CrazyLegs / Zero Hour (1953)

“You forget about everything out on that field, don’t you?”

Crazylegs Poster

Synopsis:
Football legend Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch stars as himself in this overview of his fabled athletic career.

Genres:

Review:
It’s difficult to understand why Peary includes this tepid, poorly scripted biopic of football star Elroy Hirsch — a.k.a. “Crazylegs” — in his GFTFF, given that it suffers from a serious lack of genuine dramatic tension, and will only be of interest to diehard sports fans or those specifically interested in Hirsch’s story. For what it’s worth, Hirsch — who has a decent on-screen presence — actually seems like a nice enough guy: he’s hardworking, devoted to his all-American “girl” (Joan Vohs) and loyal parents (Norman Field and Louise Lorimer), and intensely committed to both his country (he voluntarily enlisted as a Marine) and to sportsmanship in general. But niceness and a strong work ethic don’t necessarily make for a particularly interesting protagonist or storyline.

While he’s best known for his stellar work as a running back and receiver for the L.A. Rams and Chicago Rockets, Hirsch was also the only University of Wisconsin student to win a Varsity letter in 4 major sports in one year. To that end, the thesis of the film seems to be summed up in the following quote:

Sports aren’t just a sideline; it’s a way of life, competing against the very best. There’s a special way you feel about things — you can’t buy it, you can’t explain it to anybody else; you have to live it.

It’s unfortunate that such an intriguing life perspective — ripe for dramatic exploration — is handled so dully. Don’t bother seeking this one out unless you’re a true football fan (in which case you’ll likely appreciate all the vintage footage of actual games).

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Vintage footage of Hirsch on the field
    Crazylegs Footage

Must See?
No; this one will only be of interest to fans of football history.

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