AllHipHop At The Movies: 42 Does Jackie Robinson Justice

Finally after all of these years, the epic and historic story of the late great Jackie Robinson comes to the big screen. Backed and Warner Bros. and the endorsement of Jackie’s widow Mrs. Rachel Robinson, 42 is set to hit theaters nationwide on April 12 and AllHipHop.com was invited to an early screening.

After World War II, Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey (played by the iconic Harrison Ford) began the search for the right African American athlete from the Negro Baseball Leagues to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball at the time. Rickey settled on the multi-sport talented (Tennis, Football, Track and Baseball) Robinson. Knowing full well of the abuse and tribulations that Jackie would have to endure by racist America, Rickey instructs his young rising star not to fall in to the traps that his many detractors would lay before him. Enduring death threats, much name calling, the dislike of fellow teammates and hate mail, Jackie Robinson was able to fight through these difficulties and do his fighting on the field, which led to the eventual destruction of the color barrier in all of sports and was precursor to the civil rights movement that would come later in the nation.

Before viewing the movie I was a bit concerned about a major company handling such an important factor in American history. Would they make the story too safe? Would they display and show the truth about the abhorrent behavior of racist America at the time? The answer is that Warner allowed the movie to show the ugly and disgusting truths at the time. There is a scene in which Robinson is being so berated and degraded by the Philadelphia Phillies manager that’s very difficult to watch due to the anger that will rise up within you as you witness the abuse laid upon him. Chadwick Boseman does a fine job in playing the often reserved Robinson and shines when it comes time to show how the heavy toll of enduring all of the abuse. As much as 42 is about Jackie Robinson, it’s also about the bravery of Branch Rickey who also becomes a father-type figure for the athlete as he deals with being the first African American in the Major Leagues. Harrison Ford adds the right amount of fiery behavior with compassion as the legendary General Manager, who makes it no secret that although he’s out to do the right thing, he’s also motivated to win by taking advantage of Robinson’s baseball skills. If there is a 3rd star to the movie, it’s the lovely Nicole Beharie as Mrs. Rachel Robinson, who serves as her husband’s strength and main supporter. 42 will inspire, delight, make you feel anger, and most of all help you to understand the difficulties that those before us had to endure while trailblazing new paths for minorities in the future. A must see film!

  • InTheNightKitchen

    Bookmarked! I will read this article after I see it, I saw Jurassic in IMAX 3D this past weekend and saw the trailer for this on a kiosk in the theatre I had no idea this movie was made or even coming out. BUT, I’m definitely going to see it. So to answer your question. I hope it does him justice!

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      • KingsCountyCrooklyn

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  • james jefferson

    lets get it straight jackie was a sale out to what the negro league was trying to do. They only reason white baseball begin to recruit black players is because negro league games where more exciting and had more talented players. As a result white fans started to leave the white baseball league and attend the negro league so as the white have done through out history to stop money coming into black hands and creating black ownership in what by far would have been a more profitable and exciting league was to allow black people to come join their former master because at that and and even today blacks with all their talent and success are not validate till the are accepted by whites. Same in the music industry all the rappers and singers always talk about crossing over to the pop charts. Its that negroid inferiority complex that blacks have suffer from since being force into bondage.

    • BOO BOE

      you got that right.. what they have always done.. why you think he gave the okay for integration.. the only solution is separation

    • BOO BOE

      and some of us are so ignorant we think he gives us something when we can get it for ourselves

    • DollasTX

      its always one niggah that dont see the bigger picture – if none of the negro league baseball players fell victim to the allure of playing with their less talent white counterparts – the negro league still would have failed – my pop’s played in the negro leagues for the KC MONARCHS and it was almost inevitable that the negro leagues (as great as they were) wasn’t going to transcend or elevate – branch rickey had alterior motives which was MONEY but his wanting to bring a black ball player to the brooklyn dodgers was ultimately going to be the standard to change the GAME of baseball forever – the negro leagues was a fledgling league with no financial or economic backing –

      i get what you saying – but when have we ever had our own thing that we cultured that wasnt taken over by the white establishment … i dont wanna say what i was about to say – so imma say – we needed them white dollars

    • heavyboy

      So him helping to integrate a sport made him a sellout??? Huh? So are all of the black athletes playing professional sports now sellouts too?? Him opening the door for other African American athletes made him a sellout??? A sellout??? But you woulda did things differently huh. This m*thaf*cka here smh*

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