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IT AIN’T OVER

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What You Need To Know:

IT AIN’T OVER is a documentary about the life of famed New York Yankees catcher, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra. Yogi was a larger-than-life presence to his teammates, family and all who knew him. The movie details his feats as a formidable major league player, his personal life, and his “Yogi-isms,” hilarious, nonsensical sayings for which he became famous. One of the funniest is, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Many of his sayings became popular American idioms, such as “It ain’t over til it’s over,” a reference to the final ninth inning of professional baseball.

IT AIN’T OVER has footage of Yogi telling his story and living family members filling in biographical blanks. The footage and interviews are outstanding. They drive the narrative forward. IT AIN’T OVER has a strong moral worldview. It depicts Yogi as a strong family man, as a person who spent time helping others, and as an icon whose wit and wisdom won’t be forgotten. IT AIN’T OVER is largely wholesome. However, there’s some scattered foul language and a line about doing cocaine.

Content:

(BB, L, A, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview shows the famous baseball player Yogi Berra as a strong family man, one who took time to invest in others and treat others as he would want to be treated, and an icon whose wit and wisdom will not be forgotten

Foul Language:
Seven or eight obscenities by baseball players are scattered throughout the movie

Violence:
No violence

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Some social drinking

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking, but a character admits to having done cocaine; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
George Steinbrenner’s disingenuous firing of Yogi will live in infamy, but the two men met and Yogi forgave his boss.

More Detail:

The documentary IT AIN’T OVER takes a look at the life and labors of famed Yankees catcher, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra. IT AIN’T OVER depicts Yogi as a strong family man, a person who was generous with others, and as an icon who’s wit and wisdom were remarkable, but there is some brief foul language and a brief drug reference.

As the late Edward R. Murrow reminds viewers us at the start of the movie, this all-time baseball great “became a Yankee when he was 20, [and] he’s been hitting home runs with considerable regularity ever since.” Berra was a larger than life presence to his teammates, family and all who knew him. From his feats as a formidable major league batter and catcher to his “Yogi-isms,” notable and hilarious sayings, many of which have become American idioms, Yogi impacted millions of people, both inside and outside the game he loved and at which he excelled.

Berra came from an Italian family in St. Louis, all of whose male members had some skill at baseball, having played with broom sticks in sand lots most of their youth. Berra was the first to go pro, playing as a teenager with an American Legion team where fellow players gave him his famous nickname. Navigating a difficult situation in which then manager, Branch Rickey, of the St. Louis Cardinals offered Yogi a low-ball player signing figure in hopes of putting him off and later signed him for the Brooklyn Dodgers (Rickey’s new managerial position being with the Dodgers), Yogi left both the Cardinals and the Dodgers in the dust as he signed with the New York Yankees.

Enlisting in the Navy in 1943, he eventually manned a boat for ten straight days in the June 6, Allied Invasion of Normandy, many of his crewmen getting hit with German strafe fire. Eventually, he was called to clean up the beaches after the Allied victory, something he said was the hardest thing he’d ever done.

Returning home to play professionally for the Yankees, alongside the likes of Joe DiMaggio, many were at first skeptical about Berra, many saying, “he doesn’t look like a Yankee,” even referring him to “an ape.” That all changed when Berra cracked a homer in his first major league game and went on to show everyone his quality as a player and a human being. Often criticized for taking swings at pitches that weren’t strikes, his “unorthodox” approach to batting, as well as nearly everything else, eventually showed many people there’s more than one way to be successful at something.

His credentials speak for themselves. He played 117 doubleheader games catching and had 358 career home runs, 1,143 runs batted in, and 10 World Series rings. His success as a player, manager and coach, his unbelievable awareness and ability to direct the game in the way only a great catcher can, etc. etc. etc. However, one of the things that’s most remarkable about Yogi, which the movie reveals brilliantly, is his investing in his fellow players. Nothing illustrates this better perhaps than when, as a catcher in the 1956 World Series, he directed pitcher Don Larsen to an unbelievable perfect game.

Even in exile after his disgraceful Steinbrenner firing (a disgrace for Steinbrenner, not for Berra) Yogi kept making waves, notably by making some of the funniest commercials ever aired. Many of these memorable ads worked because they were plays on something he himself said. His final years were spent with family, a large family of children and grandchildren who are a testament to how he invested in each of them. He did eventually, however, return to Yankee Stadium after forgiving Steinbrenner. Of all the things the movie could say about this class act of a father and baseball player (in that order), perhaps the words of personal friend, actor Billy Crystal, say it best: “He was wise; he was wise about life.”

The documentary is well done with a liberal amount of live footage of Berra telling his story and living family members, such as his sons and granddaughter, filling in biographical blanks. Beginning each new segment of Berra’s life in the movie with a Yogi-ism, everything from “Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical” to “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” gives a funny, thought-provoking prompt that keeps viewers engaged and sets up each segment well. The commentary from authorities is phenomenal, from MLB historian, John Thorn’s, hilarious statement that, “If you look at the early photography, the early baseball cards of Berra, he is a strange looking man, Yoda-like” to the moving remarks of friends such as Billy Crystal. The footage and interviews are outstanding. They dive the movie’s narrative of a life well lived forward. The movie is a quality production and communicates the story of one of baseball’s greatest players admirably.

IT AIN’T OVER has a strong moral worldview. It shows Yogi Berra as a strong family man, one who took time to invest in others and treat others as he would want to be treated, and an icon whose wit and wisdom will not be forgotten. IT AIN’T OVER is largely exemplary in its content. However, there is some scattered foul language and a line about doing cocaine. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.