Documentary chronicles the personal and professional life of Jackie Robinson from his birth in 1919 to his death in 1972. Robinson's rise from humble beginnings to became an American hero and pivotal figure in American history are detailed.
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THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY is a slightly formulaic, but nonetheless solid, biopic that really deserves more attention that it receives. Robinson stars as himself, the first African American to break through pro baseball's color barrier. It's by no means an easy task as he confronts a society that is far from united in wanting to see this groundbreaking endeavor succeed.
The film is to be credited for not shying away from the racial tension of the time. Robinson endures racial slurs, unyielding boos, the indignity of sitting at the back of the bus, and so on. It's both shocking and infuriating to be reminded of how bigoted and unreasonable society was just a few decades ago. In many ways Robinson's is a heartbreaking story, even though we know it has a happy ending.
Robinson won't be mistaken for an Academy Award winner, but his performance is decent. He proves to be a highly likable screen presence, portraying the sort of gentleman that by many accounts he was in real life. Some of his supporting cast is stiff, but by and large the performances work.
Surely this important story will again one day be given the big screen treatment. And whoever gets behind the camera for that effort will have a solid foundation to which to refer in THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY.
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