Jackie Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball – not professional baseball. The Negro Leagues were a professional league but obviously were for black players since they were not allowed in the Majors before Robinson broke the color barrier. 42 is a movie about his story and the tests he endured on that path which eventually led him to the Hall of Fame.
42 depicts the baseball journey of Robinson from the time he was playing for the Kansas City Monarchs through the first season he donned a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. Everything about this movie is amazing, from the story itself, to the acting, to the old time stadiums and uniforms. The difference that makes 42 stand out from other great baseball movies is the fact that it is based on a true story, one that every baseball fan should have knowledge of.
Robinson is immortalized in the baseball Hall of Fame and rightfully so. His depiction in 42 shows the trials and tribulations that he endured in making the transition from the all black Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues and cohabitating with white teammates. There was hate and endless amounts of discrimination, which is hard to keep at a reasonable level for a Hollywood movie.
The ballparks may be computer generated with green screens to recreate old stadiums, but the finished product is amazing. Seeing the way players, coaches, and fans dressed back in the Robinson era is remarkable considering how different it is from today’s generation. Everything makes you feel like you are right in the middle of Robinson’s story and seeing everything first hand.
It is tough to pick and choose what to say about 42 because I found it to be exhilarating all the way around. The details are spot on, the acting is accurate to what would have occurred during the timeframe of the movie, and the story is simply amazing. Although the film only showcases Robinson’s first season in the Majors, it would have been nice to see a separate scene with the time he stole home plate in the World Series. The picture is iconic and a key point in Robinson’s legacy.
42 should be on every baseball fan’s to-see list and even on non-baseball fans lists as well. It is an important a part of baseball history and America’s history as well. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball and helped pave the way for all black athletes – not just baseball players. The miraculous thing is that he did it in America’s Pastime, possibly the hardest sport to convince people that talent is what should determine an athlete’s worth and not his skin color.