After a recent screening of “It Ain’t Over,’’ the aptly named documentary about legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, a movie-goer raised his hand during a question-and-answer session with the film’s director.
“I hate the Yankees,’’ the man said, “but I loved the movie.’’
Like Lawrence Peter “Yogi’’ Berra himself, the movie is easy to love.
With black-and-white film clips, other archival footage and interviews with the likes of Derek Jeter, Joe Torre and Billy Crystal, the documentary captures the heart, humor and depth of Berra.
He was ridiculed for his appearance and laughed it off. Fought for his country and stood against prejudice. Won 10 World Series rings, two MVPs and the girl of his dreams – Carmen, his wife of 65 years.
What is not over is the allure of Berra, who died in 2015 at the age of 90 and whose life gets the treatment it deserved from film director Sean Mullin ’97. The movie opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and in cities nationwide by June 16.
In 2018, movie producer Peter Sobiloff saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’’ – the documentary about Mr. Rogers and wondered why no one had made a similar movie about Berra. Acquainted with two of Berra’s sons from playing in the Yogi Berra Museum golf outing for several years, Sobiloff got their support and approval to pursue the project.
Then he reached out to Mullin, a West Point grad who specialized in documentaries. Mullin loved Berra’s story but also knew all the money to make the film would have to be raised independently. He responded like Berra once advised people to do when they reach a fork in the road.