The Pride of the Yankees is a 1942 biographical film directed by Sam Wood about the New York Yankees baseball player, first baseman Lou Gehrig, who had his career cut short at 37 years of age when he was stricken with the fatal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (later known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease"). The film was released the year after Gehrig's death.
It stars Gary Cooper as Gehrig and co-stars Teresa Wright as his wife Eleanor and Walter Brennan as a sportswriter friend. Yankee teammates Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, and Bill Dickey play themselves, as does sportscaster Bill Stern.
The film was adapted by Herman J. Mankiewicz, Jo Swerling, and an uncredited Casey Robinson from a story by Paul Gallico.
The film includes a re-enactment of Gehrig's farewell speech in Yankee Stadium. The famous line "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" was voted #38 in the American Film Institute (AFI) list of the 100 greatest film quotes of all time.
Lou Gehrig (played by Gary Cooper) is a young Columbia University student whose old-fashioned mother wants him to study hard and become an engineer. But the young man has a gift for playing baseball.
A sportswriter named Sam Blake (Walter Brennan) befriends Gehrig and persuades a scout to come see him play. Before long, Gehrig gets a contract offer from the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees. With his father's help, he conspires to keep this a secret from his mother.
Gehrig eventually becomes a Yankee and joins the likes of Babe Ruth, who at first treats the rookie coldly. Gehrig's strong hitting and play at first base, though, wins over his teammates, and before long he is joining them in playing pranks on Ruth on the team train.
After a game in which he trips, Gehrig falls for a spectator, Eleanor Twitchell (Teresa Wright), who heckled him from the grandstand, dubbing him "Tanglefoot." Their relationship grows, and soon Lou and Ellie plan to marry. This news, on top of learning that her son won't become an engineer, does not sit well with Gehrig's mother. However, Lou finally stands up to her and marries Eleanor.
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