Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
In 1946, Jackie Robinson is a Negro League baseball player who never takes racism lying down. Branch Rickey is a Major League team executive with a bold idea. To that end, Rickey recruits Robinson to break the unspoken color line as the first modern African American Major League player. As both anticipate, this proves a major challenge for Robinson and his family as they endure unrelenting racist hostility on and off the field, from player and fan alike. As Jackie struggles against his nature to endure such abuse without complaint, he finds allies and hope where he least expects it. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Pittsburgh pitcher Fritz Ostermueller wears number 21 in the film, a number which later would be worn by Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, one of the first Afro-Latino superstars in baseball. Clemente had been drafted by the Pirates in 1954 (also by Branch Rickey ) and some have suggested that his number also should be retired from baseball just as Jackie Robinson's number 42 has been. See more »
Car radios were a "tube type", through the 1940's & the mid 1950's and they needed a warm up of 5 or 10 seconds before any sound was produced. In the movie the sound came on at the 1st click of the switch, that would be impossible in those times. See more »
An Inspiring Baseball Movie That Touches All the Bases
As Jackie Robinson was an excellent, multi-faceted baseball player, "42" is an excellent multi-faceted movie. Writer-director Brian Helgeland manages to artfully mix elements of drama, baseball action, humor and romance[!] while telling an important story about recent American history.
I thought it was wise for the film to focus on just a few years of Robinson's career, so that more time could be given to important scenes both on and off the field.
"42" is not called the "Jackie Robinson Story" for a reason. The movie is about more than just one man. The film shows the roles that Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), Robinson's wife Rachel (Nicole Beharie), and journalist Wendell Smith (Andre Holland) played in Robinson's career and life. All the actors give fine performances. And Chadwick Boseman is fantastic in portraying Robinson's determination, anxiety, anger, athleticism and courage.
I also appreciated the scenes that touched on the cultural climate in the nation. Watch for what happens between a father and his son when Robinson is introduced at a game in Cincinnati.
I thoroughly enjoyed "42". It's a film that that should be a game-winning hit with baseball fans, and those who appreciate civil rights and American history.
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