Most people have no idea that pinball was illegal in New York from the early 1940s until 1976, when a journalist named Roger Sharpe finally won his crusade against the city to free the flippers.
The story of that insane ban is the subject of the new movie Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game, which Richard Brody of The New Yorker called "better than all ten of the Best Picture nominees."
The film is written and directed by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg, longtime producers at Reason best known for collaborating with Remy on his massively popular song parodies and for making libertarian versions (often featuring Andrew Heaton) of Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and other pop culture franchises. A production of MPI Original Films, Pinball is available for streaming on Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, and other platforms.
I talked with the Bragg brothers about how they came to tell Roger Sharpe's story, what goes into making the perfect satire in an era when reality is far stranger than anything we can imagine, and the libertarian message of Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game.
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