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A truly special film that tells the story of a true giant amongst baseball greats. Gary Cooper captures the humanity and heart of the man who became a symbol of dignity. The film does seem a bit too heavy on the hero worship, but it was made at a time when Lou Gehrig was very much in people's hearts.
Great film with Cooper nailing GEHRIG. 11 award nominations kind of sums it up.
The story of Lou Gehrig, one of baseball's all-time greats and one of its most tragic figures. We see him from his school days, to college days, to his start with the Yankees, to his emergence as one of baseball's true heroes.
Great story, though not always well told. Can be quite clumsy at times and feel overly folksy or Hollywoodized. Some scenes are quite irritating they're so badly done.
While Gary Cooper may seem perfect for the role, as understated, humble heroes are his forte, initially he doesn't fit, being to old for the role. It did seem weird, him obviously being at least mid-30s-plus and kidding around with kids in their teens or early-20s.
However, in the end, it all comes together in a movie that encapsulates Gehrig's life well (with a few poetic licenses along the way). Gary Cooper gives a solid performance as Lou Gehrig and Teresa Wright lights up the screen as his wife. Both of them received Oscar nominations.
The final few scenes are incredibly emotional and provide a fitting finale.
Love this movie. These emotional sports movies always get me. This one is one of the best.
Favorite sports film
Lou Gehrig truly was the luckiest man on the face of the earth!
The Pride of the Yankees is a great sports film because it works as more than just a sports film, but also a compelling drama and a pleasantly romantic story of a larger-than-life baseball player who was tragically brought down by a crippling disease that eventually killed him at 37. Just two years before his death, Gehrig was every young boy's idol, an incomparable hitter and a terrifically talented ballplayer on all cylinders. It's only complementary to his legacy that he get one of the strongest sports films of the era to go along with his tremendous achievements.
Gary Cooper plays Gehrig in a performance that would exhaust even a veteran like Cooper. Jo Swerling and Herman J. Mankiewicz craft the role of Gehrig in a manner that emphasizes his impressive accomplishments and accolades, his love-life with his wife Eleanor (Teresa Wright), and the struggle with his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (more commonly known in the modern-day as ALS). Cooper throws himself into the role of Gehrig in a way that shows off all these attributes with great nuance and character acting.
Swerling and Mankiewicz are also very disciplined in the way they handle Gehrig's story of unabashed talent and persistency. He is such an easy figure to emptily bedazzle and decorate in meaningless awards that can be tossed around with little or no context. Given the time period when this film was made - in an age where cinema was largely resting its strengths on the shoulders of stars - this seems like the perfect film to be an oversimplified trainwreck, but thanks to careful writing and mindfulness regarding a scene or a time period's particular direction, the film winds up being anything but an oversimplification.
The element of the film that will undoubtedly get downplayed the most, though it deserves a greater focus, is the relationship between Lou and Eleanor. Their marriage is frequently positioned as one that's romantic and loving, for good reason, as both parties consistently respect the intentions of one another. Conventional biopics would embellish this marriage's more hostile/theatrical exchanges of what path Lou should take once he discovers he is facing terminal sickness, but rather than make light out of arguments, Wood, Swerling, and Mankiewicz show how caring Eleanor was to Lou and how respectful and reciprocating Lou was to her intentions. Ultimately, let's not forget how unlikely this whole setup would've worked, regardless of writing, if Teresa Wright hadn't handled her role with such conviction, especially during the later scenes, where she can barely look at her ailing husband without her eyes welling with tears.
Another emotional or heart-tugging element in the film comes with seeing the evolution of Gehrig's parents role in his life. In early scenes, Gehrig's mother (Elsa Janssen) would always affirm that Gehrig would grow up to be like his uncle, a wealthy engineer that would work to provide for himself and his family and be a valued member of society. When Gehrig ditches his academic aspirations for athletic ones, Wood is conscious to keep Gehrig's mother's initial disillusionment with her son's choice in perspective before gradually showing her change of heart that most mothers would undergo as they witness their son be an incomparable success and a community staple.
The result is a film that's very romantic and thoroughly heartwarming, in addition to simply being a very well-edited sports biopic. The Pride of the Yankees' broad title suggests an all-encompassing look, or even history, into the renowned franchise, but its focus, while broad and far-reaching, profiles a wonderful life, and the film itself features tremendously engaging performances to compliment its story.
Starring: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth, Elsa Janssen, and Ludwig Stössel. Directed by: Sam Wood.
Gary Cooper and a legendary story. Cooper may have been a bit old to play a college kid/young ball player but Hollywood is well known for that. Simply put, one of, if not THE, best baseball movies ever made. As a huge ball fan, I can't help but give this movie a perfect score.
Pride of the Yankees 1942
Gary Cooper portrays Lou Gehring
Guy who loves Baseball and can hit home runs but is told by his parents he will go to college to become an Engineer because his parents as foreigners were not so fortunate.
Begins with him as a kid hitting a home run and inspirational baseball hero is Babe Ruth
He goes to Columbia University and is offered to play for the New York Yankees only to tell them that he is going to be an Engineer.
The people find out about Lou Gehring before her mother because found out in Newspaper. Found out gave up college in order to play baseball. Baseball to help pay for mothers medical treatment.
Mother is disappointed by son.
This film has Babe Ruth played by himself.
Gehring gets hit in the head when they try to tag him out after making first going towards second on first game to play. When they try to get Gehring out to see doctor he says; Don't take me out I've tried too hard to get myself in.
Gehring. Not corrupt. Just does his work and goes home. The ideal image. Honest, hardworking and cares about his family.
Publicity stunt by Babe Ruth to go to hospital and Babe promises a home run. Well then the kid as Lou if he can sign the baseball that Babe Ruth signed for him. Then ask if it is possible to hit two home runs for him. Gehring then says he promises to hit two home runs if he promises to make a home run to get well enough to walk and go home again.
Gehring mother taken by surprise when Gehring comes home with a new woman.
Gehrings mother picks out furniture and wallpaper in house after Gehrings wife made a choice. Mothers thoughts were that Gehrings wife was wrong but Gehring has to have a discussion with his mother to support his wife decision.
There was one scene where Babe Ruth is onboard a Train with the Yankees team and Babe Ruth says this is the last straw hat he is going to have because they keep getting destroyed. Then each of the team players takes a bite out of Babes straw hat. Then they play a prank on Gehring which he feels hesitant to do since Babe he is his biggest fan of Babe and he is one of the newest players. The Yankees team players say take two bites.
I like the lighting and camera angle of the sideway railroad tracks.
Made bracelet out of all medals Lou Gehring earned over the years.
Making a tribute to Lou Gehring after 16 years and kid who asked for signing his baseball and to make two home runs comes back to say he was able to keep his promise to Gehring after all these years.
One of the best Garry Cooper films. Filled with drama, comedy, excitement, and serious life issues. This film also uses the actual baseball players that were famous of the day.
A feel good baseball movie.