42 (2013) Poster



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In 1997, baseball commissioner Bud Selig universally retired Jackie Robinson's number, 42. The handful of players still wearing the number were allowed to keep it. As of the film's release, only Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees continued to wear 42 on a daily basis. Rivera retired at the end of the 2013 season. As of 2014 (barring special requests or approval), no major league player will wear #42 again.
Branch Rickey is Harrison Ford's first film role playing a real life character.
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.
Four players from the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers were still alive when this film came out: Tommy Brown, Ralph Branca, Marv Rackley, and Don Lund.
Branch Rickey blurts out "Judas Priest!" According to those closest to Rickey, that was the worst profanity he ever uttered.
The film broke the record for highest box office opening weekend by a baseball movie. The previous record holder was The Benchwarmers (2006).
The movie sanitizes Leo Durocher's speech to the Dodgers on the eve of their planned strike in protest of the signing of Jackie Robinson. His actual quote was "Don't care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fucking zebra, I'm manager of this team, he plays!"
Alan Tudyk claimed that he and Chadwick Boseman deliberately avoided fraternizing while filming their scenes together, to better convey the animosity between Jackie Robinson and Ben Chapman.
While his career with the Montreal Royals is not explored, Jackie Robinson was a hugely popular player with Montreal fans and after leading the team to the league championship it was noted: ..."probably the only day in history, that a black man ran from a white mob that had love, not lynching, on its mind."
Although Chadwick Boseman underwent weeks of baseball training to prepare for his leading role, Jasha Balcom, a former minor league player, was his stuntman in some scenes.
The line "No. I want a player who's got the guts *not* to fight back." was actually said by Branch Rickey to Jackie Robinson.
In the movie, the punishment for not agreeing to play on the same team with Jackie Robinson was being "traded to Pittsburgh". Branch Rickey left the Dodgers in 1950, and become general Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1953. Bobby Bragan, who said he wanted to be traded but then asked not to be, ended up managing the Pirates in 1956.
Howard Baldwin and wife Karen Elise Baldwin developed this project after Ray (2004). They commented on how hard it was to get an African-American bio pic made.
When calling the catch of a fly ball in the movie, broadcaster Red Barber says "Back, back, back..." In another play-by-play call, he exclaims "Oh, Doctor!" Contrary to popular belief, Barber didn't use either line regularly. Barber said the only time he used those lines in a broadcast was when he called Al Gionfriddo's dramatic, game-saving catch off of Joe DiMaggio in the 1947 World Series. Since recordings of that Barber call became so famous, many people assumed they were trademark calls.
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.
The role of Branch Rickey was originally intended for Robert Redford.
Branch mentions that Jackie wishes he wasn't leading the league in hit by pitch. Jackie Robinson did indeed finish 1947 as the batter most hit by pitchers, with 9.
The last scene of the movie takes place at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The stadium was not used after 1970 when the Pirates moved to Three Rivers Stadium. Within this last scene, as Jackie rounds the bases for his home run a shot of the Cathedral of Learning is shown. The Cathedral of Learning is the famous building for the University of Pittsburgh. Forbes Field was located right next to the university in real life. After Forbes Field was torn down, the university kept home plate at the field in its exact location. The home plate of Forbes Field is encased in the ground at the same location as it was in the movie in William Posvar Hall at the University of Pittsburgh.
For the scenes when Ben Chapman taunts Robinson, Alan Tudyk got into character by watching videos of street fighting before each take.
While it is true that Jackie Robinson did not get a hit in his first game, he did get on base via a throwing error by Bob Elliott, third baseman for Boston. He would later score when Pete Resier hit a double.
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Nicole Beharie, who plays Rachel Robinson, also starred in the sports biography of Ernie Davis "The Express" as the main character's girlfriend. Chadwick Bozeman (Jackie Robinson) also had a brief, minor role in The Express but shared no scenes with Nicole.
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T.R. Knight and James Pickens Jr. used to star together on Greys Anatomy.
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In the second game when Robinson is on first, when he steals second then third base. Rieser strikes out on only one pitch.
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Kelley Jakle: babysitter is played by the great-granddaughter of Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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