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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shameful marketing ploy is finally corrected
I'm sure you've already noticed that the 2002 and 2007 releases of "The Pride of the Yankees" were exactly the same except for the cover art. Collectors of classic films do not double dip on account of cover art. This was a very shameful treatment of a great film and a great performance by Gary Cooper, probably among his very best. The film focused on Gehrig the man and...
Published on January 19, 2008 by calvinnme

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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD Exactly the Same as Older Version - MGM Rip-Off!
As usual, MGM, which was a fine studio, puts out a mediocre DVD, trying to put one past the consumer. Don't be fooled. Let the reviewer from DVDBeaver speak for this "new" version:

"These MGM DVD editions are EXACTLY the same. The only difference is that the Anniversary Edition package offers a cardboard sleeve (funnily enough it doesn't even have new text -...
Published on April 5, 2007 by Alamo2


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shameful marketing ploy is finally corrected, January 19, 2008
I'm sure you've already noticed that the 2002 and 2007 releases of "The Pride of the Yankees" were exactly the same except for the cover art. Collectors of classic films do not double dip on account of cover art. This was a very shameful treatment of a great film and a great performance by Gary Cooper, probably among his very best. The film focused on Gehrig the man and his wife, Eleanor, played by Teresa Wright. Also many of the Yankees appeared in the film playing themselves including Babe Ruth. In both previous releases of this film, the DVD contained no extra features. This is being resolved with this latest release. Although it has no commentary track, this new release will contain numerous featurettes and looks to be a good buy. The extra features are:

The Making of Pride Of The Yankees featurette
The Man Behind The Iron Horse featurette - Discusses the real Lou Gehrig
What He Left Behind featurette - A look at the Lou Gehrig memorabilia currently housed at the Baseball Hall of Fame
Always featurette - A look at the hit song that came from the film
Lou Gehrig's Disease: The Search For A Cure featurette - An interview with baseball great Curt Schilling discussing Lou Gehrig's Disease and the latest developments in fighting it.
Curt Schilling: A Legend on a Legend - Baseball star Curt Schilling discusses Lou Gehrig
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From NY Immigrants' Child to American Legend, June 26, 2004
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
This was probably my introduction, and for millions of others, to the legend that is Lou Gehrig. And for so many years, I had Gehrig and Gary Cooper completely confused in my mind--they seemed inseparable. But there's good reason for it: the role of the Iron Horse seemed to be made for Cooper. Gehrig was a low-key, almost self-effacing athlete and person, which was just the type of character that Cooper built his career on. Their sizes were just about the same. Cooper nailed down Lou Gehrig's voice, especially for the famous "luckiest man" farewell speech. Hell, Gary Cooper LOOKS like Lou Gehrig! Maybe my confusion is justified, at least on this subject.
PRIDE OF THE YANKEES is the grand-daddy of all baseball movies. Cooper's performance, as I can't help but keep mentioning, is stellar. Teresa Wright as his wife helps keep the hankies moist but she is also very spunky and strong. Walter Brennan (who also played opposite Cooper in MEET JOHN DOE where John Doe is a semi-pro pitcher) is in a supporting role here but provides desperately needed comic relief.
And perhaps I'm wrong to categorize PRIDE OF THE YANKESS as merely a baseball film. It is about human potential, human frailty, and above all human strength during times of crisis. Lou Gehrig's tragedy occurred during a time of extreme crisis in America, and, I believe, his strong steady public appearances helped the nation through it. PRIDE OF THE YANKEES could easily have been named "Strength of America" in my mind. It's that important a film.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of Lou Gehrig and the classiest sports biopic, May 7, 2004
By 
There are all sorts of little imperfections in the 1943 film "The Pride of the Yankees." The screenwriters rearranged Lou Gehrig's famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium so that the best line, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," becomes his exit line (it was the second line in his speech with his actual last line being, "So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for"). Gary Cooper had enough problems batting right-handed let alone left-handed like Gehrig, so the actor wore a uniform with "KROY WEN" on the front, ran to third base when he managed to hit the ball, and then they reversed the print. Gehrig is shown wearing his famous number 4 when the Yankees play the World Series, but that happened in 1926 and 1928 while the Bronx Bombers did not start wearing uniform numbers until 1929 (Gehrig batted cleanup and was 4, Babe Ruth batted in front of him and was therefore 3). The film talks about how Gehrig won the Triple Crown on the day he was married but Gehrig won the Triple Crown in the 1934 season, the year after Lou and Eleanor were married in 1933.
But none of that really matters because "The Pride of the Yankees" remains the standard by which all sports biopics, whether of baseball players or anyone else, are judged. Even those who were not weaned and raised on baseball know that the title character is going to die of Lou Gehrig's disease and the film takes full advantage of that foreshadowing: when Gehrig gets into his first game and refuses to come out after being hit in the head by a thrown ball, manager Miller Huggins asks, "What do we have to do to get you out of the game? Kill you?" Irving Berlin's song "Always" becomes a recurring musical theme throughout the film, another reminder of Gehrig's mortality.
In many ways "The Pride of the Yankees" is more of a love story than a baseball theme. It starts off as a rags-to-riches story, where Gehrig's mother (Elsa Janssen) insists her son will be an engineer and does want him wasting time playing baseball. Eventually the fame and money opens her eyes, but then Lou meets Eleanor Twitchell (Teresa Wright) and has a new "best girl." One of the most impressive aspects of this film is how it touches on the two darker sides of the Lou Gehrig story, the friction between his overbearing mother and his society wife along with the strained relationship that developed between Gehrig and Babe Ruth. The film really only touches on these aspects and Ruth, playing himself, is usually a smiling figure when he shows up on screen, except for when Gehrig is eating his new hat and he is listening to Gehrig's farewell speech.
Cooper was nominated for an Oscar for his performance and even though he is rather awkward and a bit old for the role, he captures the essential dignity and class of Gehrig. It makes sense that one American icon is being played by another. Having been nominated of a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for "The Little Foxes" in 1941 she received another nomination in that category in 1942 for "Mrs. Miniver" and also one for Best Actress that same year for "The Pride of the Yankees." Wright won for "Mrs. Miniver" and lost out to Greer Garson for Best Actress (because of the war the Oscars were made of plaster for the first time, but were replaced by "real" Oscars when the war ended). "The Pride of the Yankees" was nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Picture, but only won for Daniel Mandell's Film Editing.
Walter Brennan as sportswriter Sam Blake and Ludwig Stössel as Pop Gehrig provide a lot of the comic relief in the film. Brennan's role is rather low-keyed for him while Stössel has several fine moments where he tries, usually without success, to stand up to his wife. Appearing as themselves are Yankee players Bill Dickey, Bob Meusel, and Mark Koenig, and the familiar voice of Bill Stern makes it on screen as well.
Gehrig's tragic death at the age of 38 makes all of his records even more astounding given that his career was cut short. Sportswriter Jim Murray once described the tall, strong Gehrig as a "Gibraltar in cleats," and "The Pride of the Yankees" provides a sense of that. For me the most poignant scene comes before Gehrig enters Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, when he encounter 17-year-old Billy (David Holt), the lame boy in the hospital (Gene Collins) for whom Gehrig hit two home runs in a World Series game in the film's most extended baseball sequence. The irony that Gehrig could inspire Billy to rise up and walk but Fate had conspired to strike down the Iron Horse who played in 2,130 is enough to reduce most of us to tears before Gehrig ever steps to the plate for the last time to talk about how lucky he is.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Need Another Lou Gehrig., June 5, 2006
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig, one of the greatest players ever to wear a uniform in any sport.

In one movie, we are given a hero who lives out his dream, a celebrity who did more off-camera than on, a husband who loves his wife, parents who sacrifice so their son may have a better life, a man who also loves his parents and in-laws, and a sports star who never cheated in the game or on his wife.

It could be a perfect family movie.

Lou is born to immigrant parents who believe in traditional America. His parent's hopes are set on Lou becoming like his Uncle Otto, a successful engineer. Baseball means nothing to them but trouble until Lou shows he is the best.

Lou falls in love with Miss Twitchell. She soon becomes Mrs. Gehrig, played by Teresa Wright, his doting wife, reminiscent of Donna Reed's character in "It's a Wonderful Life." A storybook life follows, and Lou outshines his childhood hero the Sultan of Swat, played by Babe Ruth himself.

You know how it ends. Lou contracts what is now known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He not only must end his Iron Horse record of playing 2,130 straight games, but knows his life is ending. He retires and America swoons in grief. His retirement speech is full of dignity and power, and nothing like it has ever been seen since. The actual speech is barely edited in the movie.

Impressive is not just the life of Lou Gehrig. It is also the respect of his teammates, especially Babe Ruth. Ruth was in his last years of playing when Gehrig showed up. However, as he saw how Ruth really lived as an undisciplined show-off, some rifts between them followed. When push came to shove, both on the field and during Ruth's retirement, they respected each other's abilities. Ruth did not need to be in the movie. His status as a legend was secure. He came to honor a great man. Ruth's presence and self-effacement is crucial to appreciate the depth of Gehrig's character.

I bought into every character, from Gehrig's parents, to Gary Cooper as Gehrig, to the goofy cop who catches Gehrig nervously approaching Twitchell's door on his way to propose.

The movie seems like part fantasy -- Could anyone be that decent of a guy? Further reading will tell you yes. It is that quality of humanity that might make it unpopular today, as movie goers are used to the antihero and imperfect man saving the day.

"Pride of the Yankees" might be a great movie that has passed its prime. The movie includes a strong message that immigrants are a great part of the American dream. The possibilities of America are still true, as seen through the current evidence of throngs of Mexican immigrants, but a patriotic movie might be snidely received by cynics and critics. Baseball also has found itself tainted by steroids, and today's homerun heroes are suspect.

I fully recommend "Pride of the Yankees."

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOUCHING AND POIGNANT!, February 27, 2005
By 
a viewer "a viewer" (antioch, tn United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
This type of film is just not made in Hollywood anymore. Gary Cooper was the perfect choice to play Lou Gehrig and so was Teresa Wright to play his wife. As a matter of fact the entire cast is first rate. The production values are as only the great Sam Goldwyn could make them. The cinematography and the screenplay are perfection and that Musical Score with the haunting Irving Berlin tune "Always"!!! Ahh, how can anyone not love this film, replete with so many touching scenes! I can't name them all...but here are a few: Lou signing his contract with the Yankees so his mother can have a decent private room in the hospital when she gets sick; Lou introducing his wife to be Ellie to his mother for the first time with the mother reacting a little coldly and the hurt that registers on Teresa Wright's face; the wallpaper scene between Lou's Mother and Teresa Wright; The hospital scene with Billy, the crippled boy and Lou promising him to hit 2 home runs for him and the following scenes at the baseball field with him doing that; the scene with Lou and Ellie wrestling on the floor where Lou has one of his first spells indicating his disease; the scene where the doctors and Lou try to keep Ellie from finding out just how serious Lou's disease is; the scene outside the baseball field with a grown up Billy showing Lou that he can walk now...(a real tearjerker) and of course...the ending with the famous Lou Gehrig (I am the luckiest man alive..). Have a box of kleenex handy for this one. One would have to be the most cynical, hard hearted person not to be affected by this beautiful film.

The DVD has no extras other than scene selection. Its still worth it anyhow. The transfer picture and audio are excellent! Cooper and Wright along with the rest of the picture deserved their academy award nominations the year the film was released. Watch it and you will see why!
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD Exactly the Same as Older Version - MGM Rip-Off!, April 5, 2007
By 
Alamo2 "alamo2" (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
As usual, MGM, which was a fine studio, puts out a mediocre DVD, trying to put one past the consumer. Don't be fooled. Let the reviewer from DVDBeaver speak for this "new" version:

"These MGM DVD editions are EXACTLY the same. The only difference is that the Anniversary Edition package offers a cardboard sleeve (funnily enough it doesn't even have new text - it is the same spiel written on the keep case insert). And for your trouble the Anniversary Edition is minutely more money ($0.20). In all fairness they should have just called this a re-issue instead of trying to fool the public - this DVD does nothing at all to celebrate the 65th Anniversary.

"The transfer that came out in 2002 is not bad at all - progressive and quite acceptable contrast. There are a few blemishes (speckles) but nothing to get riled up about. There are yellow optional subtitles and clear and consistent mono audio. No extras at all where to properly celebrate the 65 Anniversary you would think some video featurette or commentary would be called for. The film certainly deserves at least that.

"Wholesome good nostalgic fun that purports the virtues of courage and determination in a story of how one man and his quiet demeanour was able to touch so many with his gift. Yeah, they don't make'm like this anymore.

"All we have to say to MGM is 'not on DVDBeaver's watch'. A great reasonably priced DVD but obviously NO reason to double dip (as many would expect) and shame on MGM!"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pride of the 40's, June 25, 2006
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
Arguably the greatest sports biography ever filmed, the movie that encompasses the life of Lou Gehrig is remarkable. Nominated for best picture and actor in 1943, the film is an inspirational and emotionally charged story about one man in both life and sport that was and is loved even to this day. Lou Gehrig (G. Cooper) is portrayed as an honest, simple and selfless man who simply wants to play the game of baseball. Although he means well, Gehrig is depicted as being both clumsy and reckless in his pursuit of the game. The film begins with Gehrig as a young, poor immigrant boy who yearns to play ball but is pressured by his mother to become an engineer in college. Being a mama's boy, Gehrig does what his mother wants and heads for college to become successful and rich. When his mother grows ill, Gehrig finds himself in desperate need for money. While playing ball on the side in college, a scout for the New York Yankees (W. Brennan) spots him and wants him to sign a contract. Needing the money Gehrig accepts and the rest is Major League Baseball history.

The great thing about this movie is that it doesn't entirely focus on Gehrig's success on the diamond, but his success as a man. We learn of Gehrig's internal struggles with his mother, his subtle rivalry with teamate Babe Ruth (who portrays himself in this film), and his loving relationship with his wife (T. Wright) which gives a full biography of his greatness.

As the film moves on from Gehrig's early years as a Yankee to a superstar and "The Iron Horse" of Baseball, the climax is revealed as an unfortunate turn for the worse. The tragedy over Lou Gehrig's life is what detours this film from a giddy feel good bio of a great athlete and man to a movie about physical decline and death, while facing all these inevitable fates with dignity and honor. The movie is humbling, to say the least, and powerful with hope. It's difficult not to get choked up as the final scene fades away.

Like all good sports films, the success of it isn't in the sport itself or the record setting highlights of a memorable career. The success is in the human development of the real life character(s) and their real life struggles. As imagined, this isn't a story about home runs or Lou Gehrig winning the World Series. It's about Lou Gehrig---the man.

One cannot say enough for the realism Gary Cooper poured into the character of Lou Gehrig. After seeing real footage of Gehrig the likeness between both the athlete and actor are eerie in its similarity. Gary Cooper won the oscar the year before for his role as Sgt. Alvin York and ten years later as Will Kane in "High Noon," but in the humble opinion of this reviewer this was his finest performance of his entire career.

There is no warnings to speak of with this movie. In 1943 there were no such things as rating systems because movies didn't have to be rated. The only thing to keep in mind is that the movie does end in a form of tragedy, which may come across as depressing to certain audiences.

In summary, "Pride of the Yankees" is one of the best films of the 1940s and is easily among the greatest sports films ever done. It is important to note that it is also a rareity for Hollywood to focus a story on a clean and uncontroversial athlete, such as Gehrig, whereas in recent sports biographies over Muhammed Ali and Babe Ruth have nothing but controversy painted all over them. It can be said that hope can sell over controversy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY UNDERRATED LEGEND!!!, March 22, 2005
By 
earth1 (Lawrenceville N.J.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
This is my favorite sports movie to date. Most people
don't know how great Gehrig really was! Or the fact
that he played his 2130 game streak, with 17 fractures
in his hands, over that period! Imagine if he could have
played another 5 years, what he could have done! He holds
many records that will never be broken. He is truly a
legend! Gary Cooper did a great job playing Gehrig! Once
you see this classic film, you'll never forget it! This
movie is close to me, because I also have (A.L.S.)
Lou Gehrigs Disease, but I'm proud to know, that I share
this devistating disease, with such a legend!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't colorize a great B&W classic, February 6, 2000
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
'Pride of the Yankees' is definitely one of my all-time favorite movies and would normally rank an easy five stars. BUT somebody had the misguidance to release this DVD as a COLORIZED title. Why, oh, why? Don't they realize that most movies made in black & white look better and much classier in black & white. Leave it alone for goodness sakes! That aside, Gary Cooper's performance as baseball great Lou Gehrig is among the best of his career. Teresa Wright is every bit his equal as his devoted wife. Babe Ruth himself even gets to act a little bit in the film. Director Sam Wood, who also gave us such masterpieces as 'A Night at the Opera'with the Marx Bros. and 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips'(not to mention co-directing 'Gone with the Wind'), balances the sentiment, humor, and drama just right. And yes, the ending tugs on your heartstrings like few movie endings can. The people at HBO Home Video have given us some beautiful B&W DVDs such as 'The Best Years of Our Lives' and 'Wuthering Heights'. I just wish they had been as generous with this title.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a great man on the field as well as off the field!, August 4, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Pride of the Yankees (DVD)
This review is for the DVD released by MGM in 2002.

The Pride of the Yankees is the story of baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig. His nickname was the "Iron Horse" which he earned for playing 2,130 consecutive games for the New York Yankees from the mid 1920's to the late 1930's. That was a major league record for many years until Cal Ripken Jr. broke it 1995. Of course Lou Gehrig will also be remembered as a courageous man who died from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, sometimes also referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease".

The movie stars Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. The movie is a gem and has essentially four facets to it. One area of lengthy coverage was his relationship with his domineering German mother (played by Elsa Janssen). A second subplot is courting and marrying his wife (played by Teresa Wright). The third subject of lengthy coverage was his great baseball career and the final facet of the film was Gehrig facing his mortality at a relatively early age. Of course these four areas overlap into each other throughout the movie. From a personal viewpoint, I would have liked to have seen a lot more about his baseball career and less of his love life. (I'm sure this was done intentionally to get women to into the theaters.) The movie is sugarcoated and squeaky clean and very corny at times, but personally I'd rather watch a movie like this than films like the Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb movies that were made in the 1990's where they exposed all of the dirty laundry in their private lives.

Pride of the Yankees is a classic, especially with the unforgettable "I consider myself the luckiest guy on the face of the earth" speech at Yankee Stadium. Another wonderful treat is to see Babe Ruth play himself in the movie and there are also a few brief scenes with another Yankee great: Bill Dickey. Another nice feature were the shots of the various American League ball barks Gehrig played in. It was also great to see some shots of the old grandstands of Yankee Stadium before it was renovated in the mid-`70s. Overall, this a movie the whole family, from 6 to 96, can enjoy.

The DVD picture quality is outstanding. The black and white transfer is impeccable. I don't recall seeing the slightest flaw throughout the entire movie and the sharpness is excellent. The sound is fine too. The DVD lacked bonus features which is a shame for a movie that has been so highly acclaimed for so many generations. There was a lot of about his baseball career that wasn't covered in the movie, but could have been covered in a documentary by sportswriters and sports historians. The movie itself had some interesting stories regarding how it was filmed. I had once read an article regarding how they filmed Cooper playing Gehrig. Since Cooper was right handed and Gehrig was left handed, they would film Cooper running to third base from home instead of from home to first after getting a hit and then reverse the negative.

Movie: A

DVD Quality: A+
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The Pride of the Yankees
The Pride of the Yankees by Sam Wood (DVD - 2002)
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