Good, unvarnished account
Leon M. Bodevin | Lemoore, CA | 03/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This video gives a realistic rendering of Joe DiMaggio's personality. It is not as whitewashed as the A&E Biography video, but this is probably to the video's credit. The most poignant part of the movie is the end where DiMaggio becomes "the keeper of his own flame." It is a depressing, lonely part of DiMaggio's life, but you walk away from it feeling you know the real DiMaggio, an American hero who was nonetheless prone to isolationism and paranoia. I recommend this video as well as A&E's video on DiMaggio."
The Joe DiMaggio Story: The Pride of a Yankee
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 02/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Following Joe DiMaggio's death and the publication of Richard Ben Cramer's expose "Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life" a lot more came out about the Yankee Clipper than was ever known during his lifetime. "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?" is an HBO production that ends up taking the middle ground between the legend of DiMaggio and the grim reality of what we know take to be the truth. We hear about DiMaggio's fierce demand for privacy, his tendency to cut off friends who crossed him, the money he made selling his signature, and the care with which he maintained his reputation as "the greatest living baseball player." However, this comes in the latter part of this 63-minute documentary. The first part deals with how this son of immigrant San Francisco fisherman became a legendary figure. The portrait is certainly balanced. Witnesses tell of how DiMaggio snubbed the young Mickey Mantle, who was clearly being groomed to replace him in center field at Yankee Stadium, but then Reggie Jackson talks about how nice DiMaggio was to him when the Hall of Famer was a coach for the Oakland A's. The talking heads are a nice mixture of biographers, reporters and baseball players. This latter includes both former teammates like Tommy Henrich, Phil Rizzuto and Yogi Berra and opponents such as Bob Feller (who allows that DiMaggio was the best right-handed batter he ever faced). In the end, two things stand out: when DiMaggio took himself out of a crucial game against the Red Sox because he was hurting the team and the way he stepped in when his ex-wife Marilyn Monroe died. At the root of everything he did was a sense of pride on truly epic proportions.Certainly it took long enough for someone to appropriate this title from Paul Simon's "Mrs. Robinson." Maury Allen, of course, was first with his biography. At one point in this documentary we learned that DiMaggio was puzzled by the Simon & Garfunkel song and considered suing over the apparent "insult." Of course, the exact opposite was the case. Even if we now know more than we ever wanted to know about the real Joe DiMaggio, "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?" more than adequately covers the legend he worked so hard to create and to maintain. Final Note: Be sure to watch the credits on this one, which roll over an appearance of DiMaggio on "I've Got a Secret." The irony is palatable."
Joseph W. Garnier | Pierce County, WA | 10/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was looking for a video of the yankees with Di Maggio in actual play. This has a few clips of the games, but nothing spectacular. NBC and CBS both filmed the all-star games in the late 30's and 40's, but they aren't making moves to release them. All we have of the old days are stories. Someone should find the game films and put them out. I'll buy one or two a month."