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The Jackie Robinson Story

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Overview

Despite its lack of production values and box-office "names," The Jackie Robinson Story is one of the best and most convincing baseball biopics ever filmed. Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson plays himself, and quite well indeed. The film traces Robinson's career from his college days, when he excelled as a track star at Pasadena College and as UCLA's All-Sports record holder. Upon his graduation, Robinson tries to get a coaching job, but this is the 1940s, and most doors are closed to black ...
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Overview

Despite its lack of production values and box-office "names," The Jackie Robinson Story is one of the best and most convincing baseball biopics ever filmed. Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson plays himself, and quite well indeed. The film traces Robinson's career from his college days, when he excelled as a track star at Pasadena College and as UCLA's All-Sports record holder. Upon his graduation, Robinson tries to get a coaching job, but this is the 1940s, and most doors are closed to black athletes. After serving in the army, Robinson plays with the Negro Baseball League, where his uncanny skills attract the attention of Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Anxious to break down the "color line" that exists in major-league baseball, Robinson is chosen in 1946 to play for the Brooklyn farm team in Montreal. In a harrowing sequence, Rickey lets Robinson know what he's in for by bombarding him with insults and racial slurs. The manager is merely testing Robinson's ability to withstand the pressure: he wants a black ballplayer "with guts enough not to fight back." Robinson agrees to ignore all racial epithets for the first two years of his Brooklyn contract. Despite the unabashed hatred to which he is subjected during his year with Montreal, Robinson steadfastly continues to turn the other cheek, and in 1947 he graduates to the Dodgers lineup. After a slow start, Robinson justifies the faith put in him by Rickey. The Dodgers win the pennant race, and slowly but surely the ban on black players vanishes in the Big Leagues. Though a model of restraint by 1990s standards, The Jackie Robinson Story is surprisingly frank in its detailing of the racial tensions of its own era. It falters only in a couple of silly vignettes involving comic-relief ballplayer Ben Lessey. The cast is uniformly fine, including Louise Beavers as Robinson's mother, Ruby Dee as his wife Rae Dee would later play Robinson's mother in the 1990 TV movie The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson, Joel Fluellen as his brother Mac, Minor Watson as Branch Rickey, and best of all, Richard Lane as Montreal manager Clay Hopper.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Original black and white version; Original theatrical trailer; Information on the Jackie Robinson Foundation
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/19/2005
  • UPC: 024543176541
  • Original Release: 1950
  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Time: 1:16:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 77,495

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jackie Robinson Himself, Jackie Robinson
Ruby Dee Rae Robinson
Minor Watson Branch Rickey
Louise Beavers Jackie's Mother
Richard Lane Hopper
Harry Shannon Charlie
Ben Lessy Shorty
Bill Spaulding Bill Spaulding
Billy Wayne Clyde Sukeforth
Joel Fluellen Mack Robinson
Bernie Hamilton Ernie
Kenny Washington Tigers' Manager
Pat Flaherty Karpen
Larry McGrath Umpire
Emmett E. Smith Catcher
Howard Louis MacNeely Jackie as a boy
George Dockstader Bill
Technical Credits
Alfred E. Green Director
Mort Briskin Producer
David Chudnow Score Composer
Herschel Burke Gilbert Score Composer
Jane Huizenga Production Designer
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
Arthur Mann Screenwriter
Arthur H. Nadel Editor
Louis Pollock Original Story
Maurie M. Suess Editor
Lawrence Edmund Taylor Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Jackie's Early Years [1:11]
2. College and War [4:10]
3. Playing in the Negro Leagues [8:38]
4. Discovered by the Dodgers [7:01]
5. Arriving at Montreal [11:29]
6. Jackie Pays His Dues [11:30]
7. Dodger Training Camp [15:07]
8. The Major Leagues [6:23]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Color Feature
   Scene Selection
   Extras
      Play Black & White Feature
      Original Theatrical Trailer
      The Jackie Robinson Foundation
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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    Posted July 10, 2014

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    Posted December 8, 2010

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