The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

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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 ...
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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.
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/2001
  • UPC: 024543025733
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hank Greenberg
Dr. George D. Barahal Interviewee
Alan Dershowitz Interviewee
Bob Feller Interviewee
Ernie Harwell Interviewee
Ralph Kiner Interviewee
Carl Levin Interviewee
Sander Levin Interviewee
Carl Levin Interviewee
Walter Matthau Interviewee
Michael Moriarty Interviewee
Maury Povich Interviewee
Dick Schaap Interviewee
Technical Credits
Aviva Kempner Director, Screenwriter
Tom Hurwitz Cinematographer
Christopher Li Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's a Hit -- Not just for Baseball Fans

    I watched this film twice when it came out at a nearby theater. Great footage and wonderful vignettes and interviews with a wide cast of baseball fans who remember Hank Greenberg's illustrious career: actor Walter Matthau, Sen. Carl Levin, and others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews