History was made in 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke the professional baseball race barrier to become the first African American MLB player of the modern era. 42 tells the life story of Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford).]]>
42 (Blu-ray+UltraViolet )
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We cringe at the language used to attack our hero, we are saddened by the refusal of hotels and restaurants to serve a team that includes a black man, we are enraged by the racist heckling that takes place and we cheer when we see a man quietly rise above the rancor and "just play ball."
Here is a sample of the (huge) wonderful cast:
* Chatwick Boseman ("The Express" and lots of TV) is heroic as the legendary Jackie Robinson, whose Brooklyn Dodgers uniform boasts a "42" on the back. Despite Jim Crow laws, blatant racism and a potential lynch mob, he staunchly maintains, "I'm just here to play baseball."
* Nicole Beharie ("Shame") is Robinson's gentle wife, Rachel, who is the calm at the center of his storm. The Robinsons are from Pasadena, so neither of them had ever encountered segregation; they had only read about it.
* Harrison Ford ("Ender's Game" SOON!) is marvelous as Branch Rickey, the man who first brings a black man (Robinson) into Big League Baseball. He pulls no punches when he lays out what is in store for Robinson; he gives excellent advice. He explains that "God is a Methodist.Read more ›
"Sports movies" are best when they're a metaphor for other areas of our lives. "Field of Dreams" isn't really about baseball, "Rocky" isn't really about boxing, and "Hoosiers" really isn't about basketball. What those movies speak to are other forces in our lives that hopefully bring out the best in us, and while "42" isn't metaphorical it speaks directly to our views of race and racism.
"42" takes place between 1946 and 1948 when Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) brought Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the Brooklyn Dodgers and integrated baseball. The plot is as simple as that, the story isn't. Robinson was virtually alone, Martin Luther King Jr was still a high school student, Rosa Parks hadn't yet refused to sit at the back of the bus (although Robinson had and was court-martialed for it in the military), those who believed in him were his wife Rachael (Nicole Beharie) and Rickey. Robinson didn't even have the backing of his teammates who started a petition refusing to play with Robinson, slowly Robinson won over their respect. The way Robinson won over their respect, besides being a great ballplayer was to smile while epithets and threats were hurled at him, to get back up after players on opposing teams purposefully injured him.Read more ›
The story begins in 1945, when Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (a deftly turned performance by Harrison Ford) makes the decision that his team is going to be the first major league baseball team to recruit and field a black player. He takes his time, going over the various prospects with his staff, and finally settles on a short-stop currently playing for a black league team, the Kansas City Monarchs, Jackie Robinson (terrifically played by Chadwick Boseman). The film then follows Robinson's career, starting with his being signed to Rickey's minor-league Montreal Royals for the 1946 season, and then his move up to the big league Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
One of the best things about 42 is that it does show just how racially divided American was in the years following WWII and how openly hostile - and acted upon - the racism was in those days. This is absolutely vital to the film in order to show just how daring - and risky - Rickey's decision was, and how daunting the challenge was for Robinson to was to step up to the plate and face the hostility of not only the crowds but also that of his own teammates as well.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for nephew. He loved it. In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Rich
Good movie that I bought as a gift.............I recommend it.Published 8 days ago by Judith Johncox
I thought the acting was very good. The re-creation of all the old stadiums was magical, and the story is truly inspirational. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Nathan G. Bynum
I think that movie was very educational! I learned a lot about this culture , that was so unfair!Published 17 days ago by Patrice White
What a great man Jackie Robinson was. This movie sheds a lot of light into what that poor man had to endure.Published 18 days ago by Tex