The Story of an American Legend

BY NADINE ANTOINE

SC STAFF WRITER

 

42: The True Story of an American Legend” is an inspirational biographical film noting the achievements of one of the most influential sports icons, Jackie Robinson.

The Brooklyn Dodger’s first African-American second baseman forever changed the game of baseball.

In 1946, General Manager Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford, made history when he signed Jackie Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman, to the Brooklyn Dodgers, which broke Major League Baseball’s race barrier.

In a conversation between Rickey and Robinson before signing his contract, Robinson asked “You want a player that doesn’t have the guts to fight back?” in which Rickey answers, “No, I want a player who’s got the guts not to fight back.”

Pulling a range of emotions, viewers watched as Robinson struggled and faced many trials and tribulations.  All the while demonstrating courage, inner strength, and restraint.

One of the most difficult, but powerful scenes was the 1947 game when the Dodgers played against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Phillies manager Ben Chapman, played by Alan Tudyk, hurled violent words and taunted Robinson as he tried to concentrate on the ball.

Robinson, despite the hate and racism, allowed his talent to help him gain fans, silence nonbelievers, and pave the way for others.

When off the field, the audience was given a glimpse into Robinson’s marriage to Rachel Robinson, played by Nicole Beharie, showing their deep and empowering partnership.

Rachel Robinson, who was a consultant on the film, founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation after his death in 1972.

The Foundation is dedicated to helping minority students gain higher education and is also planning to open a Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City.

April 15th—three days after the movie’s debut—marked the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual event in Major League Baseball that honors the day Jackie Robinson made his first major league appearance.

42” made over $27.5 million in its opening weekend.

This movie debut surpassed the 2006 comedy “The Benchwarmers” for the biggest baseball film opening.

The highest-earning baseball film of all time is the 1992 comedy “A League of Their Own,” making $107.5 million.

 

Email Nadine at:

na4798@live.esu.edu

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