5.0 3
Director: Brian Helgeland

Cast: Brian Helgeland, Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie


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Brian Helgeland's historical sports drama/biopic 42 relates the historic 1947 baseball season in which Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) decides to sign the first black Major League player, Jackie Robinson (…  See more details below


Brian Helgeland's historical sports drama/biopic 42 relates the historic 1947 baseball season in which Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) decides to sign the first black Major League player, Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman). Although Robinson faces ugly, vicious racism from other clubs, fans, and on occasion his own teammates, Rickey encourages him to not fight back. By following that advice, Robinson allows his remarkable athletic talent to speak for itself, and soon the first-year player becomes one the most popular players on the team, eventually securing the Rookie of the Year award. Christopher Meloni and Hamish Linklater co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Jackie Robinson is arguably the single most important sports figure of the 20th century. He personified athletic excellence, and became the catalyst for massive social change when Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager, made the former UCLA standout the first black player in Major League Baseball. He endured taunts and threats from fans, sportswriters, opponents, and teammates, handling all of it with the kind of public self-control that would become the hallmark of Martin Luther King's approach to the civil-rights movement. That's the kind of life that not only should and does inspire millions of people, it's also the stuff of traditionally earnest and dry biopics -- the kind that win Oscars but aren't remembered with much affection by hardcore movie lovers or general audiences. Thankfully, 42, writer/director Brian Helgeland's telling of this remarkable story, manages to paint Robinson as a nearly flawless icon without turning him into a boring wax figure. He's helped immeasurably by Chadwick Boseman's performance as Robinson. He not only comes off as credible in the baseball scenes, but Boseman's Jackie has an engagingly unsettled look in his eyes most of the time. When he's not on the field or with his wife, he's on guard, and in those moments we get a feeling for how deep the brutal insults and unfair treatment hit him. As different characters say throughout the movie, Jackie just wants to play ball, and when he's on the field, Boseman makes Jackie's intensity a kick; his side-to-side hop as he takes a bigger and bigger lead before stealing a base is a comic dance of athletic superiority. Boseman gets superb support from Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, who gets most of the laugh lines Helgeland weds into the script. This is probably the best outlet Ford has ever found for his earnest side -- an aspect of his persona that he often indulges to less interesting effect than his darker-tinged performances in movies like The Mosquito Coast and Blade Runner. Here, Rickey's religious conviction, his quiet insistence that the Dodgers will sign a black player, and the palpable sympathy he feels for what Jackie endures -- combined with his sense of humor -- give Ford the richest character he's played in more than 20 years. If this film came out later in the year, he'd be in the running for awards. The supporting cast are just as impressive as the two leads. Christopher Meloni is so good as headstrong Dodgers manager Leo Durocher (a sports figure also worthy of a first-rate, gritty biopic) that we're genuinely bummed when his character leaves the movie early; Nicole Beharie, playing Jackie's wife, makes sure her character is never less than noble or more than human; Lucas Black gets a fine scene as the Southern shortstop Pee Wee Reese, who becomes Robinson's unexpected ally; you wish Hamish Linklater had more to do as pitcher Ralph Branca; Alan Tudyk is memorably scummy as a virulently racist opposing manager; and John C. McGinley does such a witty impression of broadcaster Red Barber that it's a shame he doesn't narrate the whole movie. As a writer, Helgeland (who has an Oscar for co-writing another period piece, L.A. Confidential) knows how to give all of his actors just enough material to keep them interesting, while never removing his focus from Robinson and Rickey. Helgeland does efficient work here as a director. There aren't that many show-offy moments, but he does go for a heavy-handed final montage depicting Jackie being safe at home both on the field and in his wife's arms. However, he did hire talented cinematographer Don Burgess as his DP, and together they give the film a look that casts everything in a warmly nostalgic golden hue while consistently flattering actors with very different skin tones by expertly lighting them within the same shot. Spike Lee tried for many years to get a biopic of Jackie Robinson made, and while he certainly wouldn't have come up with this combination of Gandhi and The Natural plus some good laughs, his movie most likely wouldn't have been quite as obvious. Helgeland's film is square, but it's a really solidly built square -- the kind of square that can be used as a foundation for something sturdy and true.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Stepping into history; Full-contact baseball; The legacy of number 42

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chadwick Boseman Jackie Robinson
Harrison Ford Branch Rickey
Nicole Beharie Rachel Robinson
Christopher Meloni Leo Durocher
Ryan Merriman Dixie Walker
Lucas Black Pee Wee Reese
Andre Holland Wendell Smith
Alan Tudyk Ben Chapman
Hamish Linklater Ralph Branca
T.R. Knight Harold Parrott
John C. McGinley Red Barber
Toby Huss Clyde Sukeforth
Max Gail Burt Shotton
Brad Beyer Kirby Higbe
James Pickens Mr. Brock
Gino Anthony Pesi Joe Garagiola
Brett Cullen Clay Hopper
Jesse Luken Eddie Stanky
Jamey Holliday Pete Reiser
Derek Phillips Bobby Bragan
Jamie Ruehling Spider Jorgensen
Blake Sanders Gene Hermanski
Johnny Knight Carl Furillo
Clint O'Brien Hugh Casey
Dusan Brown Ed Charles
Cherise Boothe Ed's Mother
Friedel Pinkston Birmingham Catcher
Linc Hand Fritz Ostermueller
Thomas Helgeland Everett McCooey
Matt Clark Luther
Peter MacKenzie Happy Chandler
Joe Inscoe Bob Cooke
Monnae Michaell Mallie
Karole Foreman Duff Harris
C.J. Nitkowski Dutch Leonard
Scott Callaway Andy Seminick
Aaron Farb Phillie Two
James Rackley Phillie One
Anthony Goolsby Monarch Batter
Lou Criscuolo Reporter One
Ross Hughes Reporter Two
Joe Knezevich Reporter Three
Mark Harelik Herb Pennock
Kenny Cook Fan One
Rhoda Griffis Miss Bishop
Dan Fenlan Babe Hamburger
Maury Covington Policeman
Henry Friedman Freckles
Jon Kohler Spectator Two
Marc Gowan Doctor
Jackson Walker Jimmy Powers
Danny Vinson Eddie Dyer
Ari Blinder Photographer
William Flaman Cracker
David Sweeney Fan Two
Denise Moye Older Woman
Peter Jurasik Hotel Manager
Dan Mengini Spectator One
Michael H. Cole Another Reporter
Janet Metzger Jane Ann
Dax Griffin Racist City Island Fan
Holden Hansen Freckle's Dad
Jayson Warner Smith White Gas Station Attendant
Jeremy Taylor Boy
Christopher Harvey Bus Driver
Christopher Harvey Bus Driver
Kelley Alice Jakle Alice
Jud Tylor Laraine Day
Tobias Michael Finn Panamanian Kid
Ercell Grimes Shouting Fan
Dwight Houser City Island Umpire
Barry Suttle Roosevelt Home Umpire
Andrew B. Roberts Ball One Umpire
Jimmie L. Coleman Negro League Umpire
Steve Hicks Umpire One
Wayne Hickey Umpire Two
Andrew Mullins Umpire Three
Dennis A. Spears Umpire Four
Gary Miller Umpire Five
Todd Wilson Reporter Four
David Thoms Enos Slaughter
Richard Tavernaro Deland Umpire
Hunter Clowdus Dodger Bat Boy

Technical Credits
Brian Helgeland Director,Screenwriter
Peter Afterman Musical Direction/Supervision
Dennis Bradford Art Director
Danny Brown Set Decoration/Design
Don Burgess Cinematographer
Jason Clark Executive Producer
Dick Cook Executive Producer
Allan Graf Executive Producer
Caroline Harris Costumes/Costume Designer
Eric Heffron Asst. Director,Co-producer
Richard Hoover Production Designer
Mark Isham Score Composer
Jon Jashni Executive Producer
Charles McCarry Art Director
Peter McNulty Editor
Darryl D. Pryor Co-producer
King Soundworks Sound Editor,Sound/Sound Designer
Kevin Stitt Editor
Victoria Thomas Casting
Thomas Tull Producer
Margaret Yen Musical Direction/Supervision
Jillian Zaks Co-producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 42
1. Scene 1
2. Scene 2
3. Scene 3
4. Scene 4
5. Scene 5
6. Scene 6
7. Scene 7
8. Scene 8
9. Scene 9
10. Scene 10
11. Scene 11
12. Scene 12
13. Scene 13


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42 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
harolduswarrenus More than 1 year ago
A masterpiece of a movie! Multi-layered stories with great meaning in our culture, from sports greatness to social-racial profundity, it hits home runs out of the park with almost every swing of the bat. Harrison Ford was as independent and grumpy as one would expect Branch Rickey to be, and the young black actprs were remarkably talented. One of the best movies I've seen in a long, long time..... :-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TweetsAJ More than 1 year ago
Best movie in a long time a must see even if you don't remember him as a player you should get to know him as a man in this movie ..