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» » Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush (2007)

Short summary

The Brooklyn Dodgers, from Jackie Robinson's breaking baseball's color barrier to their move to Los Angeles, a dozen years later. The Dodgers epitomize the diverse working-class, in contrast with the white uptown Yankees, and come oh-so-close to winning the World Series before it finally happens in 1955. By then, Ebbets Field is crumbling, ticket sales are off, fans have moved to the suburbs, and Robert Moses is blocking Walter O'Malley's plan to build a stadium at the terminus of the Long Island Railroad. When Los Angeles makes O'Malley an offer he can't refuse, an era comes to an end: in 1958 the Dodgers and cross-town-rival Giants go West, leaving the ghosts of Flatbush.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Ť.ħ.ê_Ĉ.õ.о.Ł
    This documentary was sooo great to see! It tells the story of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1940s and 1950s. Its not just about a sports team, but also the effect the team had on Brooklyn and America itself in those post war years.

    In 1955 the Dodgers would win their only World Series title in Brooklyn. Ebbets field by this time was decaying and Walter O'Malley was trying to lobby the city of New York for a new state-of-the-art ballpark in Brooklyn. Robert Moses who pretty much was responsible for what was built in New York city in those years wanted the stadium to be in Queens but O'Malley would not hear of it so he decided in the end to go west to Los Angeles.

    All in all this is a great sports documentary about a legendary baseball team that so epitomized hope in post World War II America. I definitely enjoyed this sentimental story of both triumph and despair of a great sports organization.

    Do yourself a favor and see this! You'll definitely need a few tissues when you get to the end. :'-)
  • comment
    • Author: Grotilar
    Whether you are from Brooklyn or Boise, if you love American History and just like baseball a little bit you will love this documentary. And if you are from Brooklyn, or New York, you will fall in love with this film. Beautifully written, with great footage, a moving tribute to a world we can only remember - when players motivation was the love of the game and steroids were not an issue; when sports heroes were nice guys and even the guy next door - you will love this film! And to Jackie Robinson, his wife, to those courageous people who said 'let's make Jackie a pro ball player' and to the fans of Brooklyn who (eventually) accepted him for his talent, for his being, for his loyalty to his team - this film truly honors a man who changed the face of America. To all the members of the film production company - to HBO for producing this film and to the MLB - thank you. To Robert Moses - it's proof that power can make one foolish, even ridiculous. You sent the Dodger packing to the other coast (and the Giants too)...and you took them out Brooklyn - something from which Brooklyn never recovered.

    To all those wonderful ball players and their families, to all those great fans - thank you for being the heart and soul of this truly beautiful film...

    It is a great documentary and yes, you'll need some tissues through it...it touches the heart, just as these ball players did....and to my father who was a Giant fan and remembering the story of the 1951 series....
  • comment
    • Author: Olelifan
    This is a documentary about a baseball team -- and "Titanic" was about a boat ride. "Brooklyn Dodges: The Ghosts of Flatbush" is a great story, wonderfully told. If you live in the United States, or ever have, you will think this a wonderful investment of two hours. It doesn't matter whether you like (or even understand) baseball, or ever set foot in Brooklyn, or whether you were alive in 1957, when the Brooklyn Dodgers suddenly disappeared, and major league baseball came to California.

    To be sure, this is the story of a baseball club and the community in which it lived. Told not just through beautiful use of film, still photographs, and sound clips, but also through riveting comments from a lot of people who aren't kids any more, but who seem transported back to another era by recalling when life and the Dodgers were pretty much indistinguishable from each other, a time when the priest at Sunday mass would tell the congregants that there would be no sermon on that hot summer day -- and that everyone should go home and pray for Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges to get out of his hitting slump (which he did). The viewer sees and hears present indignation and horror in the voice and the face of a 70+-year-old at the fact that his 5th grade teacher to allow the class to listen to the final game of the World Series.

    But it is also the story of America, and particularly post-WWII America -- the era of "the boys of summer" that began in 1947, the year that Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play major league ball (and the NL's Rookie of the Year), and President Truman spoke out against discrimination based on race and color and began the first federal study of civil rights. (Robinson played the lead role. The president followed, at a distance.) Adeptly and entertainingly (though yes, a nearby box of tissues may be necessary), the movie's makers show us effects of suburban sprawl and urban decay, the culture of the highway and the automobile, and the end of cheap and efficient urban mass transportation, and the growth of the United States into a nation whose important cities stretched from sea to shining sea-- not just as far west as St. Louis.

    As serious as this all sounds, it is wonderfully entertaining and incredibly moving. "Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush" is don't miss television.
  • Credited cast:
    Buzzie Bavasi Buzzie Bavasi - Himself
    Pat Cooper Pat Cooper - Himself
    Mel Durslag Mel Durslag - Himself
    Carl Erskine Carl Erskine - Himself
    Ed Goren Ed Goren - Himself
    Louis Gossett Jr. Louis Gossett Jr. - Himself
    Larry King Larry King - Himself
    Clem Labine Clem Labine - Himself
    Andrew Paul Mele Andrew Paul Mele - Himself
    Peter O'Malley Peter O'Malley - Himself
    Johnny Podres Johnny Podres - Himself
    Jackie Robinson Jackie Robinson - Himself (archive footage)
    Rachel Robinson Rachel Robinson - Herself
    Liev Schreiber Liev Schreiber - Himself - Narrator (voice)
    Duke Snider Duke Snider - Himself
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