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The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998)

PG  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Sport  |  October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 709 users   Metascore: 75/100
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The life and career of Hank Greenberg, the first major Jewish baseball star in the Major Leagues.



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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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language




Release Date:

October 1998 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$1,703,901 (USA) (27 October 2000)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



(archive footage)|
See  »

Did You Know?


Hank Greenberg: You only remember the ones you lost.
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Tish Nign
Performed by Klezmer Plus! featuring Sid Beckerman and Howie Leess
Musical Direction by Peter Sokolow
Courtesy of Rounder 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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