The story of Jackie Robinson is one of the great stories in the history of sports and in the history of this nation. The movie 42 based on this truly courageous and important development in human history does a wonderful job portraying just how difficult and how brave a decision it was to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. The era of segregation is brought to life for all of us who were not around to see it first hand in such a way as to elicit both guilt and sympathy. Branch Rickey, brilliantly portrayed by Harrison Ford, is thankful that some of the vitriol spewed at Robinson by the press and even the other players, is evoking sympathy, which he defines as suffering with someone. We suffer with Jackie and his wife as he displays the guts not to fight back. While racial epithets are used throughout the movie, as well as some other mild swear words, the language is probably milder than that which really occurred and is appropriate for the time and the intended PG-13 audience. Rickey’s own guilt for having remained silent in the past, in the face of racism, serves as the motivation for his bold decision as does his Christian faith, which is evident throughout the movie. It is an inspiring movie, one that needs to be seen not only by baseball fans, but by all of us who are blessed to live in this post-racial period and are trying to make the dream of character rather than color still come true.
Posted by Jim Ritter, Library Clerk