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42: The Jackie Robinson Story

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,860 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The movie 42 is a biographical drama on DVD about Jackie Robinson, a Hall of Fame baseball player who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. In 1946, Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is a Negro League baseball player who never takes racism lying down. Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) 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.

Amazon.com

42 is a powerful film about how one man changed baseball… and changed America. The film opens in 1945, after the end of World War II, when team executive Branch Rickey has set his mind on bringing the first black baseball player into the ranks of an American major league baseball team despite the disapproval of his advisers and team manager. A stubborn man who declares that money is green, not black or white, and claims profit as his motivation, Rickey carefully selects Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs. He chooses Robinson both because he's an excellent baseball player and because Rickey believes him to be a man with the inner strength to withstand the bullying and abuse that's sure to follow his appointment to an all-white team. So begins an emotionally charged journey of prejudice, abuse, growth, and empowerment that follows player and manager as they submerge themselves in something much bigger than themselves. Harrison Ford is perfectly cast as Mr. Rickey, a stubborn man with a mission he refuses to be dissuaded from and who is contradictorily harsh and kind, wise and comical, progressive and old school. Chadwick Boseman, as Jackie Robinson, exudes the intense inner strength and barely contained rage of a black man whose physical and moral strengths are ignored by fellow players and a public fixated on the color of his skin. He is absolutely believable as a man who changed the world while refusing to let the world change him. Equally strong performances are given by Nicole Beharie as the ever-calm Mrs. Rachel Robinson and Andre Holland as Wendell Smith, the black reporter who accompanies Jackie Robinson almost everywhere. 42 is a poignant film that has some unexpectedly witty moments, and viewers can expect their emotions to run the gamut from shame, helplessness, and rage to the awakening of inspiration and empowerment to continue to effect change and eradicate discrimination. 42 is one of the best films produced in a long time. Watch it--and make sure to include your teenagers in the audience. (Ages 12 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, T.R. Knight
  • Directors: Brian Helgeland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Ultraviolet, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,860 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009NNM9OA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,404 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "42: The Jackie Robinson Story" on IMDb

From the Manufacturer

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay B. Lane TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 9, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
"Plaaaay Ballllll!" Yes, the Boys of Summer are at it again and this time, I learned a LOT about where American baseball has been and the fundamental changes that have happened in my lifetime. Even though we already know how it ends, thanks to a terrific PG-13 script by Brian Helgeland (Oscar for "L.A. Confidential") this insight into the Great American Pastime is an excellent reminder of how far we have come, thanks to courageous trail blazers like Jackie Robinson, who integrated professional baseball in 1945 at the instigation of Branch Rickey, a baseball executive who loved the game.

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.
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Format: DVD
When I was a kid Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey were history, I read about them in books. But my baseball heroes were Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins, to me they were always just baseball players, their being black wasn't a factor in either my liking or disliking of them, and "42" brings home the truly heroic effort and forces Jackie Robinson had to overcome.

"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.
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Format: DVD
42, written and directed by Brian Helgeland, is based on the real-life story of Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson, the first African-American baseball player to play in the major leagues. Robinson's story is well known to many, but to anyone who isn't, 42 (Robinson's number when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers) will serve to acquaint them with the man and his achievements against the backdrop of the times he lived through. The cast is excellent and give outstanding performances, particularly when recreating the feel of the times and the way it felt to watch Robinson play.

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.
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