I like to root for the underdog.
I like a good historical movie.
I like Harrison Ford.
I like baseball, in small doses. But 42 (2013 PG-13) is a baseball movie for everyone! And it tells an important story about our nation’s past. Watch how the five movie posters convey the message of the film:
1. Life was still unfairly difficult for African-Americans in the United States in 1946.
Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is offered a chance to prove African-Americans can play baseball with the all-white teams. But can he ride on the same bus? Walk in the same neighborhoods? African-American reporter Wendell Smith (Andre Holland) follows Robinson to document his story and suffering, and to help keep him safe.
2. Americans who supported integration in baseball had to fight for it.
Brooklyn Dodger manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) regrets not speaking up when he witnessed black ball players endure abuse in the past. He works endlessly to support Robinson, whom he famously tells, “I want a player who’s got the guts not to fight back.”
3. Behind strong men are the strong women who love them.
It was frightening for a California girl to experience Southern hatred and segregation, but young bride Rachel Robinson (Nicole Beharie) quietly supports her husband throughout the season. She is the one he looks for in the crowded stadiums.
4. Jackie Robinson was chosen to play professional baseball because he was an outstanding ball player.
If he couldn’t keep up with the rest of the team, there would be no point in having him. He was a great player, and was an inspiration to other African-Americans.
5. Even people raised in the South can overcome their fears and racism.
Robinson’s teammates grow increasingly uncomfortable with the way he is treated by the crowds and by the press. Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black) knows his Kentucky friends and family at the game will be shocked, but he throws an arm teammate Jackie Robinson anyway.
“In a game divided by color, he made us see greatness.” That’s a great tagline for a quality movie.
Baseball at the Movies: A Timeline.
Don’t Forget Other Black Pioneers
42 Movie Posters
My Review of The Jackie Robinson Movie