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>
In reality, Gary Cooper was decidedly not a fan of baseball and required extensive coaching in order to look even passable on a baseball diamond. In fact, he had never played the game before, even as a youth, and had never even seen a baseball game in person until he was hired for this film. See more »
The Yankees played 2 World Series against the Cardinals when Lou Gehrig was on the team - 1926 and 1928. Whichever World Series the movie was depicting (assumedly 1928, the one where Gehrig hit 2 home-runs in one game), Gehrig's #4 is clearly visible in those scenes. But the baseball team uniforms did not have numbers on their backs until 1929. See more »
[his farewell speech]
Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
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The Life of Lou Gehrig: Baseball Player and American Hero.
A touching and emotional experience about the life of late-New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig (played brilliantly by the always excellent Gary Cooper, Oscar-nominated). By 1939 Gehrig was saying farewell to baseball prematurely due to a rare muscle disorder that today bears the hero's name. Shortly after Gehrig's famous speech, he would indeed pass away. "The Pride of the Yankees" (made less than three years after his death) is a moving tribute that is first-class in every way imaginable. We meet the character as a young boy whose strict mother wants him to be an engineer. As the years pass though he cannot deny his love of the grand old game. Sportswriter Walter Brennan (who was always outstanding as well) becomes the biggest supporter of Gehrig, even though Gehrig seems out-of-place in the big city at times and seems more concerned about baseball than anything else (which bothers some inside of the Yankees circle, mainly due to Babe Ruth's famous antics). As the years pass, championships come and a constant is always Gehrig who set a record with 2,130 consecutive games played (Cal Ripken, Jr. would later break that record in 1995). He finds love with a young woman from Chicago (Oscar-nominee Teresa Wright) and it appears that happiness is all that the couple will experience. Sadly that would not be the case though. Sam Wood's heart-felt direction and a focused screenplay (which is a bit sappy at times) just add an odd element of grace that endears the film to most all movie-goers. Babe Ruth does play himself here and is a surprisingly excellent performer who allows himself to be taken out of the spotlight to tell Gehrig's story. He ends up being a really solid supporting actor. I do admit that "The Pride of the Yankees" is slightly flawed. Some things seem a bit staged (most notably the young child in the hospital), but overall the film is right on target. Anyone who loves baseball, loves movies and has feelings (whether good, bad or indifferent) about the Yankees should definitely give "The Pride of the Yankees" an at-bat. It is a stunning experience that is suitable for the whole family and teaches the whole audience about love, friendship, compassion, life, death and heroism. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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