The Pride Of The Yankees

1942, Movie, NR, 127 mins

Review

PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, THE
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Eloquently written (by Herman Mankiewicz and Jo Swerling from a story by Paul Gallico), stunningly photographed, and directed with great sensitivity, THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES is the sweet, sentimental, and utterly American story of Lou Gehrig, the "Iron Man" first baseman of the indefatigable New York Yankees of the 1920s and 30s. Gary Cooper is exceptional as Gehrig and Teresa Wright marvelous as his sweetheart (and later wife), Eleanor.

Gehrig leads the Yankees to the World Series, becoming one of the best ever to play the game, until, in 1939, he learns that he has a lethal neurological disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, since known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and has only a short time to live. He retires from baseball and makes a dramatic farewell at Yankee Stadium (perhaps the most famous scene in any sports film), standing at home plate and stating, "Some people say I've had a bad break, but I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES is the story of a simple man with extraordinary talent and a soaring spirit that made him the idol of every American schoolboy. Although the film keeps the on-field action to a minimum, Cooper, a righthander, spent many weeks under the tutelage of Lefty O'Doul learning to bunt and throw lefthanded like Gehrig. To complete the illusion, Cooper wore a uniform with the numbers reversed and ran to third base instead of first so that when the film was processed, in reverse, he would appear to be swinging from the left side of the plate. Among the real-life Bronx Bomber teammates who appear in the film are Babe Ruth, Bill Dickey, Mark Koenig, and Bob Meusel. leave a comment

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