‘It Ain’t Over,’ a film celebrating Montclair’s Yogi Berra, opens at The Claridge
Moviegoers, many of them also baseball fans, packed The Clairidge on Thursday, May 11, to watch a special preview of “It Ain’t Over,” a documentary about the life and career of baseball legend and beloved Montclair resident Lawerence “Yogi” Berra.
Award-winning director Sean Mullin and Lindsay Berra, the film’s executive director and granddaughter of the Hall of Fame Yankee catcher, were joined by Yogi Berra’s sons, Dale and Larry Berra, and sports journalist Claire Smith, for a Q&A session after the movie.
For 98 minutes, the audience experienced a range of emotions, from boisterous laughter to poignant insights into the gentle nature of a man who was larger than life.
The film starts with the 2015 All-Star Game, where four baseball players were honored for being the “Greatest Living Players.” Surprisingly, Yogi Berra was not one of them. Lindsay Berra retells the story of watching it with her grandfather and inquiring why he wasn’t there.
Through archival tape and interviews, the film shows moments where Yogi Berra doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, despite his record-breaking achievements.
Yogi Berra became well known for his many cultural references, including his Yoo-hoo and Aflac commercials, but the film prioritizes the baseball prowess of the man who won 10 World Series championships – a feat that is unmatched by any other Major League Baseball player.
“He was the most overlooked superstar in the history of baseball,” Billy Crystal says in the documentary.
The film includes appearances from Derek Jeter, Bobby Richardson, Willie Randolph, and Tony Kubek, as well as team managers, sports journalists and friends of Yogi Berra.
“I get that my dad’s play was very underappreciated because of all this folklore and all that stuff,” Dale Berra, who also played for the New York Yankees, said to the crowd. “But I can tell you, every manager, every coach, every front office executive were my dad’s contemporaries, and they made it known to me every single day just how great my dad was.”
The film covers many aspects of the baseball legend’s life, including his Navy service in World War II and the love story he shared with his wife, Carmen Berra.
“It Ain’t Over” relives Yogi Berra’s epic baseball moments, including when he argued with an umpire at the 1955 World Series game over Jackie Robinson stealing home and when he jumped into Don Larsen’s arms in the 1956 World Series.The
Alongside his expansive baseball career, Yogi Berra was also known for his “Yogi-isms,” which drew laughter from the crowd every time they were mentioned in the film.
“Dad was the most quoted man who never said anything,” Dale Berra said.
The Clairidge was Yogi and Carmen Berra’s favorite movie theater, Lindsay Berra said. “It Ain’t Over” is showing at The Claridge, through May 18.
Lindsay Berra also encouraged moviegoers to join her on June 6 at Yankee Stadium for Yogi Berra Day and a remembrance of D-Day. A portion of the ticket proceeds will go to the education programs at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. To purchase tickets, visit yogiberramuseum.org
The preview was in partnership with the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center.