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The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

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A Baseball Hero

A half-century later, the still-potent Broadway malady 'All About Eve' stands as one of the jewels of American cinema. 

by Colin Covert, Staff Writer 

The Times (London), November 23, 1942 page 8

The Pride of the Yankees -- A film which lasts for two hours and has as its central figure a famous baseball player would not, on the surface, seem to have much attraction for an English audience, but so persuasive is the acting of Mr. Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig and so intelligent is the direction that The Pride of the Yankees speaks more interestingly of American life than many films with more superficially attractive themes. After all. Much of England and of English ways is to be found at the Oval and Bramall Lane, and here are the corresponding places in America and a hero who is content with happily married life -- Miss Teresa Wright plays the part to perfection -- and the game he can play supremely well. Indeed, until the closing sequences, when Gehrig is told he is suffering from a form of infantile paralysis and makes a farewell speech at the Yankee Stadium to a crowd of over 60,000 people, there is little drama in the film, but all the time Mr. Cooper is insinuating himself into the audience's affections with the smoothness of an expert sharper forcing a card. Gehrig, the son of poor immigrant parents, is, for all his modesty, not too priggish to enjoy success and adulation; he keeps his head in triumph and his courage in adversity, and, as Mr. Cooper plays him, it is easy to understand why he was a hero to his wife as well as to the nation. The film would seem to keep close to the facts, the baseball scenes are at once intimate and spectacular, and his Babe Ruth acts as though the stage, and not baseball, was his profession.

© 1942 The Times (London)

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