Discussion in 'New Movies' started by Shale, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Shale

    Shale ~

    Movie Blurb by Shale
    April 20, 2013

    This was my to-see movie that came out last week and I was unable to see it because of torrential rains. So, I didn't help it break box office opening-weekend records for a baseball movie, but it is still going strong a week later.

    It was a must see movie for me, not because I was raised in St. Louis an old baseball town (My sister is the normal one into that) but because it is set in the American Apartheid era in which I lived.

    Oh, for anyone who hasn't a clue about this movie it is a biopic of Jackie Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman), the first black man to play in segregated Major League Baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. The number on his jersey was 42 and it is now the only Major League number that has been retired.

    The movie covers the very beginning of Robinson's career, after he served in the Army in WWII and got a courts-martial discharge because he fought against the segregation he experienced when returning to the U.S. He was playing in the Negro League when Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) wanted to integrate his team. Robinson stood out as a star player and Rickey signed him in 1945 to the affiliated Montreal Royals team for tryouts.

    Branch Rickey Pep Talk with Jackie

    With his career taking off Jackie marries his Pasadena California girlfriend, Rachel (Nicole Beharie) and she is shown supporting him thru the racism that they encounter in the less enlightened nation.

    Rachel & Jackie Partners


    Jackie proves to be the star player but still faces the rote discrimination and racial hatred that pervaded our country in those days despite his abilities on the field. By breaking this racial barrier he became the celebrity and also the focus of much taunting and derision from opposing teams and the ppl in the stands.

    Jackie Making News on the Field

    But, as with so many racists there is redemption as they learn the fallacy of the system in which they have lived. While it may appear to be a feel-good device for the movie, I have encountered ppl who have changed from their racism to embrace other races as just ppl. Eventually, his team mates learn to admire him and even defend him on the field against the bigots taunting him.

    There is one moment when they are playing in the South and one of his Southern teammates Peewee Reese (Lucas Black) embraces him in the field in front of a hostile, jeering crowd in which he says his own family is attending that we have a feel-good moment of arrival. OK, maybe it doesn't seem like that much now but I know how much it must have been in 1947 because I was around in the '60s when racial segregation was still being challenged everywhere.

    Peewee Reese & Jackie Robinson on the Field

    I really enjoyed this movie. It was a trip back to another time of which I did see much of our racial turmoil. It is a story of one of the heroes of the era - a well educated and talented man who had to pull in his natural, hot-headed desire to smack some deserving ass upside the head with a bat.

    But he didn't. He just played ball and played it well, bringing the Brooklyn Dodgers to the National League Pennant in 1947 and the World Series as the first Rookie of the Year.

    After the movie they showed the various characters and gave follow-up bios of each. It was nice to see the outcomes for the players both decent and racist. Good movie, go see it.
  2. Jerseysure

    Jerseysure Guest

    Making no pretense other than to be an entertainment, 42 will satisfy most moviegoers. Hopefully, it will not be criticized too much for being just that. While I'm not a fan of movies serving as history lessons, most of the current generation probably have only a superficial understanding of what Jackie Robinson had to endure, and his importance in starting the transformation of a society.

    Sure, the movie is hokey at times but that seems to be what was intended. The acting is generally competent but Harrison Ford is great. This may be the first real acting he has done in his career.
  3. Shale

    Shale ~

    This is almost spot on what our local movie critic in Miami said and is quite a valid observation. Altho, have to remember this was the mid '40s. The whole culture was hokey.

    She mentioned Ford's character saying something about integrating baseball because of financial gains, something like "Dollars aren't black or white they're green." My dad woulda said something like that in that era. So, was it bad scripting or very accurate period dialogue?

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