The Pride Of The Yankees: Lou Gehrig

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Margarita Acosta Film Review Sports History February 17, 2011 The film to be reviewed is The Pride of the Yankees. It is a biological film directed by Sam Wood about New York Yankees baseball player and first baseman, Lou Gehrig. The film was released in 1942 a year after he died at 37 years of age from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This film was reviewed because, until this class was taken, the reviewer only thought Lou Gehrig was some poor random sap who succumbed to a motor neuron disease. The director had meant for the film to be a biography of Lou Gehrig’s short life and baseball career. If the reader wants to see something with real baseball action, then watch something else. This film is not meant to be a sports action film about Gehrig as the baseball player. Moreover, it is meant to tell the life story of a fine humble man and how he succeeded in the myth that is known as the American dream. The actor, who played Gehrig, Gary Cooper, coincidentally had a lack of baseball talent putting even more of a push to have a non sport action film. Sam Wood directed this film in 1942, a year after Gehrig had died so the film is historically accurate and not much attempt at verisimilitude was necessary. The inaccuracy in the film came into play twice with him smashing the window of the athletic department at his alma mater instead of smashing a window in the journalism building. But the important inaccuracy was in his farewell speech on July 4, 1939 with the famous line “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth” being moved to the end of his speech instead of it originally being at the beginning. The film can be seen as a document because some of Yankee teammates such as Babe Ruth, Mark Koenig, Bill Dickey and Bob Meusel play themselves including sportscaster Bill Stern. Characters include Lou

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