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The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 703 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 21 user | 34 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

The life and career of Hank Greenberg, the first major Jewish baseball star in the Major Leagues.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reeve Brenner ...
Himself - interviewee (as Rabbi Reeve Brenner)
Hank Greenberg ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself - interviewee
Alan M. Dershowitz ...
Himself - interviewee (as Alan Dershowitz)
Carl Levin ...
Himself - interviewee (as Senator Carl Levin)
Stephen Greenberg ...
Himself - interviewee
Joseph Greenberg ...
Himself - interviewee (as Joe Greenberg)
Max Ticktin ...
Himself - interviewee (as Rabbi Max Ticktin)
Bill Mead ...
Himself - interviewee
Lou Gehrig ...
Himself (archive footage)
Basil 'Mickey' Briggs ...
Himself - interviewee
Don Shapiro ...
Himself - interviewee
Bert Gordon ...
Himself - interviewee
Joe Falls ...
Himself - interviewee
Henry Ford ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

The story of Baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Greenberg is told through archival film footage and interviews with Jewish and non-Jewish fans, his former teammates, his friends, and his family. As a great first baseman with the Detroit Tigers, Greenberg endured antisemitism and became a hero and source of inspiration throughout the Jewish community, not incidentally leading the Tigers to Major League dominance in the 1930s. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When America Needed Heroes, A Jewish Slugger Stepped To The Plate.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1998 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,371 (USA) (21 January 2000)

Gross:

$1,703,901 (USA) (27 October 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(archive footage)|
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Himself - interviewee: The first day that Hank was in the army, he and the other recruits were lined up and the sergeant immediately began spouting some anti-Semitic remarks like "I don't want no Goldbergs and no Cohns in my unit." Whereupon Hank raised his hand and says "My name is Greenberg." and he looks at Hank 6-3, 6-4, 200, 230, he says "I didn't say anything about Greenbergs."
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Connections

Features Woman of the Year (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Avalon
Written by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose
Performed by Benny Goodman Orchestra
Courtesy of Nichevo Records
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User Reviews

A Great Player, a Great Man, A Great Movie!
15 August 2000 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

As was the case with Walter Kephart of the August 12th review, I am a member of two of the three groups he said would enjoy this movie. "The Life and Times" falls into the trap of most biographies, as there was little suspense to the plot, but it was one of the more entertaining and enjoyable movies I've seen lately. It served as a reminder that, in an age of million dollar athletes and cynical fans, there have been superstars with character. Hank Greenberg could not have picked a more difficult time this century to evolve as a Jewish athlete than during the depression-era 1930's. At a time when Nazism rose in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, in the city of Henry Ford and Father Coughlin, Hank Greenberg persevered, overcoming anti-Semitic prejudice to lead his Detroit Tigers to four American League pennants and two World Championships, all the while putting together some of the better offensive statistics in baseball. He was also loyal to his religion and his country, as was demonstrated by not playing on Yom Kippur and sacrificing five years of his playing career to serve in the United States Army during the Second World War. The other forms of media used by Aviva Kempner, including movie clips such as "Gentleman's Agreement," Mandy Patinkin's Yiddish rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and interviews with people ranging from Alan Dershowitz to Al Rosen to the late Walter Matthau all helped illustrate the Hank Greenberg story. A Toronto Star columnist considered "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg" to be the one must-see movie for the summer of 2000. It is definitely worth the price of admission, certainly moreso than nine out of ten movies playing these days.


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