Book Trailer The Noble Train

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review of 42 the Jackie Robinson Story

The Jackie Robinson story is one of inspiration. The first African American ball player to break into the MLB. The movie is all this. But Branch Rickey who is behind this move to bring up the first black player quickly moves in on Jackie Robinson. Lets back track here. The movie opens with Branch saying he wants to bring up a "negro player". We aren't given much as to why this should happen except it is the future. And of course he is met with derision.

Cut to Jackie Robinson. Extraordinary player. Has an incredible girlfriend soon to become wife. The movie suffers here from the Hollywood stock African American depiction of the perfect player with the perfect wife the only problem is the incredible racism. We don't get to know Jackie for very long beyond this sort of Deer in Headlights persona because Branch (Harrison Ford) steals the show. In fact the real hero is Branch or so it seems.

He dominates the scenes. He fights the racists. He clears the way for Jackie. But I have to believe that if the whole thing had blown up in Branch Rickys face he would have been fine. Jackie Robinson would not have been fine. He would have gone right down to the Negro Leagues and then into obscurity. None of this is really explored because we are busy feeling for Branch. It makes me wonder if Harrison Ford was the guy who got the movie made. They say there has to be one star who really wants a movie to be made.

Branch Rickey might have been that guy.
The Pitcher...Sometimes a Dream is all you have

Books by William Hazelgrove