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)
When Pee Wee Reese shows the threatening letter to Mr. Rickey, the door behind Pee Wee says "Private" backward because the lettering is on the other side of the window. The "R" in Private is facing the right way, when it should be backward. 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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