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HTF REVIEW: "The Pride Of The Yankees" (Highly Recommended) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 6, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    The Pride Of The Yankees




    Studio: MGM
    Year: 1942
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 128 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1



    It's the Great American Story!
    I feel like I have just watched one of the greatest
    sports movies ever made. Watching The Pride Of
    The Yankees gives me much regret that I have
    never have taken an interest in the game of baseball,
    missing out on watching men that have become great
    American legends. One of those legends is Lou Gehrig,
    the hall-of-fame ballplayer who reached legendary
    heights only to fall to a disease that would
    eventually claim his life.
    [​IMG]
    This is the film that traces the life of Lou Gehrig.
    As it opens we see young Gehrig trying to join a ball
    game in a New York tenement alley. The other kids
    don't seem to want him around, but he manages to
    "buy" his way in by forking over his scant baseball
    card collection that includes a rookie card of Babe
    Ruth.
    [​IMG]
    Though the kid knows nothing about the sport, he
    manages to take a vicious swing, launching a shot
    out of the alley and into a nearby grocer's window.
    Naturally this does not sit well with his German
    mother, who sees baseball as a waste of time. She
    wants Lou to become an engineer -- making something
    successful out of his life like his late Uncle
    Otto did.
    Through his Mother's urging, Gehrig (Gary Cooper)
    gets into Columbia University where he attracts
    the attention of sportswriter Sam Blake (Walter
    Brennan) by breaking another window with a forceful
    blow. Brennan sees a future in young Gehrig, and
    urges him to sign with the Yankees. Gehrig resists
    at first, but when his mother suddenly becomes ill,
    he abandons his engineering studies and signs for
    the unselfish reason of being a good son.
    [​IMG]
    The rest of the movie deals with Gehrig's rise
    to fame with the Yankees, taking the field alongside
    his idol, Babe Ruth (himself), as well as his
    courtship and marriage to Eleanor Twitchell (Teresa
    Wright) who was responsible for giving him the
    nickname, "tanglefoot."
    [​IMG]
    One of the finest moments in the film comes
    after a hospital visit where a publicity hungry
    Babe Ruth has promised a young sick boy a home
    run. After the Press leaves, a more sincere Lou
    Gehrig talks with the boy, urging him that "There
    isn’t anything you can’t do if you try hard enough,"
    and with that he promises 2 home runs. Tension
    mounts at the park later that day as Babe Ruth
    and Lou Gehrig try to fulfill their promises to
    the boy. It may be one of the many the kind of
    cliche's that Hollywood was full of, but the
    scenes delivered the goods.
    [​IMG]
    The final portion of the film deals with Gehrig
    coming to terms with his failing health. You can't
    help to be moved by the way Gehrig bravely accepts
    his sickness, trying to shield it from the people
    he loves the most. His final farewell speech at
    the Yankee ballpark in which he claims to be "the
    luckiest man on the face of the earth" is the sort
    of moment that brings one to tears. It certainly
    did for me.
    How is the transfer?
    I can be nit picky and point out the smallest of
    flaws in this glorious black and white transfer,
    such as the small amount of video noise that is
    noticeable in the background, or the small amount
    of film blemish that pops up from time to time.
    It's at this point that I step back and remind
    myself that this movie is 60 years old, and with
    that perspective, I think the film looks fantastic.
    Picture is sharp and well detailed.
    The mono sound is a little shrill, with no low-end
    support. There is also a noticeable amount of
    background noise from time to time. Again, I
    remind everyone of the film's age and just how
    well this film has transferred to the high-resolution
    format of DVD.
    The short summary is that this film looks superb
    for its age.
    Special Features
    [​IMG]
    There is absolutely no added content on this disc.
    In a way, I am very disappointed. This obviously
    one of the greatest sports films ever made, and
    its surprising that nothing was put together to
    commemorate this release -- especially a film that
    was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including
    Best Picture.
    Final Thoughts
    I have said this many times before -- the DVD
    format has given me the opportunity to watch a
    variety of films I never wanted to watch before
    because of poor presentation quality either on
    lower quality formats or TV broadcast.
    [​IMG]
    I feel as if I have just been awakened, experiencing
    yet another magical moment in my review career.
    I feel as if I have just added a new hero to my
    small collection of idols. Lou Gehrig is everything
    that legends are made of.The Pride Of The Yankees
    is everything great classic films are made of.
    This film remains as powerful and moving as it did
    60 years ago proving that great cinema does not
    diminish with age.
    I can't recommend this film enough!
    Release Date: September 17, 2002
     
  2. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the review Ron. The lack of extras is a bit disappointing, but as long as the film is presented well I'll be happy.
     
  3. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    Coop is very moving in this one.
    A favorite of mine, and i'm peeved about no extras...this isn't an unknown B movie....hell, some of *those* have extras.
     
  4. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Thanks, Ron! I just put this on my lengthy to-buy list. [​IMG] It IS a shame that there are no extras - I can think of lots of interesting added content that would have made this a well-rounded release. But, as always, it's just nice to have the movie...
     
  5. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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  6. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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    It was among the 1st laserdiscs I ever bought (back in 1982, when it was on CBS/FOX). Subsequent laser & DVD issues have all been colorized, so I am ecstatic that a good version is finally being released. Also, don't forget Walter Brennan's great part as the sports writer!
     
  7. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Screenwriter

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    My parents have been wanting me to watch this one for years. I'll gladly give it a look when it comes out. I'm kind of amazed that the Babe actually plays himself, that's really awesome.
     
  8. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I'm really happy to get a good DVD version since my old Laser of this film suffered a bad case of Laser rot. Too bad about no extras, but I guess they consider a 60 year old movie unworthy of the $$$ required for extras.
     
  9. Ed Faver

    Ed Faver Second Unit

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    A shame about thelack of extras. I'd love to have had a baseball fanatic like Bob Costas record something for this film. 'Pride' transcends the corniness that plagues such films as The Babe Ruth Story in large part due to the heart felt performances by Cooper, Wright and Brennan. This film will stand tall for a long, long time.
     
  10. BrianP

    BrianP Supporting Actor

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    I will definitely purchase this since it is my favorite baseball film. Too bad there are no extras but a price tag under $10 makes this a bargain to own for such a good movie.
     
  11. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Nice to know I can trade in my colorized DVD for the black and white. This is one of my favorite films!
     
  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Thanks Ron for the usual great review. Of course, I am a little suspicious about someone in Jersey viewing the Yankees in a unbiased fashion [​IMG]
    Alas, no quality classics titled "Pride of the Atlanta Braves" available for viewing...
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Tim Mauldin

    Tim Mauldin Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Supporting Actor

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  15. Tim Mauldin

    Tim Mauldin Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Tommy Ceez

    Tommy Ceez Second Unit

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    For you other non-baseball fans out there, thats hall of famers Babe Ruth and Bill Dickey (Gherigs real life best friend) playing themselves. Truly amazing.
     

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