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It's Good to Be Alive (1974)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | Sport  -  22 February 1974 (USA)
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The story of former Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella, whose career was cut short when he lost the use of his legs in an auto accident in January of 1958.



(teleplay), (book)
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Title: It's Good to Be Alive (TV Movie 1974)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Campanella
Sam Brockington (as Lou Gossett)
Ruth Campanella
Ramon Bieri ...
Walter O'Malley
Joe De Santis ...
Roy Campanella's Father (as Joe DeSantis)
Ty Henderson ...
David Campanella
Ketty Lester ...
Roy Campanella's Mother
Julian Burton ...
Dr. Rusk
Lloyd Gough ...
Eric Woods ...
Roy Campanella as a Boy
Man at Accident
Gene Borkan
Stymie (as Stymie Beard)
Paul Savior ...
Boy (as Stanley Clay)


The story of former Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella, whose career was cut short when he lost the use of his legs in an auto accident in January of 1958. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama | Sport





Release Date:

22 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

C'est bon vivre  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Roy is taking his first 'tour' of the Rehab center he sees several children playing. One girl is playing with a toy telephone that has a push-button dial. Push-button phones were not introduced until the early 1970s. See more »

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User Reviews

Serious, solid drama
1 April 2011 | by (Gallup, New Mexico) – See all my reviews

We get a front row seat to serious trials and tribulations as Roy Campanella, Major League Baseball's first black catcher, struggles to rehab from a car accident that left him paralyzed below the shoulders. We get some flashback moments to show how Roy got to where he did, but the focus is on his life after the accident, dealing with his own agonies and those of his family as they all try to cope, sometimes well, often times not.

There are some trite/cliché moments in the movie (including a scene very reminiscent of the Lou Gehrig farewell speech), but even those hold up well due to the quality of the acting, and the realism of the direction (Kudos to Michael Landon in his directorial debut!).

Solid acting performances by all the players, and a realism (I'd like to use the word "gritty" even though it isn't quite right, but neither is any other adjective I can think of) that hit me right in the gut.

I think even those who don't like sports movies in general, but who appreciate a good real life drama, would enjoy this mostly "lost" TV movie. I'd never even heard of this before I saw it the other night, and it deserves a wider audience strictly on its merits, and even more so as an important piece of history many probably don't know about.

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