Watch 42

  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 7.5  (103,181)
  • 62

42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film that depicts the life and career of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American baseball player to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. The movie stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, T.R. Knight as Harold Parrott, and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the executive of the Brooklyn Dodgers who signed Robinson.

The film is a tribute to Robinson's bravery, skill, and perseverance as he navigated rampant racism and discrimination in America in the 1940s. The movie provides a compelling glimpse into Robinson's journey, from his days as a young athlete to his professional debut in the MLB. The film highlights the social and cultural climate of the 1940s, where segregation was widespread and the mere idea of an African-American playing in the MLB was considered a threat to the white establishment.

The film opens with Branch Rickey, a visionary and forward-thinking executive, discussing with his associates the need to integrate African-American players into professional baseball. He believes that the move would not only be good for the sport but also be a catalyst for social change in America. However, he also understands that such a significant action would face fierce opposition from racists, bigots, and other white supremacists who do not want to see an African-American playing in MLB.

Robinson, meanwhile, is shown playing for the Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro league team, where his talent and charm capture the attention of scouts. Rickey eventually offers Robinson a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which Robinson readily accepts.

The film follows Robinson's journey from his first spring training in Florida to his debut game against the Boston Braves. It also shows the enormous challenges Robinson faced, from being subjected to racial slurs to being physically assaulted on the field. But Robinson also had to deal with discrimination from his own teammates and coaches who were hesitant to accept him because of his race.

One of the significant themes of the movie is the friendship between Robinson and teammate Pee Wee Reese, played by Lucas Black. Reese, a white Southern player, realizes the injustice Robinson faces and decides to take a stand against racism. In one memorable scene, Reese publicly acknowledges Robinson as his teammate, laying a hand on his shoulder during a game in front of a hostile crowd. This simple gesture is a powerful symbol of friendship, unity, and support.

Another significant theme in the film is the role played by the media in shaping public opinion. Robinson was often subjected to derogatory remarks from sportswriters and broadcasters, who referred to him using racist slurs. However, there were also several journalists who defended Robinson, highlighting his skill and talent and his contribution to the game. These journalists helped to shape the opinion of the public and highlights the importance of a fair and truthful media.

The bonus features for the DVD version include several behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the film, interviews with cast and crew, and insights into the research and preparation that went into making the movie. The featurettes show the painstaking attention to detail that went into recreating the period setting and the challenges faced by the actors in portraying real-life people.

Overall, 42 is a moving and inspiring film that captures the essence of one of the most important periods in American history. The movie shows how the courage, determination, and resilience of Jackie Robinson challenged racial inequality, broke down barriers, and paved the way for future generations of African-American athletes. The film is a must-see for anyone interested in sports, history, or social justice.

42 doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (103,181)
  • Metascore