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The American Dream
Comes To Life®
Collectors Digest, July 23, 1999
Tale of the Tape - David Craft
video is a grand slam
'American Dream' comes to
life in interviews
Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something
That's one way to describe the "wedding" of two
one-hour interview programs spotlighting the life and career of Mickey
"Mickey Mantle: The American Dream Comes to Life®,"
was released on home video in 1988. But now a second full hour of Mantle's
on-camera recollections – titled "The Lost Stories" – has been added to
the original program and issued as one two-hour gem.
"The Mick" borrows heavily from his days in the
navy blue pinstripes of the New York Yankees. His stories range from the
outright funny ("shooting the mule") to the endearing (his remembrances
of Jackie Robinson and teammate Roger Maris). Many if not most Mantle fans
purchased the first video when it came out. But even they would do well
to consider rebuying it just to get the extra hour. It's that good.
The new two-hour tape coincides with the 25th anniversary
of Mantle's induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I was eager
to see what the producers added to the original video, but I was concerned
that it would be weaker material that perhaps should have stayed on the
cutting room floor. After all, the second hour of recollections come from
the same interview session as the original video. That was a dozen years
I was also leery that the new hour might even be
padded with outtakes of Mantle flubbing his lines. Who needs it? Too often,
that kind of blooper just isn't that funny – and certainly not after repeated
But not only does the second hour stand alone as
a wonderful collection of Mantle stories, it even includes Paul Simon's
music video of "Me and Julio" that features brief appearances by Mantle
and football guru John Madden. The decision to release "The Lost Stories"
backs up the producers' claim that the new footage was "chosen to complement
and complete the original program."
One reason that the video works so well, apart from
the fact that Mantle was a wonderful storyteller, is that there is no narrator
and no quick shots of the interviewer. In fact, viewers won't even hear
the interviewer's questions. The entire two-hour program is Mickey Mantle,
up close and personal at his Dallas home with shelves of memorabilia behind
him. A wealth of film footage and still shots covering nearly all aspects
of his life and career add another strong visual element to the program.
The only quibble I have with the video, and it is
a minor one, stems from the original hour. In it, Mantle recalls the time
that he, manager Casey Stengel, and several other baseball stars appeared
before the Senate Anti-Trust Committee in 1958 to offer their views on
possible legislation affecting baseball.
A nervous Mantle delivered one of the all-time great
one-liners after Stengel had rambled for an hour or more. The film clip,
complete with the audio, is a classic. But instead of getting to hear the
entire audio track, the video shows portions of the black and white clip
while we hear Mantle 30 years later tell the story and deliver the punch line.
The actual "film-with-audio" clip was funnier. Waves
of laughter from hundreds of people in attendance filled the committee
room that day.
Aside from that, the producers have mined a rich
vein of baseball lore from a ballplayer whose career spanned the swan song
of Joe D to the 31-win season of Tiger ace Denny McLain. If you liked the
original one-hour video, you'll get to see and hear Mantle deliver more
than 20 different stories in the second hour. If you don't have the original
one-hour video, then adding this new two-hour version to your video collection
is a no-brainer.
Here are teasers to some of the stories Mantle relates
in the second hour:
The special edition of "Mickey Mantle: The American
Dream Comes to Life®" retails for $39.95
plus $4.95 for shipping and handling.) The press release that came with
the review copy said that, for a limited time, $10 would be taken off the
basic price. That may or may not still be valid when you read this.) [Note:
The $29.95 special price has been extended indefinitely.]
His "called shot" in the 1964 World Series
A defensive play involving base runner Jackie Robinson in '52
A friendly card game gone awry
Gallows humor on a passenger flight during a major thunderstorm over the
The "hangover home run"
Coming to the rescue of a paying customer at his restaurant
The $400 cab ride to Pittsburgh
Norm Cash's question to Mick during a "basebrawl"
There are several ways to order the video:
(1) Phone: 1-800-THE MICK (1-800-843-6425)
(2) Fax: 415-346-0594
(3) Internet: www.themick.com
(4) Mail (check or money order): Baseball Legend
Video, 1253 Vallejo St., San Francisco, CA 94109-2120.
Though some of the stories Mantle shares with viewers
are ones that have appeared in various books (including "The Mick," an
autobiography published in 1985), this two-hour video is a real treat for
Mantle/Yankees fans and baseball video collectors in general. It's two
hours of a warm and funny Mickey Mantle on your TV screen, "tellin' like
We highly recommend
The American Dream Comes
Now on DVD
with nearly 200 on-screen pages of bonus features!
"The best baseball program ever made!"
- USA Today, The Washington Post, The NY Daily News, Newsday, The Los
Angeles Times, The TODAY Show, ESPN, Larry King Live...
Click Here for Details!
recommend the second Videography™
in the Comes To Life®
Madden: The American Dream
Comes To Life®
Now on DVD! The original program in its entirety -
not one frame has been omitted.
"60 delightful minutes
- A must!"
- USA Today, The Washington Post, The
Oakland Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The TODAY Show, ESPN...
Click Here for Details!
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