Bobby Jones - Stroke of Genius
For a number of years in the early 2000's this was the official website Bobby Jones Film, LLC documentary, Stroke of Genius. This 2004 biographical drama film was based on the life of golfer Bobby Jones.
Content is from the site's 2002 -2004 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
The new owners of this domain wanted to keep the story of the extraordinary athlete visible on the web.
Bobby Jones: Stroke Of Genius - Trailer
Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., aka "Bobby Jones" (Caviezel) rises from complete obscurity to become a golfing legend. Jones overcomes his own fierce temper, intense passion, and perfectionist tendencies to master the game and win the Grand Slam, the U.S., British, and Amateur Opens in golf, a feat unequaled even today. But it is Jones's style, personality, and character that separate him from the other professionals in his field. When Jones realizes that his unparalleled success may be destroying those he loves he's presented with an astounding proposition, one that shocks the world. 2003 Bobby Jones Film, LLC.
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.
Before Tiger Woods...before Jack Nicklaus, before professional sports became the behemoth industry it is today, shined one of the most gifted natural athletes the world has ever known. A man whose extraordinary talent and will to win earned him the Grand Slam of golf - a record he still holds to this day - and universal recognition as one of the greatest golfers in history. A reluctant hero, his grace and charm made him one of the popular figures of his day. His name was Bobby Jones.
Jim Caviezel (The Passion, The Count of Monte Cristo, Frequency) brilliantly portrays Jones in this inspiring story of an extraordinary man struggling to find balance in his life. As a boy, his competitive zeal and mastery of the sport propelled him into the national spotlight drawing huge, even boisterous, crowds to the tournaments he played. But his fiery temper and pressure from family, friends, fans, and press turned his fun into toil. His fierce ambition collided with his personal integrity, and he faced the reality that the hopes, dreams and fortunes of the people he loved the most were being sacrificed for his career. Under this unbearable burden his heroic nature became clear.
Completing degrees in mechanical engineering, English literature and law, he then fell in love with Mary Malone (Claire Forlani - Meet Joe Black, The Rock, Mystery Men), and started a family, all the while planning an exit from the competitive world of golf, with hopes of returning to playing it for fun again, as he did as a boy.
In the modern world, where the pure in spirit are hard to find, BOBBY JONES - STROKE OF GENIUS is the story of a man who, in spite of his flaws, strove to be the best he could be. He was a great champion because he was the best at his game, but he was a hero because he realized there was something far more important in life than winning golf tournaments.
In one of the most ironic twists of fate, Jones is crippled later in life with a degenerative back disorder, syringomyelia. True to his character, he never complained but stated simply that one must "play the ball as it lies." His living legacy is the Masters Golf Tournament played at Augusta National Golf Club which he designed and founded with the help of his friends.
In 1930, in a world stunned by economic depression and bound for global war, the public became obsessed with the exploits of Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, the only person ever to achieve the Grand Slam of golf. What made Bobby Jones so rare was that Jones the person was every bit as exceptional as Jones the golfer.
Motivated only by his love of the game, Jones played in professional tournaments as an amateur and never relinquished his amateur status even when romanced by those offering giant commercial endorsements. His talent for winning seemed to reaffirm the right order of things: for a brief time, the ideal world, the world of what should be, became the world that was. A good man moved an immovable object, and became the inspiration to millions.
When he won the British Amateur at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, a band was set to play him in but never got to sound a note, so complete was the pandemonium. New York gave him the traditional ticker tape parade up Broadway when he added the British Open win to his Amateur title. He had been given a similar parade several years earlier when he became the first man, amateur or professional, to ever win both the United States and British Opens. He remains to this day the only person ever to have been given two such parades up Broadway.
Stroke of Genius is an emotionally charged film based on the life of Bobby Jones. The storyline calls to mind the fact that some people assume the enormous responsibility of uplifting the public in an epic, "larger-than-life" fashion. The movie puts into perspective the glories of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of human frailties and a world of increasing turmoil.
During the first half of the 1900's there was no internet, so the news of Bobby Jones spread via newspapers and movie new clips. No one had cell phones or digital cameras to catch and memorialize Jones exploits. It's hard to imagine such a world as I sit here playing virtual poker on a us casinos online website. I still occasionally go to a land based casino, but it is so much easier to gamble online at a number of different US player friendly casinos via my computer and more recently via my mobile devices. I wonder what Bobby Jones would think of our technological world. Sports figures have become celebrities in our modern day culture. Bobby Jones comes from a very different mold of athlete than such "professional" athletes as Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, David Beckman, or Michael Jordan. No million dollar endorsements for Bobby Jones. Just one exception golfer who lived his life on his terms.
The film begins and ends in St. Andrews as Jones speaks to an assembly of the citizens there who have just honored him with The Freedom of the Burgh, which was presented to only one other American, Benjamin Franklin. The speech is known as the "Friendship Speech" because it was about the honor of being confirmed as a friend of the historic town that bookends Jones' remarkable career.
To tell Jones' story, the film producers will convey the rich tapestry of life from the turn of the century through the Great Depression (a "look-and-feel" not unlike Chariots of Fire). Stroke of Genius will require a precise, classic piece of film-making. The film must thrill viewers as Jones thrilled the fans of his day. He chose to be remembered for "how he played the game," with a sense of style and pride that few have ever brought to life. And we will capture this.
During The Fat Years, from 1923 until 1930, Jones played in 53 tournaments. He won 29 and finished second 11 times. His bold move during the glorious Summer of 1930, during which he won four majors, provided him an exit from the sport he loved, and the career that was draining him. He retired to spend time with his growing family and close friends, and to focus more attention on his practice of law.
While Jones went on to build Augusta National, serve in the Army, and become friends to presidents, kings, and fans worldwide, it is this Summer of 1930 which marked in many ways the zenith of his remarkable career. These weeks are the main focus of the film.
The story is told by Bobby Jones' constant companion, O.B. Keeler, a sportswriter for the Atlanta Journal. Keeler and the famed Grantland Rice figure prominently in the narrative, as does an unknown shepherd from St. Andrews.
In the end, Stroke of Genius is like a lot of other great sports films. Many will know the outcome before they start watching. What makes Jones an enduring character is the sacrifice, the humiliating losses, the struggle to overcome, and the tenacity to be principled in pursuit of the goals that guide us. We care about him, because he cared about us: from the coal miner, Sid Roper, who nearly put him out of his quest for the Grand Slam, to all the fans who crashed in on his privacy at nearly every turn.
Jones may very well have been the last great amateur athlete. He truly played for the love of the game. Indeed, his may have been, as one writer wrote, "the most triumphant journey any man ever traveled in sports." It is a story that must be told.
The team at Bobby Jones Film, LLC takes great pride in being chosen by the Jones family to tell it.
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars / 212 customer reviews
His ability made him a star, but it was his passion that made him a legend. Robert "Bobby" Tyre Jones, Jr. (Jim Caviezel, The Passion of Christ) was perhaps the most naturally gifted golfer in the history of the game. Battling a disabling illness and a volcanic temper, Jones struggled through a succession of early defeats to reach the pinnacle of his sport - becoming, at age 28, the only man ever to win the coveted Grand Slam of golf. But it was his devotion to his wife Mary (Claire Forlani, Meet Joe Black) that led to the astounding announcement that shocked the world, in this inspirational true story of one of sport's greatest icons.
Anyone who's ever been passionate about golf will find something to admire in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, a staidly reverent biopic about one of the game's greatest champions. In the title role, Jim Caviezel suffers almost as much as he did in The Passion of the Christ, portraying Jones--who made history by winning golf's elusive Grand Slam (four top tournaments in less than four months) in 1930--as a passionately committed golfer who silently endured chronic pain (a spinal disorder prompted his early retirement at age 28), stomach ailments, emotional torment, and borderline alcoholism while maintaining amateur status in the sport he so magnificently dominated. Jeremy Northam brings much-needed levity and rakish style as Jones' friend and rival golfer Walter Hagen, and Malcolm McDowell adds colorful character as Jones' friend and biographer O.B. Keeler while Claire Forlani suffers the typical biopic plight of the hero's wife, who offers compassionate empathy while wishing Jones had more time for family. With repetitive golf scenes and a somber tone of martyrdom, Bobby Jones was partially financed by Jones' estate, which may explain its respectable dullness and instant fate as a box-office dud. Still, director Rowdy (Road House) Herrington is clearly enamored of his subject, and some of that enthusiasm shines through the gloom. --Jeff Shannon
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
Based on the inspirational true story of one of sport's greatest legends.
Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., aka "Bobby Jones" (James Caviezel) rises from complete obscurity to become a golfing legend. Jones overcomes his own fierce temper, intense passion, and perfectionist tendencies to master the game and win the Grand Slam, the U.S., British, and Amateur Opens in golf, a feat unequaled even today. But it is Jones's style, personality, and character that separate him from the other professionals in his field. When Jones realizes that his unparalleled success may be destroying those he loves he's presented with an astounding proposition, one that shocks the world.
Anyone who's ever been passionate about golf will find something to admire in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, a staidly reverent biopic about one of the game's greatest champions. In the title role, Jim Caviezel suffers almost as much as he did in The Passion of the Christ, portraying Jones--who made history by winning golf's elusive Grand Slam (four top tournaments in less than four months) in 1930--as a passionately committed golfer who silently endured chronic pain (a spinal disorder prompted his early retirement at age 28), stomach ailments, emotional torment, and borderline alcoholism while maintaining amateur status in the sport he so magnificently dominated. Jeremy Northam brings levity and rakish style as Jones' friend and rival golfer Walter Hagen, and Malcolm McDowell adds colorful character as Jones' friend and biographer O.B. Keeler while Claire Forlani suffers the typical biopic plight of the hero's wife, who offers compassionate empathy while wishing Jones had more time for family. With repetitive golf scenes and a somber tone of martyrdom. Director Rowdy (Road House) Herrington is clearly enamored of his subject, and that enthusiasm shines through the gloom.
When golfers were golfers, and every ending was a happy ending
By Peter Hartlaub Published Friday, April 30, 2004 | www.sfgate.com/
BOBBY30 Jim Caviezel in "Bobby Jones Stroke Of Genius."
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius. Drama. Starring Jim Caviezel, Claire Forlani, Jeremy Northam and Malcolm McDowell. Directed by Rowdy Herrington. (PG. 126 minutes. At Bay Area theaters.)
"Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" begins where most movies in the sports genre finish -- with a crowd of fans cheering like maniacs as the overcome- with-emotion hero makes a determined march toward his field of play.
Like "Seabiscuit" on uppers, this earnest golfing biopic packs its happy endings in the beginning, end and several places in the middle. It's too much feel-good movie to take in one sitting, but "Stroke of Genius" captures just enough detail from the greatest sportsman you've never heard of to keep the historical drama interesting.
'Jones': Indifferent Strokes
By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer | www.washingtonpost.com/
Friday, April 30, 2004
CALL IT PAR for the course. Based on the life of one of golf's early 20th-century heroes, "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" delivers nothing more and nothing less than one would expect from a boilerplate sports biography, which is to say, the standard triumph against a litany of standard obstacles. Each one arises, predictably, like a new hole -- a sickly childhood, familial disapproval, his own ferocious temper, academic obligations, health problems, marital discord, self-doubt, a Mephistophelian arch-rival, etc., etc. -- and each one is dispatched with the kind of undistinguished yet nevertheless respectable storytelling that one might expect from, say, a made-for-cable-television biopic.
It isn't that "Bobby Jones" is especially bad. It's just not especially good, either.
Jones's major claim to fame was winning four major tournaments (the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, the British Amateur and British Open) in a single year, 1930, a feat that has yet to be equaled. And not only, to his eternal glory, did he do it all without ever turning pro -- "Money," one character wryly observes, "it's going to ruin sports" -- but he quit a year later in a kind of voluntary martyrdom.
Jones, so the movie tells us, was a true amateur, in the sense that he played for the love of the game and not fame or fortune. Why then, you might wonder, does he speak of feeling trapped by the sport? And why does playing make him so miserable, leading to a nervous condition that affects his stomach and self-medication through cigarettes and alcohol?
The reasons were complicated, I have no doubt, but director Rowdy Herrington (who co-wrote the script with Tony DePaul and Bill Pryor) doesn't help uncomplicate them. His story merely lays out the facts, episodically, relying on an accrual of peripheral detail -- a harrumphing grandfather (Dan Albright), a neglected wife (Claire Forlani), a debauched but talented rival (Jeremy Northam), an avuncular, sports-writing mentor (Malcolm McDowell) -- to substitute for insight into the man. And Jim Caviezel's portrayal of Jones, while certainly adequate in most regards, does little to shed any real light on the character's apparently tormented psyche. (I say "apparently" because we're not given much to go on besides shaky hands and the occasional hurling of glassware.)
"Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" expects, I think, that viewers will read something mystical, if not in Jones's accomplishments, then at least into the game of golf itself. Otherwise, why cue the soundtrack's heavenly strings, ethereal wind chimes and martial bagpipes every time Jones tees off, in slow motion, with a long arcing drive?
Bobby Jones was a great athlete, I'll grant you that. But Caviezel, with the shameless encouragement of Herrington, seems to think that he's still playing Jesus Christ.
BOBBY JONES: STROKE OF GENIUS (PG, 133 minutes) -- Contains mild obscenity and a thrown punch. Area theaters.
ROTTEN TOMATO AUDIENCE REVIEWS
***** Joe C
Jun 20, 2007
Great movie about the greatest golfer in history.
***** Private U
Jun 19, 2007
one of the 2 best golf movies ever filmed and great ending
**** Private U
Jun 16, 2007
Great bioflick, even though I'm not big into golf?
***** Michael M
Jun 13, 2007
great movie....not well known...but jim caviezel did a great job as bobby jones and this is in my mind the best sports biographyever made
**** Christa B
Jun 04, 2007
My favorite golf movie, and probably my second favorite sports movie, this movie was not well known, but it is great! Jim Caviezel was amazing.
***½ Sara M
Jun 03, 2007
This movie didn't get wide enough distribution. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, you do need ot have some interested and knowledge of golf. (But it helps if you're form Georgia!) Jim Caviezel is great in this role. I am facinated with the golf fashions from the 1930's. Love looking at Pinterest and then comparing them to what men and women wear out on the links today. Don't see too many US golfers wearing knickers today, nor any women wearing long skirts or "fashionable" golf dresses such as women wore 70-80 years ago. Whenever I am looking for clothing to wear for outdoor sports I go to online site is BobsSportsChalet where I can find a big selection of jacket styles from North Face. They don't have golf specific items but their North Face rain jackets have saved me many times from getting drenched and their wind breakers are the best. And although most don't play golf when you need a super warm down or fleece jacket, I've done it many times with my North Face hooded ski jacket. Bobby Jones, I am sure, would appreciate the advances in technology that have allowed clothing for golf to be more comfortable than ever. FYI: You can watch Bobby Jones Stroke of Genius on Amazon Prime or buy the DVD.
***½ Trevor L
May 31, 2007
very well written, character driven biopic
***½ Dean M
May 27, 2007
Extraordinary biographic story of a famous golfer champion in the history who truimphs over himself. I love biography of famous sportstars.
***½ EvaLena I
Apr 30, 2007
A movie about a man that becomes a golf legend even do he have to get through some hard things.
***** brandon s
Apr 10, 2007
i love my golf movies and this, this my friends is my most favorite movie of all time!!!! GREAT!!!!
**** ½ Matthew F
Apr 17, 2005
[b]Why You Should See This Movie: [/b]If you are a golf fan, this film is most definitely one you shouldnt miss. The story of Bobby Jones is one that transcends all sports and hopefully can inspire all to be more focused on the love of the game rather than the fame and money they can achieve by being a sports star. The acting by Jim Caviezel and Claire Forlani is good but not the strength of the film for me. The director put the story together very well with good transitions and beautiful pictures of classic golf courses. The film also ends with a spectacular couple of scenes that sum up the meaning of the film beautifully. [b]Why You Shouldn't See This Movie:[/b] If you are not a golfer or a fan of the game, likely this is just another movie for you that wont be terribly entertaining. [b]Conclusion:[/b] Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius is a great sports movie that demonstrates a real life story that should be the model for all sports today. Any fan of golf should definitely see this film for a great look into the life of one of golfs most impressive figures.
*** ½ John C
Jan 06, 2005
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius is a decent, solid telling of the life of one of the most famous sports figures of his time. Jones was a great figure and one that is deserving of analysis. If you like bio flicks you probably will find this one to be interesting, well done but falling well short of spectacular. There is a lot of golf in the film with lesser amounts of scene time spent on looking at the man's personal life and what motivated him. There were some cheesy scenes but overall it was movie worth seeing.