Few athletes have changed the landscape of their sport, as well as society at large, as much as legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson did. In addition to being one of baseball’s all-time greatest players, Robinson’s tremendous bravery paved new ground for African Americans at a time when the Civil Rights movement had yet to happen and the deck was stacked against him because of his race.
The movie 42 tells the story of Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, the Brookyln Dodgers GM whose principled stand against prejudice together with Robinson’s bravery has cemented their status as heroes. Rickey, played by Harrison Ford, decided to sign Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman, to the Dodgers at a time when Major League Baseball’s color line enforced racial segregation and kept black players out of the sport. Rickey and Robinson broke the color line, a move that came at a great cost to both of them.
Widespread racism led to a public outcry and defamation in the press for both Rickey and Robinson. Rickey risked losing his career and Robinson faced threats from all sides, but their love for the sport and dedication to opening the way for racial integration overcame their fear. Despite all of the hostility, Robinson quietly endured, knowing that even the smallest incident would give his detractors the ammunition to take down Rickey for his brave decision. Eventually, Robinson was able to win over his teammates and gain fans across the country.
Own 42 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download as of July 16, 2013 and enjoy the film, no matter what devices you own. Get 42 from wbshop.com. Everybody should know the story of Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, two figures whose heroism still resonates with people all over the world.
See more images from the movie on the Warner Bros. Flickr Slide Show and watch the video below:
It was movie night at Dodger Stadium on July 13, 2013 and 42 director Brian Helgeland, along with Chadwick Boseman and John C. McGinley were on hand. Image courtesy the 42 movie Facebook page.