves the game. He follows Jones because he is the first to see something great in him and wants to encourage it. Throughout the film he is pretty even handed and is not too emotional one way or another. Late in the film a loud mouth golfer insults Jones and calls O.B. an ass kisser and O.B. belts him. So we finally get to see him get emotional and show he isn't afraid to raise his fists because of loyalty to his friend. O.B. is shown as a good man and is a great character for Malcolm to play. He is great because it is a large role for him to sink his teeth into and show he isn't just the king of the B villains to those who aren't too familiar with him. I just wish he was given more to do and they truly missed the boat by not having him narrate the film. Watch for O.B. near the end at St. Andrews wearing a black bowler hat. Is this a little nod to Clockwork?
Supporting players also did well. Northam gave a convincing portrayal of Sir Walter, the flamboyant antithesis to Jones. Former LPGA pro Stephanie Sparks has to dress down as Alexa and performed well in her two scenes. The actors to play the young Bobby steal the show and did great. There is nothing bad that can be said about the supporting cast.
This is the main problem I have with the film as a whole. There is a lot of dead air. While there is a rousing Scottish James Horner soundtrack throughout and great visuals, narration would've really fleshed it out. By having O.B. tell Jones' story and explain a little more about the Grand Slam and golf in general it would've filled in the blanks. In fact, unless you are paying attention to the banners shown behind Jones at each course, the casual viewer would not know the Grand Slam means one would have to win the British Amateur, British Open, the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open in a single year. This is where narration would've been invaluable to making this clear as he won one after the other. Of course any golfer worth his weight in clubs knows this in his sleep, but regular people will miss this. It is a failing to me because this was Jones' greatest accomplishment and something which to this day still has never been matched. Even titles on the screen could've cleared it up a bit like "Grand Slam Tournament 1 - The British Amateur." Then after he won have O.B. narrate that the next stop in Jones' quest would be the British Open and so on. Now the names and the tournaments have changed a bit. To win the Grand Slam today one must win the the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and the PGA championship. So some explanation of how things have changed and what we are familiar with now would also been a great help. Those of us familiar with the game today also know there were no golf carts, the courses weren't maintained as well and the clubs and balls were nowhere near as powerful as they are today. This is something else that a little narration could've highlighted - the changes between now and then. In watching the trailer we are tricked because O.B. does narrate in the beginning, but not so in the film. He also says he doesn't think Jones should play at one point when he is in pain, which wasn't said in the final film. The doctor is the one who says he shouldn't play and O.B. says it is the U.S. Open and he can't miss it.
Something that doesn't take anything away from the film, but is a bit awkward to me is how they changed the name of it. For well over a year it was 'Stroke of Genius' and that is how I thought of it. Much later they added Bobby Jones in front of the title. I still think of the film as Stroke and while no official word was given to the change I can only guess that by adding Bobby to the title they felt it would get more people to the theater and make it known the film was supposed to be about him instead of about golf. Even the theater marquee I went to just read 'Bobby Jones' and by asking for tickets for Stroke of Genius the guy wasn't sure what I meant. The other thing I don't understand is how they can call it a "bargain" matinee when the tickets are still $5.75 each!? I hope the film does well, but it was a bad sign that we were the only ones in the theater until five minutes after the movie started when two other people walked it. Four people for a showing is a major loss.
The other problem I have with the film is that it tries to be both a golf film and a film about Jones. There is a balance between the two and it leaves me wondering which was more important to them. It seems like they were trying to make everyone happy - the golfers and those who don't play golf. By ending the film essentially with Jones winning the Grand Slam it seems to me it was a golf film. If it continued to go on into his retirement, his instructional films and the struggle with his disease it would've been more of the Jones film they were aiming for. This doesn't take away too much from the film, but I can't help thinking that they weren't sure what the film wanted to be. Regardless it is definitely worth seeing and is a rare film that you can take the family to and not have to worry about the kids seeing something bad - no blood, no sex, nothing worse than some cursing and tempers flaring up. In other words - real life. Kids might enjoy the young Bobby Jones and maybe become inspired by it, but they would probably get bored by the later years of Jones' life. In conclusion just go see it, it is well made, well acted and has a great soundtrack.
Tagline: His passion made him a legend.
O.B. narrates the intro:
"When the one great scorer comes to write against your name. He writes not whether you won or lost, but how you played the game."
He appears at a press conference and then announces:
"He's exhausted. Frankly gentlemen, I don't think he should play."
He talks to Bobby near the end:
"You're the best...golfer...in the world. And when you get that through your head your not gonna win one tournament, you're gonna win them all."
Release/Summary/Pictures ©2002 Bobby Jones Film, LLC
The rest © 2003-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net