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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Birmingham (Alabama) News reported that Birmingham's Rickwood Field, the oldest surviving professional baseball field in the US, "played" three different roles in this movie. It doubled for Franklin D. Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which no longer exist. It also appeared as "itself" in a scene recreating the 1945 season when Jackie Robinson was a member of the Kansas City Monarchs. See more »
In the game against the Phillies where Philly Manager Chapman is baiting Jackie, Robinson steals second, goes to third on an error and scores on a single by Gene Hermanski. Hermanski is shown batting right-handed however Hermanski was a left-handed batter. See more »
42 is a near-great depiction of Jackie Robinson's breaking the color line in baseball history
A few years ago during Black History Month, I reviewed The Jackie Robinson Story which starred Robinson. I mentioned he wasn't much of an actor but his skill in baseball was the reason he was used, anyway, so that made it worth seeing. So now we have another depiction of his major league career as portrayed by Chadwick Boseman and, man, he gets to portray his anger after getting some really appalling comments from a manager of the Pirates team (Alan Tudyk, in a really brave performance). But we also see Robinson get some support from his wife, Rachel (Nicole Beharie), a fellow African-American reporting on him named Wendell Smith (Andre Holland), and especially, Brooklyn Dodgers head Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford). In fact, the most touching part was when Rickey mentions something in his past that made him pick someone like Jackie for his team. So for every awful depiction of racism, there's a just as inspirational depiction of strength among his team of overcoming those odds. So on that note, I highly recommend 42.
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