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Movie Review “42”

April 26, 2013

“42” a movie about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 certainly was a story worth telling. Largely, the movie was a story that dramatized what did not have to be dramatized.

First, however, the movie with a great performance by Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ executive who was determined to bring a black player to the “big leagues,” did work in telling the story. It brings attention to an incredible chapter, largely bad, in this nation’s history.

As stated in the closing credits, certain events and dialogue were dramatized. That is an understatement. However, the movie  showed some of what the extraordinary Jackie Robinson endured in his pioneer role.

Chadwick Boseman as Jackie and Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson both gave excellent performances.

It is so important that Robinson’s and other stories about what people had to be subjected to due to racial or ethnic bigotry be told.

The movie ends with baseball events that did not happen. I want to recount the incredible baseball exploits of Jackie Robinson on the last day of the 1951 regular season.

The Dodgers needed a win at Philadelphia vs the Phillies to force a playoff with the New York Giants. With the game and season on the line, Robinson made a great catch to keep the game going. Later his home run put the Dodgers ahead to stay.

The man’s place in history is assured. What a man and what courage he and his wife Rachel showed. Additionally he was a tremendous player in an historic Brooklyn Dodgers’ era that produced six pennants in Jack’s ten seasons. None of that had to be dramatized with false history.

42

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