The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (2000)



Critic Consensus: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is an affectionate, often very funny portrait of a baseball pioneer.

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Movie Info

Portrait of the legendary Bronx-born Jewish baseball player who came close to breaking Babe Ruth's record--hitting 58 home runs in a single season--he was baseball's first Jewish star. Tall (6'4"), handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew from Bronx who became "the baseball Moses," an icon for everyone from Walter Matthau to Alan Dershowitz. The film examines how Greenberg's status as a major star gave hope to American Jews who faced religious bigotry during the Depression and World War II.
Documentary , Special Interest , Sports & Fitness
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Critic Reviews for The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (22)

It's an adroit manipulation of interviews and stock footage, mostly along the lines of establishing not so much what Hammerin' Hank did for himself, but what he meant to American Jews.

Full Review… | May 7, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

Kempner demonstrates how the star's success and dignified bearing inspired a generation of Jews to fight through the ethnic barriers in all fields.

Full Review… | May 7, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Writer-director Aviva Kempner crafted this love letter to Greenberg by imaginatively weaving interviews with great footage from newsreels and feature films.

Full Review… | May 7, 2014
New York Post
Top Critic

Aviva Kempner hits a grand slam in her thrilling documentary about baseball, about a great baseball player, about Jews in America and about the country itself in the 1930s and 1940s.

Full Review… | March 20, 2013
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is a gem of a baseball documentary because it illuminates what the Hall of Famer's splendid career meant away from the ballpark.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Aviva Kempner's warm and intelligent mash note to a man who clearly deserved it.

Full Review… | March 19, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg


Great subject matter, but it sure could have been told more dramatically. It was like the director took index cards of chronological facts, laid them out, punctuated them with interviews and wallpapered the whole thing with video. Then there's this random woman groupie who keeps popping up. Her role is never really explained. Even so, it made me want to learn more about Hank Greenberg. Great story about Detroit trading him because the Tigers owner saw a picture of him him wearing a Yankees jersey during WWII.

Don Kaiser
Don Kaiser

Hank Greenberg was good enough to have me commemorate his career on my pretend baseball hall of fame. Not that I had ever seen him play but his stats seemed impressive. Not the legend that Ruth was probably because he played in Detroit, Greenberg's story is very memorable. Likely inspired Jewish stars like Sandy Koufax in the next generation.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

There is a reason that the critics loved this film. it was terrific. A great look atca wonderful player and his struggle against discrimination, before Jackie Robinson's struggle. Must see.

Radio Nowhere
Radio Nowhere

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