Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is back in “42.” This drama film captures the life story of Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers team manager, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), as they work together to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
Rickey is looking for an African-American player who can prove himself in the major-league. Rickey discovers Robinson and realizes his talent. After Robinson is signed to the Dodgers in 1946, we follow Rickey and Robinson as they deal with racism, public criticism and the press.
Even fellow teammates scorn Robinson. Rickey and Robinson maintain a passive philosophy and let Robinson’s talent speak for itself. As the film progresses Robinson wins over fans, teammates and critics, and allows other African-American players to follow in his footsteps.
Director Brian Helgeland, is able to show how these two men not only change the game of baseball, but also change the world.
After its release on Friday, “42” reached number one in the box office, bringing in $27.3 million. This well surpasses the anticipated $20 million score.
After 6 thousand votes, Fandago.com rated the film a “Must Go!” One viewer felt that “Every actor captures the emotion of the game and the shifting social climate. The film also does an excellent job accounting for the racial aspect of the story,” highlighting the progress our country has made.
Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports’ “Hardball Talk,” felt that the characters were overly aware that their actions in the film were historically significant. “Yes, a filmmaker needs a shorthand way to convey years’ worth of information and drama in a 115-minute film, but Harrison Ford’s Rickey and Chadwick Boseman’s Robinson often seem more like robots.” Calcaterra said he felt that this aspect underscored the significance of the film.
However, Calcaterra later went on to say that the actors and directors did an amazing job in creating realistic and exciting action scenes. “Chadwick Boseman impresses especially in the baseball scenes. Actors frequently screw up baseball movies due to their inability to, you know, play baseball. Boseman captures Robinson’s essence as a ballplayer most impressively his running style and the way in which he terrorized pitchers trying to hold him on.”
Fairfield club baseball player Sean Duggan ‘15 said he was excited to see the film. Duggan is familiar with the history of Robinson, and he felt “it looked wicked interesting. I haven’t seen the film yet, but [I] really want to.”
The film also commemorates Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, the date of the first game Robinson played as a Dodger. The title, “42” honors Robinson’s number during his career as a Dodger. The number 42 was officially retired by Major League Baseball in 1997.
Jackie Robinson was always a talented athlete. He was the first UCLA student to win varsity awards in four sports: Football, basketball, track, and baseball. Robinson’s appearance in the MLB put an end to 60 years of segregated baseball.
Furthermore, Robinson received six pennants and won a World Series Championship in his ten year career. After retiring in 1957, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
The Stats: During Robins Career he hit 12 homeruns, 29 stolen bases, 125 scored runs, 175 hits, 590 at bats, .427 Slugging percent and .311 batting average.
See “42” and be inspired.