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Juan David Restrepo
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>
When Samuel Goldwyn began looking for someone to play Lou Gehrig in "The Pride of the Yankees (1942)," he quizzed baseball writers. The Sporting News polled the fans, and their pick was Cleveland Indians pitcher Johnny Humphries because of the strong facial resemblance. Goodwyn considered the candidates, but instead chose a seasoned pro actor Gary Cooper for the role. See more »
When Lou gets his chance to take injured Wally Pipp's place at Comiskey Park, the Yankee dugout is positioned on the first base side of home plate. When Lou returns to Chicago in a later trip with the Yankees at Comiskey Park, he asks Sam Blake about Ellie from the third base dugout. See more »
Opening credits prologue: This is the story of a hero of the peaceful paths of everyday life.
It is the story of a gentle young man who, in the full flower of his great fame, was a lesson in simplicity and modesty to the youth of America.
He faced death with that same valor and fortitude that has been displayed by thousands of young Americans on far-flung fields of battle. He left behind him a memory of courage and devotion that will ever be an inspiration to all men.
In today's era of greedy athletes and their employers, the story of Lou Gehrig seems almost quaint. Here's a young man who by all accounts was selfless, kind-hearted, and rather introverted. And, of course, it didn't hurt that he was also a very good baseball player too. Put him on a lineup card today and he might not be the same player. Up until a few years ago, Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played was a record, a record that many thought would stand forever. For 16 years he was in the lineup as the Yankees' first baseman, never asking out for any reason. That alone should show you how special a person Gehrig was.
This biography is pretty straightforward. Unlike many of its kind, it doesn't show its protagonist somehow succeeding against all odds. Gehrig didn't have an abusive mother, he wasn't beaten up by kids at school, he wasn't learning-disabled, he didn't have attention-deficit disorder, he didn't come from abject poverty. He was simply a son in a working-class, immigrant family, as many were during the early decades of this century. And that's why Gehrig is so special to so many people - he symbolises their own hopes.
Gary Cooper is aces as Gehrig, and Teresa Wright is wonderful as his wife, Eleanor. If there's anything imperfect about the movie, it's that it is...well, a little predictable. That's something biopics can't avoid, of course, so it's no big problem. But even if most of the film doesn't impress you, the final speech at Yankee Stadium - when Gehrig was suffering visibly from the disease that would eventually be named after him - will move you past tears. And even better, when Gehrig's done his brief speech, he walks offscreen. If that movie were written today, he'd play another game and hit a game-winning home run. It's this film's honesty and sincerity that win you over.
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