Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANK GREENBERG

Year: 1999
Country: United States
Run Time: 90 minutes

"If you were a Jewish kid, you got Hank Greenberg on your side," recalls one hero-worshipping fan 50 years after Greenberg retired from the baseball diamond (he died in 1986). There were Jewish ballplayers before Hammerin' Hank, a legendary batter for Detroit (and a co-owner of the Cleveland Indians) but he was the first superstar of the Great American Game who made no secret of his European-immigrant heritage, to the point of deliberating whether or not to go out on the field during Holy Days. Not just for sports addicts, Aviva Kempner's cheerful oral-history biography interviews friends, family, celebrities, and the common fans (especially rabbis) who fondly recall Greenberg's golden days of the 1930s and ?40s. The handsome, well-spoken "Moses of baseball" endured the anti-Semitic taunts amidst the customary fan and competitor insults, came discomfittingly close to dethroning Babe Ruth's record, rejected religion in general as a result of his WWII experience, and lasted long enough to see a teammate named Jackie Robinson break the League's infamous color line. Vintage newsreels, songs, and clips ranging from "Pride of the Yankees" to the Marx Brothers make a cinematic scroll of the national pastime, now and forever, that honors Greenberg and fellow stadium immortals of all creeds.

Director
Aviva Kempner

Producer
Aviva Kempner.

Cinematography
Jerry Feldman, Kevin Hewitt, Tony Hurwitz, Tom Kaufman, Christopher Li, Scott Mumford.

Editing
Marian Sears Hunter, Judith Sobol.

Principal Cast
Bob Feller, Al Rosen, Alan Dershowitz, Walter Matthau, Ernie Harwell, Shirley Povich, Maury Povich, Michael Moriarty.

Film Contact
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