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Branca's Pitch 2013 NR CC

4.0 out of 5 stars (7) IMDb 6.8/10

Uncovering the controversy behind the homerun famously called "The Shot Heard Round the World" which caused Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher, Ralph Branca, to lose the National League Pennant on October 3, 1951 to the bitter rival New York Giants, Branca's Pitch follows 86 year-old Ralph Branca's journey to pen a memoir that finally tells his side of the story.

Starring:
Ralph Branca, David Ritz
Runtime:
1 hour, 29 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Andrew J. Muscato
Starring Ralph Branca, David Ritz
Supporting actors Brant Rumble, Joshua Prager
Studio Strand
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
My fellow Amazon "Top 60 Reviewer", K Harris, has already posted a lengthy review about the film so I will not repeat much of what he wrote but, rather, embellish on it, hoping to provide additional info.

As K says the film, on the surface, appears to be only for baseball fans - particularly those over 55 or 60 who may remember the famous 1951 game. (Me? I was 7 at the time and a Philles fan.) . But it is more than that. Early on it becomes almost as equally a documentary on "ghost writer" David Ritz who has "co-authored over 100 autobiographies. As you will see, he normally completes a book in 60 days. I've reviewed "Ritz" books in the past but had never seen or heard him till now. With two heavily tattooed arms and various piercings - along with a shaved head - he could easily fit in with a heavy metal band. And I actually found Ritz's story more interesting than Branca's.

There is a third major character in the film: Wall Street Journal reporter Joshua Prager. Prager is not mentioned on the package or - surprisingly - in the press release, but he is included in interviews in the film. Without Prager, there would be no reason for the film, except to promote the Branca/Ritz book. It was Prager who, in 2008, broke the story of the "stolen signs" (you'll understand when you see the film) in an article and in a follow-up book. Prager supported his research and Branca write it off. Ritz, as K Harris points out, didn't care about facts. He just wanted to move on to his next co-write.

I don't think that K pointed out that the film is in BLACK & WHITE to blend in with the old newsreel footage used. This didn't bother me much and actually shows Branca's features more (he was 85 at time of filming).
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Format: DVD
Being someone who watches documentaries about every conceivable subject, I like to speculate about how much cross-over appeal a movie might have. Some documentaries strike such a universal chord, they can be embraced by a diverse array of viewers. Others may have a more specialized allure. "Branca's Pitch," at first glance, seems like a title that would primarily be of interest to those with a fascination for baseball, especially from a historical perspective. That's a big "duh," right? As the movie progresses, however, its simple structure reveals something a little more complex. In many ways, the documentary debates the nature of truth and how we each construct a personal version of events over the years. The notion of biography is not about absolutes but about perspective and bias. And this examination, done very subtly, lends an unexpected element to "Branca's Pitch" that I found quite intriguing.

On the surface, Andrew J. Muscato's film covers a period of time in which infamous Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca enlists the aid of ghostwriter David Ritz to pen a biographical treatment of his life. Branca is most associated for the so-called "Shot Heard 'Round The World," a pitch that lost the 1951 National League Pennant to the Giants in the most amazing come-back story in sport's history. Branca was vilified by the press and public, and this one moment has defined much of his life. As "Branca's Pitch" opens, we meet the elderly Branca. He's a nice guy who insists that he's made peace with the events of his youth. And truthfully, there's no reason to suspect otherwise. The beginning of the movie is as much about the book writing process as it is about baseball, and Ritz is just as central throughout.
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2 Comments 3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Insightful and heart warming. Producer and director, Andrew Muscato, has given us a gem of a documentary, not just about baseball, but morals, faith, and the true meaning of life. "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" has been chronicled in many ways but this film brings the story to another level, touching your soul. See this movie today.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Great stuff for baseball fans. Real inside look at what may have been baseball's most dramatic moment.
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