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)
Pee Wee Reese's line that someday all Dodger players might be wearing the number 42 was actually said by Dodgers outfielder Gene Hermanski in 1951. Brian Helgeland liked the quote so much, he had Reese say it because he is a central character. Since 2004, every April 15th has been "Jackie Robinson Day" in Major League baseball, and every player wears number 42. Robinson's first day in the Major Leagues was April 15, 1947. See more »
When Burt Shotton introduces himself to the Dodgers as the new manager, the team is in the visiting clubhouse (as evidenced their road gray uniforms). He asks who the Dodgers are playing and is told it is the Giants, but should already know that as he is standing in the visitors' locker room of the Polo Grounds, the Giants' home ballpark. 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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