The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg
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Portrait of the legendary Bronx-born Jewish baseball player who came close to breaking Babe Ruth's record--hitting 58 home runs in a single season--he was baseball's first Jewish star. Tall (6'4"), handsome, and uncommonly good-natured, Greenberg was a secular Jew from Bronx who became "the baseball Moses," an icon for everyone from Walter Matthau to Alan Dershowitz. The film examines how Greenberg's status as a major star gave hope to American Jews who faced religious bigotry during the Depression and World War II.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's an adroit manipulation of interviews and stock footage, mostly along the lines of establishing not so much what Hammerin' Hank did for himself, but what he meant to American Jews."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Aviva Kempner hits a grand slam in her thrilling documentary about baseball, about a great baseball player, about Jews in America and about the country itself in the 1930s and 1940s."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Former Detroiter Kempner infuses her portrait of Hank Greenberg with such a joie de vivre that it's a delight for the already converted and nonsports fans alike."
‑ Serena Donadoni, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"Greenberg led by quiet example -- and left an indelible mark on thousands of young lives, not to mention a plaque in baseball's Hall of Fame."
‑ Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun
"Emphasizes the positive moments in his career, and the film is loose-limbed and ingratiating‚"much like Greenberg himself, who appears in interviews throughout his career."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"Kempner demonstrates how the star's success and dignified bearing inspired a generation of Jews to fight through the ethnic barriers in all fields."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is a gem of a baseball documentary because it illuminates what the Hall of Famer's splendid career meant away from the ballpark."
‑ Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg is precisely what a documentary ought to be: engaging and revelatory, turning forgotten footnotes and discarded minutiae into the stuff of riveting drama and poignant laughs."
‑ Robert Wilonsky, New Times
"A warmly human look at the career of major-league baseball's most famous Jewish star."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"A fine, straightforward tribute to a sports giant who faced blatant prejudice and paved away for the likes Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and other minorities..."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Writer-director Aviva Kempner crafted this love letter to Greenberg by imaginatively weaving interviews with great footage from newsreels and feature films."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Aviva Kempner's warm and intelligent mash note to a man who clearly deserved it."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A moving tribute to an overlooked American icon who invariably exhibited an admirable combination of integrity, humility and loyalty."
‑ Kam Williams,
"This gem will lift the spirits of baseball fans."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
More reviews for The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg on Rotten Tomatoes