Thursday, December 23, 2010

#139. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

DVD Synopsis: His talent made him a legend. His courage made him a hero. Gary Cooper is "nothing short of wonderful" (The Motion Picture Guide) in this moving true story of Lou Gehrig, the Hall-of-Fame ballplayer who reached the heights of stardom...only to face tragedy with a dignity that inspired a nation. Nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, The Pride of the Yankees is a "glorious [and] inspiring" (The Hollywood Reporter) sports classic.

The Pride of the Yankees ranks as one of the finest sports movies ever made, but I actually think it’s much more than that. In my opinion, it’s, first and foremost, a great biopic, a film about a good man who happened to be one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived. 

In unison with the exciting scenes that take place on the baseball diamond, The Pride of the Yankees gives us an in-depth look into the private life of Lou Gehrig, including his devotion to his mother (Elsa Janssen) and the love he had for his wife, Eleanor (Teresa Wright).  The movie spends as much time off the baseball field as it does on, making sure to paint as complete a picture of this shy, personable man as possible. 

As a kid, I must have seen The Pride of the Yankees twenty times. My brother and I were big baseball fans in those days, and it’s because of this movie that Lou Gehrig became my brother’s favorite ballplayer. I don’t even think I knew who Gary Cooper was when I first saw The Pride of the Yankees. A little later, when I finally saw High Noon, I wondered what Lou Gehrig was doing in the old west.

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