Matt Damon, The Legend of Bagger Vance
Credit: David James

”Bagger Vance” is based on Steven Pressfield’s mystical 1995 novel about a WWI hero (Damon) who challenges two pro golfers in a local tournament with the help of his godlike caddie (Smith in the title role). And it seems the reported $70 million production, which filmed in Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga., was blessed with divine intervention: The set, including a specially constructed golf hole on South Carolina’s Kiawah Island, was largely spared from Hurricane Floyd in summer ’99.

”The day we all arrived in Savannah, we had to evacuate to Atlanta,” says Theron, who plays Damon’s estranged girlfriend. ”We had some sets destroyed, but we were lucky.” Theron was also thankful for her character’s stately retro wardrobe, chosen by the same costume designer (Judianna Makovsky) who worked with the actress on the 1997 thriller ”The Devil’s Advocate.” ”To have her dress me up was great,” says Theron, who also appears in ”Men of Honor” and ”The Yards” this fall, ”since all the clothes I wore in ‘Devil’s Advocate’ were from Kmart.” GOOD SIGN Could be as uplifting as ”The Natural.” THEN AGAIN Or as sleep inducing as ”The Horse Whisperer.”

The Legend of Bagger Vance

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 125 minutes
  • Robert Redford