Baseball is made up of many legends, but one of the most important stories was that of Brooklyn Dodger baseball player #42, Jackie Robinson. This brilliant screenplay was written and directed by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential, 1998). The movie is based on the true story of the legendary Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers GM, starring Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Cowboys & Aliens), who had the business sense and heart to want to break the color barrier in baseball by hiring the first African American baseball player, Jackie Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman (Lincoln Heights, 2008).
We follow Robinson’s life emerging from the Negro Minor League (As it was called then) to the White Major League with the courage, dignity and strength to fight through the racism existing in the late 1940’s. Supported by his adoring wife, Rachel Robinson played by Nicole Behanie (Shame, 2011), Robinson opened the discrimination door for other Negro players. Others who helped to lend their support against the bigotry inside the team and outside in the world, was Wendell Smith, the first African American Sports Writer, played by Andre Holland (1600 Penn, 2013) and Robinson’s legendary teammate, Leo Durocher played by Christpher Meloni (Dirty Movie, 2011).This Biopic Sports Drama is rated PG-13 and is 2 hours and 8 minutes long and worth every second!
THE BLONDE: I cannot begin to express how much I loved, loved, loved, this amazing film; everything about it and everything it stands for. It has all the elements of an Oscar film. It was a love story, a sports story, a friendship story and a mankind story. I found it to be quite remarkable, riveting, inspiring, exhilarating, exciting and needless to say a VERY important film.
THE BRUNETTE: Yea, but did you really like it??
THE BLONDE: VERY FUNNY!
THE BRUNETTE: Well thanks a lot Blondie! Could you have left me with any raving adjectives at all! Ok then, ditto! However I must add…Although this film was truly inspiring for 2013, one can only imagine how challenging and difficult it was to actually live through and carry it out back in the day with such horrible bigotry and prejudice and come through it with class, self respect and dignity.
THE BLONDE: Brilliant Brunette, and so dead on. 42, really brought home that racial topic the same way the film, The Help did! This film was so elegantly and thoughtfully written and directed by Helgeland. Major Kudos. It was so real, honest and believable.
THE BRUNETTE: In fact, the storyline flowed beautifully. This film authentically helped the viewer journey back in time; not only by the brilliant script but the clothes, cars, ball parks and neighborhoods.
THE BLONDE: For me, I have become a REAL Harrison Ford fan after this film. He gave a beyond stellar performance. He didn’t ACT as Branch Rickey he WAS Branch Rickey. He touched me so very much and his acting in this role will stay with me forever… For me, it was his best acting role to date. Ford was Stunning and without a doubt should receive an Oscar. He had me crying 3 times in this film and all of those times he didn’t even have dialogue. His expressions were priceless… NOW, That’s, great acting!!!
THE BRUNETTE: Yea…and the whole theatre heard you!!! I never heard such a loud ‘SHHHHHH’ in a movie theater before! So embarrassing… Moving right along… We recently had the great honor of interviewing Mr. Harrison Ford at CinemaCon. When The Blonde and I asked, what convinced him to star in this movie Ford replied, “It’s a great story that needed to be retold to those that knew it and to those who were too young to know it.”
THE BLONDE: Totally correct he was indeed!!! Each and every actor in this film was tremendous. They each brought their characters to life with such power and truth. I simply love, love, love this film. I went a second time just to study Harrison alone.
THE BRUNETTE: Sure, Miss love, love. love! How many times did you really see this film and how many more time are you going to go?
THE BLONDE: Wow and ouch! That is a very personal question!
THE BRUNETTE: There were so many intriguing underlying stories within the storyline. For instance, the challenging situations that Wendell Smith, the reporter endured as well as all of the difficult circumstances that Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s wife had to tolerate.
THE BLONDE: I completely agree. I can’t seem to get over the entire story, its messages and what a hero Robinson, most of the players and Rickey all were. I was so very touched how the team finally rallied behind Robinson as well as the love and respect his wife had and still does feel for him today. The line Rachel says to Jackie, “If they knew you, they would be ashamed”, was so very powerful and moving.
THE BRUNETTE: How about the ‘quote of the entire film’ when Robinson says to Rickey: “Do you want a player that doesn’t have the guts to fight back?” and Rickey replies, “NO, I want a player who’s got the guts NOT to fight back!” Then Jackie says, “Give me a uniform, give me a number on my back and I’ll give you the guts!”
THE BLONDE: Poetic!! The line Pee Wee Reese says with his arm around Robinson, “I want them to see who I am… Maybe tomorrow I will wear 42, that way they won’t be able to tell us apart”… kind of says it all! To this day, every April 15, all the teams in baseball wear the number 42 to honor Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger. To this day the number 42 is the only number retired in all of baseball.
THE BRUNETTE: FYI…Jackie and Rachel had 3 children. The first child that was included in the film, Jackie Robinson Jr., sadly died one year before his dad in 1971.
THE BLONDE: Another side story was about the little boy who thought of Robinson as his hero. When Robison threw a ball to him from a train, it changed his life forever. That little boy is the baseball player Ed Charles.
THE BRUNETTE: By the way, you don’t need to be an avid baseball fan to enjoy this film.
THE BLONDE: So true! Well I say, run, run, run, to see 42! It was absolutely a must see film. I suggest purchasing a big bucket of popcorn, peanuts and a hot dog to go along with this film. There are no outs here! I rate 42, a solid A!! A rare rating for me…
THE BRUNETTE: I agree… And take your family out to the ballgame!!!