Friday, April 12, 2013


Writer/Director Brian Helgeland’s bio-pic 42 is a fine tribute to Jackie Robinson, the first African-American in major league baseball, and should be enjoyed by anyone who is a fan of the sport.

Thanks to Production Designer Richard Hoover, viewers are immersed in the look and feel of the 1940s.  This was an era when ball players had to have winter jobs because the salaries weren’t the humongous sums they are today.     Players were driven by the love of the game.

Jackie Robinson was a true American hero, forging ahead against the more outspoken racism of the day and demonstrating that skill trumped color. 

TV soap star Chadwick Boseman does a great job portraying Robinson and Nicole Beharie is admirable as his wife Rachel.  Harrison Ford’s first real test as a character actor, playing Dodger owner Branch Rickey, is a little rickety at first, but mellows out as he relaxes into it.  And, Alan Tudyk does a fine turn as the bigoted manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

 Even if you’re not into baseball, 42 is a great history lesson for African-Americans and Whites alike.  Though this era was a little before my time, I do remember as a little boy visiting the South and wanting to go into the “Colored” bathroom because I thought it would be…well…, more colorful. I was, thankfully, oblivious to the real meaning.  But, most viewers might not even be aware this type of segregation ever existed.  I noted that the chatty couple seated behind me went silent as the movie progressed.


I feared that 42 might be too pretentious or self-important, but that was not the case.  I give it a 4 out of 5 for the fan base and 3+ for the non-sportive crowd.



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