Biopic traces the life of Lou Gehrig, famous baseball player who played in 2130 consecutive games before falling at age 37 to ALS, a deadly nerve disease which now bears his name. Gehrig is followed from his childhood in New York until his famous 'Luckiest Man' speech at his farewell day in 1939. Written by
Jerry Milani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Number 8 Bill Dickey punched number 16 in the locker room. In 1938 and 1939, pitcher Monte Pearson wore 16. See more »
At an hour and 2 minutes into the film, the Yankees are playing the Cardinals at Sportsman's Park in the 1928 World Series. Right after announcer Bill Stern tells the radio audience that Gehrig has promised to hit two home runs for the sick kid in the hospital, there is a shot that appears to be from the grandstand behind home plate, revealing the park to be Yankee Stadium, not Sportsman's Park. The outfield wall makes that obvious. See more »
[his farewell speech]
Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth... play ball!
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The final opening credit card is shared by Director Sam Wood and Production Design by William Cameron Menzies. See more »
Cooper's most likeable performance...a heartfelt tribute to a great man...
Gary Cooper may have won his Oscar for SERGEANT YORK--but I think he deserved it even more for PRIDE OF THE YANKEES. I've never seen him give a more heartfelt, natural and completely likeable performance than I have here. And Teresa Wright is glowing as his sweetheart.
It tells Lou Gehrig's story in a simple, straightforward manner with only an occasional bit of Hollywood corn, the kind so typical of the 1940s. But the main storyline is carried by Cooper and Wright with some great assist from Walter Brennan. Brennan drops a lot of his cornball mannerisms (the kind he uses he in all his Western roles) and plays it straight here--with excellent results.
But it's Cooper's achievement--no doubt about that. If the last twenty minutes of the film don't move you to tears, you're made of stone. Cooper gets across the panic and fear that hits him with the first signs of his illness--with a subtle show of facial expressions. He's really into his character here and gives one of the best performances of his career.
Knowing someone who died from this disease, I was especially moved at how the first signs of illness were shown here.
Douglas Croft does a fine job as the young Lou--and by the way, whatever happened to him? He played Ronald Reagan as a boy in KINGS ROW and did several other films in the '40s. And how come Dane Clark received no billing in the credits? He was only seen early on in the film but he had a line of dialogue as one of Lou's fraternity pals. He had no credit in Alan Ladd's THE GLASS KEY too--he's the man Brian Donlevy shoves through a plate glass window. A year later he was being given the star buildup at Warner Bros.
A great film and a wonderful tribute to Lou Gehrig.
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