dinsdag 7 mei 2013

It's Good to be Alive: Review

Browsing for stuff about my favorite ballclub I recently stumbled on ‘It’s Good to be Alive’. I never got the change to read Roy Campanella’s autobiography but when I looked closer, the picture wasn’t of a book cover. It had Lou Gosset Jr. in it. My curiousity was triggered and had to see it. It’s a made for TV movie and the directorial debut of Michael Landon (yes, the guy from Little House on the Prairie). It stars Paul Winfield and, obviously, Louis Gossett Jr. I don’t spoil anything when I say the biggest chunck of the movie is about Campy’s struggle after his car accident in 1958 which left him a quadriplegic. There is some footage of Campy playing at Ebbets Field though. Since Campanella had been playing baseball since he was a kid, starting in Negro league Baseball when he was only 15 it was hard not to be able to move anymore. It's a seventies movie so it's a bit slow at times, but in this case it fits the story. Paul Winfield’s performance is good, he makes you (the viewer) live the pain along with him. Since the movie retells Campanella's autobiography it's a very personal movie. Campy shows us how he quits life, which is no wonder when all you want to do is catch and throw baseballs. Gosset as Roy's attendant is stern and once in a while funny. The end of the movie shows us the real Campanella and his family for a minute. That moment send shivers down my spine. As a Dodger fan you should see this. It's on dvd, so pick it up sometime.

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