Picks and Pans Review: Joe Dimaggio: the Hero's Life

UPDATED 05/08/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/08/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

PBS (Mon., May 8, 9 p.m. ET)

Show of the week

Aloofness was a big part of the late Joe DiMaggio's mystique. "The more he retreated, the more our hunger for him grew," says narrator and cowriter Richard Ben Cramer (author of a forthcoming DiMaggio book) in this provocative American Experience documentary, which is as much an essay on hero worship as a biography of a New York Yankees great. The film depicts DiMaggio as a nonpareil athlete who paid the price of fame—loss of privacy, unceasing pressure from the public and the press—but gradually learned to make himself a commodity, placing a dollar value on every smooth move. Like his second wife, Marilyn Monroe, he saw his life consumed by his image. Fans may prefer a baseball highlight reel to a portrait of their idol as lonely, guarded and mercenary. But this film isn't playing games.

Bottom Line: Extra-base hit

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Inside Kate's Life as a Princess Mom
  • Inside Kate's Life as a Princess Mom
  • A Duggar Engaged
  • Amanda Bynes: The Truth About Her Condition

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters