as previously mentioned, this is me own damn fault
ahem. let's take a break in this little sojourn we may call 'some movies I like' and lets consider movies I don't like. there are a lot of movies I don't like, but if we were looking at categories, they'd include:
– movies about sports
– 'inspirational' movies
let's pause and give a hand of applause to HotRod, for suggesting the one movie that brings all three of those categories together: The pride of the yankees
The pride… is a straight biopic, beginning with young Lou playing backlot baseball in the neighborhood. after he breaks a grocer's window (because he's such an powerful hitter, natch) we are introduced to Lou's German immigrant parents, right out of the stereotype book. meek father, check; domineering mother, check; we came to America for the opportunities speech, check; baseball? baseball is a game. you go to college and become famous engineer speech, check.
so Lou begins playing in college, on the downlow from dear Mamma, until dear Mamma takes ill and must go to hospital; there is no money, so Lou decides to sign up with the Yankees and conspires with dear Papa to keep it a secret from dear Mamma.
so… Lou goes to the minors, Mamma gets better, but when Lou is called by the Yankees (which of course, is front page news. what else ever happens in New York?) Mamma finds out, gets angry and eventually comes around. d'Oh.
Lou is straight-forward, naive, and a hard-worker. never parties with his fellow Yankees (including Babe Ruth, playing himself). Lou meets the future-Mrs.-Gehrig in Chicago, they court, marry, and he continues to play.
2,130 consecutive games.
until… he begins to stiffen and weaken. the homeruns become base hits. noone knows why. eventually a doctor dx
'a third strike' (ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – is never mentioned). after Lou decides to quit baseball for good, the Yankees arrange to have "Lou Gehrig's Day" at Yankee stadium in his honor. that is the setting for the famous
"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech, which ends the movie.
here's the speech from the movie
the entire movie is available at imdb.com, via hulu.com