The Pride of the Yankees

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Overview

This DVD release from HBO, one of the best biopics ever made, is also one of the best examples of colorization of an originally black-and-white picture. The film is digitally mastered to perfection with most gradients of the color spectrum represented, making all the more enjoyable the superb performance of Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. Jo Swerling and Herman J. Mankiewicz's script is subtle and sensitive in its detailed account of the great baseball player, and the retouched audio track allows for all aspects of ...
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May have light surface scratches. Jewel case condition may vary. May or may not include liner notes. Digital copy may or may not be present, one time use code may or may not be ... used Read more Show Less

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Overview

This DVD release from HBO, one of the best biopics ever made, is also one of the best examples of colorization of an originally black-and-white picture. The film is digitally mastered to perfection with most gradients of the color spectrum represented, making all the more enjoyable the superb performance of Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. Jo Swerling and Herman J. Mankiewicz's script is subtle and sensitive in its detailed account of the great baseball player, and the retouched audio track allows for all aspects of the story -- from the smacks of the baseballs to the musical score -- to be appreciated without interference. Additional features are skimpy, lacking even such fundamentals as the original theatrical trailer. The packaging is also not as appealing as it could be, relying on three black-and-white stills and no other enhancements. There are lengthy biographies/filmographies for the main players and makers -- enough to appease most curiosities, if not all Gary Cooper enthusiasts; as this is one of Cooper's most memorable roles, a more detailed biography or a mini-documentary on him would have been appropriate. Other features, including chapter selection and a choice of English, French, or Spanish subtitles, round out the package. The quality of this film's narrative and its loving depiction of its subject will endure, though it would be nice to see HBO take better advantage of the DVD format.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The life and career of baseball’s "Iron Man," Lou Gehrig, are vividly dramatized in this moving 1942 biographical film, a box-office smash that earned 11 Oscar nominations and renewed respect for its star, Gary Cooper. The tall, lanky Cooper isn’t a perfect physical match for the powerfully built Gehrig, but he brings enormous dignity to the character and plays the erstwhile Yankee superstar for what he was: a quiet, modest individual who constantly strove for and achieved perfection in his chosen profession. Wholesome Teresa Wright is perfectly cast as Lou’s beloved Eleanor, the adoring sweetheart who kept him humble during the years of fame and remained by his side when he was crippled and eventually killed by the debilitating disease that now bears his name. Babe Ruth, the legendary Sultan of Swat, portrays himself in this stirring cinematic tribute, which takes occasional liberties with the truth but captures Gehrig’s essential nobility. Cooper’s re-creation of Lou’s memorable retirement speech "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth..." is still an incredibly moving scene and unintentionally, of course a stern rebuke to the petulant, pampered prima donnas who dominate professional baseball today. One of the greatest films ever made about our national pastime, Pride of the Yankees celebrates a man who wasn’t just a great ballplayer but a great American as well.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Historically, only a few baseball movies have done well at the box office, mostly because audiences are lukewarm to portrayals of heroes of the diamond. Sam Wood's The Pride of the Yankees, however, is an exception, and an improbable one: neither producer Samuel Goldwyn nor star Gary Cooper knew anything about baseball, and it seemed unlikely that anyone was going to pay money to see a story in which everyone knew the outcome. Goldwyn may not have understood the sport (he thought players got promoted up through the bases, from first base to third, and couldn't understand why Gehrig was such a great player if he was "only" a first baseman), but he understood the public better than almost any other producer. The poignancy of Gehrig's story -- he became a sports hero out of a modest upbringing only to see fate strike him down, and then accepted that fate with heroic stoicism -- might've played well at any time, but the fact that America was heading into a war in which people with would be sacrificing themselves made the material even more topical. Though Cooper threw with the wrong hand -- requiring the film to be flipped, so that players had to run from home to third and wear uniforms with reversed numbers -- he portrayed Gehrig with perhaps even more dignity than the real man possessed, and his romantic scenes with Teresa Wright as Gehrig's wife were warm and honest. Director Wood's understated, unpretentious telling of the tale captured the subject of baseball but also provided a snapshot of Americans in general, and how we wanted to think of ourselves on the eve of World War II.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/1999
  • UPC: 026359125720
  • Original Release: 1942
  • Rating:

  • Source: Hbo Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Stereo
  • Sound: stereo
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gary Cooper Lou Gehrig
Teresa Wright Eleanor Gehrig
George Herman "Babe" Ruth Himself
Walter Brennan Sam Blake
Dan Duryea Hank Hanneman
Elsa Janssen Mrs. Gehrig
Ludwig Stossel Pop Gehrig
Virginia Gilmore Myra
Bill Dickey Himself
Ernie S. Adams Miller Huggins
Pierre Watkin Mr. Twitchell
Mark Koenig Himself
Bill Stern Himself
Addison Richards Coach
Hardie Albright Van Tuyl
Edward Fielding Clinic Doctor
George Lessey Mayor of New Rochelle
Douglas Croft Lou Gehrig as a Boy
Edgar Barrier Hospital Doctor
Anita Bolster Sasha's Mother
Lane Chandler Player in Locker Room
Bill Chaney Newsboy
Janet Chapman Tessie
Spencer Charters Mr. Larsen
Gene Collins Billy
Eva Dennison Mrs. Worthington
Pat Flaherty Baseball Player
Rosina Galli Mrs. Fabini
Vaughan Glaser Doctor in Gehrig Home
Mary Gordon Maid
Vinton Haworth
David Holt Billy at 17
John Kellogg Fraternity Boy
David Manley Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia
George McDonald Wally Pip
Matt McHugh Strength Machine Operator
Robert W. Meusel Himself
Patsy O'Byrne Scrubwoman
Ted Offenbecker Freshman
Sarah Padden Mrs. Robert
Billy Roy Joe Fabini
C. Montague Shaw Mr. Worthington
Jack Shea Hammond
Jack Stewart Ed Burrow
Dorothy Vaughan Landlady
Max Willenz Colletti
Robert Winkler Murphy
Veloz & Yolanda Specialty Dancer
Ray Noble and Orchestra
Lorna Dunn Clinic Nurse
Dane Clark Fraternity Boy
Frank Faylen Yankee
Tom Neal Fraternity Boy
Harry Harvey Joe McCarthy
Technical Credits
Sam Wood Director
Irving Berlin Songwriter
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
McClure Capps Art Director
Jack Cosgrove Special Effects
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Paul Gallico Original Story, Screenwriter
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Rene Hubert Costumes/Costume Designer
Dan Mandell Editor
Herman Mankiewicz Screenwriter
Rudolph Maté Cinematographer
William Cameron Menzies Production Designer
Ray Noble Score Composer
Jo Swerling Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapters
1. Main Title/Introduction [2:07]
2. A Mighty Wallop [5:24]
3. Other Peoples Standards [10:21]
4. Living His Own Life [10:35]
5. "Tanglefoot" [11:16]
6. A Real Hero-No Gag [4:04]
7. Lou's Best Girl [13:33]
8. Tall Order [10:18]
9. Mrs. Gehrig, Meet Mrs. Gehrig [7:35]
10. A Woman's Touch [10:38]
11. The Honeymoon [7:11]
12. 2000th Game! [9:11]
13. It's Just a Slump [8:10]
14. "Three Strikes" [8:22]
15. "The Luckiest Man..." [9:46]
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Menu

Side #1
   Play Movie
   Cast/Crew Bios
      Gary Cooper
      Teresa Wright
      Walter Brennan
      Dan Duryea
      Sam Wood
      Herman J. Mankiewicz
   Subtitles
      English
      Français
      Español
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Magnificent fiction

    This is not so much a "great baseball movie" as it is a great movie about a guy who happened to be a great baseball player and an outstanding human being. Pick all the nits you like about the baseball scenes - and there are many, many nits to pick, starting with the awkward fact that the star, Gary Cooper, was a righthander who knew little about the game (Gehrig was a lefty, as the script most unwisely belabors in one "comic-relief" scene). The movie stands or falls on how well the core of the character, Lou Gehrig, is displayed on the screen - and on that score it stands tall, very tall.

    Gary Cooper had a rare and special talent: the ability to portray Good as a strong positive force rather than passive absence of evil intent. No one has ever done it better. It did sharply limit his range - there were roles he could not take, and some he did take that he shouldn't have. But within those limitations he was masterful, and never more so than in this film.

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