Pride of the Yankees [1942]

You'll be proud to introduce your kids to this film about virtue, courage, and an indomitable spirit. Like Treasure Island and Tom Sawyer, Pride should be required viewing for every family. Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig, the "Iron Horse" New York Yankee first baseman who became a record-setting legend in baseball. Sure, Cooper's a little long in the tooth to play a collegian, and he tries to capture Gehrig's innocence with a kind of eye-batting dopiness. But the last moments of the film, before Gehrig's final, famous farewell, transform the picture. Gehrig happens across a young man whom he had encountered years before in a children's hospital, and with this sequence, Pride becomes something more than a movie about innate talent and athleticism, or a lost era of America, it crystallizes into a film about (gulp!) human will. An absolute must. --Keith Simanton

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