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      The Pride of the Yankees

      Released Mar 5, 1943 2h 7m Biography List
      94% Tomatometer 32 Reviews 89% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake (Walter Brennan), Gehrig eventually gets recruited by the New York Yankees, joining a team of heavy hitters that includes the legendary Babe Ruth. When Gehrig marries his spirited sweetheart, Eleanor (Teresa Wright), things look up for him, but he is soon sidelined by a terrible illness that he bravely tries to battle. Read More Read Less

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      The Pride of the Yankees

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      Critics Consensus

      The equally tragic and heroic story of Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig is eloquently told here with an iconic star turn by Gary Cooper.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Paul Trench London Evening Standard This film is well worth seeing. It is an ideal part for Gary Cooper. May 26, 2021 Full Review Manny Farber The New Republic Mat achieves exhilaration from his angle shooting and the feeling throughout out of a concave screen. Whatever feel of baseball this picture has is the result of his running camera. Aug 31, 2012 Full Review TIME Magazine The best part of Pride of the Yankees is its grade-A love story. Aug 4, 2008 Full Review Keith Garlington Keith & the Movies “The Pride of the Yankees” is unique within its genre. It’s not your prototypical biopic. It’s more of a memorial to the beloved and respected star player from the New York Yankees. Rated: 4.5/5 Aug 24, 2022 Full Review Danielle Solzman Solzy at the Movies There's no denying that The Pride of the Yankees is a classic sports film but it suffers like so many biopics in covering too much time in just over two hours. Jun 2, 2021 Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins Cooper - at more than 40 years old - has a difficult time being convincing (the real Gehrig was actually a teenager, signing with the Yankees when he was only 19). Rated: 6/10 Dec 7, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Jeff S Gary Cooper deftly navigates a roller coaster of emotions. Baseball fans know the inevitable ending and yet it still hits like a freight train. Seeing the game's greatest player ever as well as Bill Dickey, who is on the very short list of best catchers ever, is an added bonus. This story that stays true to the historical character of Gehrig is an essential watch for baseball fans and an inspirational movie for all others. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/19/24 Full Review Mark A Inspiring story of Lou Gerhig. If you don't have tears at the end of this one, you have no heart. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 12/20/22 Full Review Taylor L As an Orioles fan, Lou Gehrig is basically the only Yankees player that is actually likable. Forget Ruth, DiMaggio, Mantle, and A-Rod (especially A-Rod). Don Mattingly's alright because he had the decency to never win a World Series with them. If there's a sports figure worthy of an idolizing and sentimental biopic, it's Gehrig. If he had a sin in his public image, it's that he was a bit TOO clean cut, more likely to spend a quiet night in with his mother than to hit the town like sports stars of the day were supposed to; he was a milk drinker in an era where cigarettes were unfiltered and prescribed by doctors. That said, even being called a Boy Scout couldn't stop the public from lavishing Gehrig with their adoration, and by the time this film came out in 1942 he had become something of a cult figure for wartime America, a simple and beloved figure from a less downcast time. In response, the film received 11 Oscar nominations, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good film - it's very light on the baseball and heavy on protracted melodrama. We drop heroics on the field for Gehrig's mother and wife dickering over furniture and wallpaper. There's so little of the legend, so little excitement, and such a decidedly poor structure that it feels like a really missed opportunity for such a cherished figure with such a tragic story. Even the real-life Babe Ruth, famous for his lively personality, making frequent appearances can't save this well-intentioned but protracted 'classic'. Walter Brennan is borderline unrecognizable in a modern suit and glasses. He should be heeing and hawing in a John Wayne Western. (2/5) Rated 2 out of 5 stars 09/04/22 Full Review david l You'd think that a film that was nominated for the staggering amount of eleven Oscar nominations would be something special, but you'd be sorely mistaken as The Pride of the Yankees is anything but unique. This is a pedestrian biopic about an uninteresting sports figure that features a reliably excellent, but repetitious performance from Gary Cooper playing his usual shtick of an all-around swell fellow. The third act is definitely moving, but the rest of the story is uneventful to a ridiculous degree. It's also technically only serviceable. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member In front of thousands of adoring fans on Yankee home turf, with teary-eyed baseballs icons of yesterday to his left, and the stars of tomorrow to his right, Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) delivers a farewell speech at the height of his career, cut short due to an aggressive and progressive motoneuron disease that will, in short time, rob the athlete of even basic movement. For so many, this twist of fate would be unbearable, for Lou Gehrig, he insists that he ‘consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the Earth'. The humble quality of Lou Gehrig is the principal theme of The Pride Of The Yankees, an exemplary biopic that does away with the pitfalls of the genre, namely mythicising the subject. Biopics of figures that surpass their field and enter the consciousness of the public do not need deifying, Bowie, Judy Garland, Muhammad Ali, are known to those that have no interest in music, movies or sports. And when the life of a figure is tragically cut short, like James Dean who adorns the walls of so many that know so little about him, the challenge is not to build them up, but break them back down to a human level, like turning a marble statue of Caesar into flesh and blood. Director Sam Wood could have presented the expected sequence of Lou's first game: the hush of a crowd as Gehrig walks on field, blinding field lights refracting in the lens, slow motion as the pitcher rolls the baseball around his finger tips, a magnetic energy as Gehrig touches a baseball bat, and an inevitable soaring of a baseball thundering so far the crowd gets neck ache trying to watch it fly. Instead, Sam Wood has Gehrig slip on a pile of baseball bats to the laughter of thousands. TPOTY continually exorcises the aura of fate assured greatness running through lesser biopics, where the world knows in one heartbeat as Johnny Cash signs Folsom Prison Blues for the first time, that the face of music has altered forever. And gone are those knowing lines that nod cheekily to this, you know the ones: ‘That'll be the last we ever hear of young Mr John Lennon', or ‘Mark my words, Mr Churchill will never make a go of it in politics' ad nauseam. As Scorsese knows with Raging Bull, the sport isn't important, the man is important. Sam Wood uses baseball as a backdrop to illuminate important moments in the Lou's life, like meeting Eleanor (Teresa Wright) who will be his wife, despite giving the crowd the nickname ‘Tanglefoot' to use in their jeers, or using the sport to show Lou's generosity of spirit as he promises a sick child in hospital to hit two home runs if he promises Lou he'll work hard to recover. Lou doesn't have a burning passion to follow baseball, fighting it all the way to the big league, he just works hard and follows what he enjoys. The game is a part of his life, but it is not a defining characteristic. Lou's greatest success is his family, his wife, and his friends. He succeeds in making his mother proud of the path he has followed, he succeeds is making his wife happy, (in a wonderful scene Lou and his wife discuss parting ways while he goes on next seasons tour, only for both of them to confess they don't really want time apart), and he succeeds in a true friendship, not with other athletes, but with a sports writer Sam Blake (Walter Brennan), who is close enough to accompany Lou to the doctor's office where he receives the fatal news. I often think of a Charles Laughton quote with regards to Cooper, ‘I suspect that boy has no idea how well he acts'. This quality, an obliviousness to one's greatness, makes Cooper so achingly relatable, and it is this special quality that makes everything in Pride work. In a wonderful scene, years after Lou's hospital visit, he again meets the sick child, now a teenager, who took Lou's words to heart and worked hard to recover. Gehrig is almost unable to comprehend the impact he has had on so many, a fact obvious when he delivers his famous speech on the pitch for the final time. Filmmakers mythicise these Gods when they should show they bleed, like Rami Malek opting to play Freddie Mercury as if continually gliding on a wave of genius, but conversely the human should be mythicised, like Eastwood's Man With No Name, an unknown man appearing from a dust cloud that has you believe by the film's end that he is bullet-proof. Cooper and Wood de-mythicise Gehrig until he is just a regular guy, a kind, warm and generous man that happened to play baseball very well, while being wise enough to know that the greatest luck in life is family, friends and love. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/25/23 Full Review Audience Member How this got nominated for 11 oscars must have had more to do with sentimentality than objectivity, hence it only took away one award. It is so sickly sweet that it's hard to put up with. Oh tangle legs hohoho. So weak and what's with using a bloke in his forties to play an 18 year old. This really is dirge film making. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Pride of the Yankees

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis This moving biographical drama follows the life of revered baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). Championed by sportswriter Sam Blake (Walter Brennan), Gehrig eventually gets recruited by the New York Yankees, joining a team of heavy hitters that includes the legendary Babe Ruth. When Gehrig marries his spirited sweetheart, Eleanor (Teresa Wright), things look up for him, but he is soon sidelined by a terrible illness that he bravely tries to battle.
      Director
      Sam Wood
      Producer
      Samuel Goldwyn
      Screenwriter
      Jo Swerling, Herman J. Mankiewicz, Damon Runyon
      Distributor
      Samuel Goldwyn Company, RKO Radio Pictures, Key Video, MGM/UA Home Entertainment Inc., Home Box Office Home Video
      Production Co
      Samuel Goldwyn Films
      Genre
      Biography
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 5, 1943, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 4, 2016
      Runtime
      2h 7m
      Sound Mix
      Mono
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