Imagine that, and you'll know how I felt after reading Ron Fimrite's story on The Natural (A Star with Real Clout, May 7), in which you portray Roger Towne as the sole screenwriter. This is untrue and unfair.
The fact is that Towne and I share equal credit for the screenplay, a credit determined by the Writers Guild of America. It reads: "Screenplay by Roger Towne and Phil Dusenberry." That's how it appears in the film itself; that's how it's listed in trailers, advertising and promotion. Please set the record straight.
New York City
? SI apologizes to reader Dusenberry. At the time our story closed and again last week, Mark Johnson, the producer of the movie, assured us that the script they used was exclusively Towne's. However, Towne has since said that Dusenberry's "contribution to the script was significant, for which I am deeply grateful."—ED.
I enjoyed Ron Fimrite's article on The Natural, as I do most of Fimrite's stories. However, I must comment on a couple of minor points.
The Pride of St. Louis, starring my late uncle, Dan Dailey, as Dizzy Dean, could be viewed as a "soupy biography" or, in a better light, as a sympathetic portrait of a true American character.
At any rate, Uncle Dan was, if not a baseball player, certainly a good athlete. He golfed, skin-dived and was an excellent horseman. He also did some dancing (hoofing, he would call it), which required a fair amount of coordination and stamina.
Uncle Dan told me that he had more fun making Pride than any other movie in which he appeared. During the filming, he took infield practice and was involved in pepper games with the real Cardinals, and he held his own.
Not once did Uncle Dan ever mention nuclear fission.
Please look again at the team photograph of the fictitious New York Knights on page 103 of your May 7 issue. I realize it's only a movie, but what baseball team has its team picture taken during the bottom half of the eighth inning with one man out and a batter up? I wonder if "plate umpire No. 2" held up the game long enough for the photo session.
Of course, with Pittsburgh leading 9-0, maybe the Knights figured: "What the hell; let's get our picture taken!"