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'42 (2013)' Movie Review: An American Hero

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'42 (2013)'


Mr. Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1962. I never saw him play ball, but he is a Hero of mine. I grew up playing ball and I remember running home from the ballpark to see Henry Aaron break Babe Ruth's home run record as a kid. With out Mr. Robinson, I would never have enjoyed that moment of my youth.

Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) saw the writing on the wall. The United States had just finished winning WWII. The negro man fought hard in that war and times were going to a changing. He wanted to be the first owner to have a black man play major league ball . He scoured the negro leagues and the name he came up with was Mr. Jackie Robinson.

Mr. Robinson would get the call from Rickey and the two met. You see there was more to this than just playing baseball. You were talking about the integration of black into an all white organization. There was many who did not want this to take place.

The idea was to bring Mr. Robinson up through the Montreal Royals a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mr. Robinson's first thing he did as a major league ball player was to get married to a woman named Rachel (Nicole Beharie). The second thing he did was head to Florida for spring training. Getting there would be a little tricky as the airline didn't want him to fly on their plane. When he and his new wife arrived in Florida they were met by a man named Wendell Smith (Andre Holland) a reported hired by Ricky to help with all the arrangements. It was not going to be easy for a black man in the south in 1946 to move around with a white ball team. When the team was in Deland, Florida getting ready to play the sheriff was there to throw Mr. Robinson off the field. When he was in Sanford, Florida the town or at least some of them wanted to hurt or kill him.

Mr. Robinson would survive spring training and when the season opened and he was playing for Montreal his first at bat was a home run. It also was about the same time that Rachel found out she was pregnant. Mr. Robinson did well that year on the field. It was off that he found trouble. A black man in the big league's was something that most Americans were having a hard time.

There was some who were rooting for Mr. Robinson and his dream. His dream would come next year. In 1947 Mr. Robinson would play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. His teammates would have a hard time with this. Their opposing teams would have a hard time with this integration. Mr. Robinson would eventually silence all critics. Oh there would still be those who wanted to be racist but Mr. Robinson was good and deserved to be playing in the major leagues. He would earn 1947 Rookie of the Year honors.

This film is beautifully done. The talent brought by Director Brian Helgeland gave this film a freshness and joy to watch. This tribute to Mr. Robinson is just another feather in his cap. He was able to show the world that the black man belonged and should not be segregated. This film will touch your heart and will show you what I've known all along. Mr. Jackie Robinson is an American Hero. Number 42 is the only number to be retired from baseball because there will never be another Mr. Robinson.


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