The Pride Of The Yankees
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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