I am going to be a movie reviewer for only the second time on this
blog! I really enjoyed last Summer the movie for all ages, old and
young alike. (“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” with India ties and
This Spring, 2013, I am going to say, you ‘must see’ the movie, “42.”
“The True Story of an American Legend.”
This movie was premiered here in Delaware, Ohio on April 12, 2013.
It was attended by national news media members along with special
guests such as the relatives of the man who “made” Jackie Robinson
a household name. Branch Rickey was the general manager of the
Brooklyn Dodgers during the time when there were only white team
members across the board for all major league baseball teams.
Branch Rickey came from football playing to becoming a coach at the
Delaware, Ohio’s Ohio Wesleyan University. His biography includes
multitudes of other accomplishments, such as also backing Roberto
Clemente and the initiation of batting helmets.
Branch Rickey had played baseball during his college years. He explains
to Jackie, why among his unusual choices he decided to include African
Americans in major league baseball. This became his passion as he
yearned to create a legacy. This makes quite a dramatic scene in the movie.
The Delaware Strand is a beautiful, old “home town” theatre with ornate
features like the gold leaf filigree details and arches with angels. Our local
wonderful theatre takes me five minutes to walk to. The Strand has a senior
discount (called the “Over 55 card” which entitles the bearer over and
over again, no limits to its usage! to one medium popcorn, a medium
beverage and a movie ticket to any showtime, all for $7.00!) There are three
theatres within the building, the main one, the side and balcony also.
Back to the movies…
“42” is, as most people recognize, a sports movie about a famous and
incredible athlete, Jackie Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman.
It is also a powerful statement against the racism that existed in
America, all the way up to and including the present.
The third and interesting aspect that I did not expect was that of a
special and heartwarming love story between Jackie and his wife,
Rachel, played by Nicole Beharie.
Jackie met Rachel while attending UCLA where there appeared to
be a lot less hatred shown towards blacks. College ballgames and
the minor leagues, included persons of all races. Mostly the blacks
joined what were termed ‘colored teams’ during the years that are
featured in this movie. Jackie not only played baseball, but also was
on the basketball and football teams for UCLA. In 1941, due to some
financial hardship, Jackie went into the Army to fight in WW II.
It was 1946 when Branch Rickey, (played by Harrison Ford) decided
to break the “color lines” by signing Jackie Robinson to the farm team
(Montreal Royals) that played in Canada and he then “made the cut”
to become a Dodgers’player.
There are many great actors in a variety of character parts. I won’t
be going into the names of the ballplayers and the actors’ names
who portray them. This is more of a summary than a lengthy plot
outline or cast list.
Mainly, you must see this movie because it is amazing, riveting and
relevant. It is one of the most meaningful movies I have seen in a long
time. My youngest daughter and I cried and passed tissues to another
audience member. The Strand movie theatre staff wore the number “42”
on their t-shirts. It is important to know of all the diverse baseball players
who have played over the years on major league teams, only one number
has been ‘retired’ where no one can wear it again: 42.
The exception to this rule is on every April 15th, to commemorate the legend
and hero, Jackie Robinson, every team in the league wears the number 42 on
Finally, I would like to quote the movie poster’s words:
“In a game divided by color, he made us see Greatness!”