The film “42: The True Story of an American Legend” recaptures the career of Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson. The movie allows viewers to see what Robinson endured while breaking the color barrier in major league sports.
Some Marywood students went to the theater to see “42.” Tim Parker, a sophmore digital media major, said he thought it was a great movie and urges other students to see it.
“Overall the movie was entertaining and was heartwarming,” Parker said. “It showed Robinson’s low points and high points early in his career.”
Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson in the film, and Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey, the president/general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who took the gamble on Robinson.
The film shows Robinson’s success from the beginning of his career, from farm league baseball to becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues.
Before Robinson’s career in Brooklyn, he was a star athlete in four different sports at UCLA. The film also shows that Robinson was not only an athlete, but had a military career as well.
However, “42” also portrays the discrimination and segregation in this country in the early 20th century. Robinson experienced racism and violence when he broke the color barrier in baseball.
Another Marywood student who saw the movie was Victoria Garafola, a senior English major. She thought the film demonstrated Robinson’s ability to rise above racism and to compete at a high level.
“I thought the movie was an adequate display of what Robinson went through early in his career,” Garafola said.
Robinson was able to overcome racism because of his courage and discipline; he didn’t allow the hatred to effect his game. He was also supported by Rickey, and fellow Dodgers teammates, including Hall of Fame baseball player Pee Wee Reese, played by Lucas Black.
A very famous moment during Robinson’s career is shown in the movie. The key moment was when Reese put his arm around Robinson while they were playing a game. This showed fans that color shouldn’t prevent anybody from playing the game they love.
The film shows Robinson’s impact on the sport of baseball and the ripple effect it had. Robinson’s number, 42, is now retired by every team in major league baseball. Only one current player has his number: New York Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera, because the number wasn’t retired until 1997 (after Rivera began playing).
Since 2004, April 15 has been known as Jackie Robinson Day. Every player on a major league team wears his number to respect the player and human being that Robinson was, on and off the field.
While the movie couldn’t recapture Robinson’s whole journey in just a two-hour film, it does capture his impact on society and baseball in the early 20th century.