Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

5.0 1
Director: Aviva Kempner

Cast: Aviva Kempner, Hank Greenberg, Walter Matthau, Ernie Harwell

     
 

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Hank Greenberg was the first great Jewish star in baseball; at a time when the game was still racially segregated, Greenberg became a first-class hitter for the Detroit Tigers (a host city not always known for its tolerance, as the career of Father Charles Coughlin will prove), nearly beating Babe Ruth's home run record and becoming one of the game's best loved… See more details below

Overview

Hank Greenberg was the first great Jewish star in baseball; at a time when the game was still racially segregated, Greenberg became a first-class hitter for the Detroit Tigers (a host city not always known for its tolerance, as the career of Father Charles Coughlin will prove), nearly beating Babe Ruth's home run record and becoming one of the game's best loved figures (he was also a friend and confidant to Jackie Robinson as he was breaking baseball's color barrier). Hank Greenberg became a powerful role model in America's Jewish community, and this documentary follows his life and career up to his death in 1986. Director Aviva Kempner includes extensive interview footage of Greenberg filmed in the year before his passing, as well as newsreel footage of Greenberg in action, reminiscences from his teammates and testimonials from his family, friends and fans, including Alan Dershowitz and Walter Matthau.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Among the many virtues of this film is its persistence in tracking down a variety of interview subjects (including several of Hank Greenberg's surviving teammates), an interview with Greenberg when he was still in good health, and telling footage of his prowess with the bat. Director Aviva Kempner amply documents the extra dimension to Greenberg's career, which provided millions of Jews with a rare sports hero, in the face of the rise of the Third Reich. The film also shows the contrasting bookends to Greenberg's major league stint. He was lucky to come up with the Detroit Tigers in the mid-'30s, when they were fielding the American League's best team, but in the end, when he fell out of favor with the Tiger owner, he was suddenly traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, then the National League's worst team. Greenberg comes across here as an articulate, bright, and generous teammate and competitor. Because his last year in baseball, 1947, coincided with Jackie Robinson's first, Greenberg was able to offer Robinson encouragement learned from his early days, when opposing teams and fans taunted him with anti-Semitic remarks.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2001
UPC:
0024543025733
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox

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