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42: The True Story of an American Legend

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Starman, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Can't make it to a midnight show tonight, but interested to see the early returns. Hopefully tomorrow afternoon.

    So ... discuss.
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Reviews have been darn good. Hoping to take my sons (13 and 10) to it this weekend. Probably the first time they are going to hear the N-word in liberal use, and I see Ford was getting questions about it, but I don't see how you do this movie and not put it in.

    Also: Mike Downey had a fairly interesting piece about his own long, tortured and eventually aborted attempt at a Robinson screenplay.

  3. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    There is just no way you could, or should, do a Jackie Robinson movie without the N-word.
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    I've seen negative reviews or, at least, what I perceive as negative reviews. The reviews suggest that it's a very Hollywood-ized tale, that it goes with the legend rather than the man.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Well, hopefully it won't be a syrupy as "Secretariat."

    One thing I saw in the trailers which seemed a little alarming: Robinson hitting a home run, standing at home plate watching it fly, then doing a 2013-style bat flip.

    From all accounts,

    1) Robinson was not a power hitter, so he would never have stood at home plate watching a fly ball;

    2) his whole game was built on hustle, speed and line-drive power so if he hit a ball hard, 97% of the time he would tear ass out of the batter's box, and he might see it clear the fence about when he rounded first, and

    3) The 1940s/50s were not a time for the kinder gentler souls in MLB. Jackie Robinson -- or anybody else of any color -- who stood at home plate and did a bat flip after a home run would have been drilled in the ear with a fastball about the next five times he came up to bat.
  6. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    It's this kind of details that kill sports movies for me. Friday Night Lights: Set in the 1980s, long before face shields and US flag stickers on helmets. I thought Ron Howard was better. Trouble with the Curve: Too much emphasis on the word of one scout and totally disregarding the concept of cross-checking.

    I'll go see 42. I've been looking forward to it. But I hope it gets the details right.
  7. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    The trailers make me think of the movie The Express about Ernie Davis, starring the same guy no less. Using rap music in the ads is also kind of jarring.
    I would have liked to have read the script Spike Lee wanted to shoot with Denzel Washington. That it wasn't approved by the Robinsons makes me think it was a little more realistic.
  8. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Uniform-wise, the movie will look fantastic. The company making the jerseys did an excellent job recreating those things.
  9. ifilus

    ifilus Well-Known Member

    Rob Brown changed his name to Chadwick Boseman?


  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    the rap music did make me take pause.
  11. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    This was my take on it. Very one-dimensional characters, a lot of mythmaking. It's basically the "Miracle" or "Glory Road" of baseball. Nice introduction to the Jackie Robinson Legend if you don't know much about him, but that's about it.

    Uniforms and re-created ballparks are sweet, though. The baseball scenes are very good, which often sinks most baseball films. Boseman looked fantastic — his baserunning scenes were like a spitting image of Jackie Robinson. Harrison Ford wasn't bad, but I liked the movie better when he wasn't on the screen. They wasted Rachel Robinson's character (she's a civil rights hero in her own right, not just a cute ballplayer's wife) and turned Wendell Smith's character into Ms. Daisy's chauffeur when he was actually one of the most important figures in the story of baseball integration. Lots of good performances from the character actors: John McGinley as Red Barber, Chris Meloni as Leo Durocher.

    The best performance of all — in the most powerful scene in the movie — was by Alan Tudyk as the racist Phillies manager Ben Chapman. That scene, as uncomfortable as it was, is worth the price of admission by itself. So powerful. You will not forget it.

    Links to a few historical events they missed or omitted can be found in this story: http://sabr.org/latest/filmmaker-brian-helgeland-brings-jackie-robinson-legend-life-42. The most glaring of which is ...



    ... Look, the Pee Wee Reese scene never happened. At the very least, we know it didn't happen in 1947 in Cincinnati. And it probably didn't happen in 1948 or '49, either. Jon Eig permanently debunked this myth in his book "Opening Day" a few years ago. Here's the truth: Robinson and Reese were both very clear when they were alive that Reese was distant at first and then warmed up to Robinson as the years passed. Yes, they eventually developed into close friends. But not in 1947. Reese said he struggled to accept Robinson's presence and the changing times like every other Southerner on the team. Whenever Reese was asked about 1947, he said "I didn't treat him any different than anyone else." And Robinson's classy response was, "That's what I appreciated the most, Pee Wee."

    The scene in this movie, unfortunately, turns Reese into a progressive, visionary civil rights hero. He was nothing of the sort. He was a good man with a good heart and an open mind, and that's enough.

    The truth is, Robinson's most vocal supporters in 1947 were two of the more unlikeable characters in baseball: Eddie Stanky and Leo Durocher. And I was glad each of them were given at least one strong scene in showing that real-life support.

    One more brief spoiler:

    The Dodgers' scouting of Jackie Robinson was far more complex a story than what you'll see on film. Robinson had tryouts in Boston and San Diego, there was a major public announcement/charade during the summer of 1945 about a fictional team called the "Brooklyn Brown Dodgers;" Rickey intended to sign three players, not one, until the black press forced his hand; the Dodgers sent scouts into Mexico.

    And it was Tom Greenwade, not Clyde Sukeforth, who actually recommended him to Rickey. Yes, the same scout who discovered Mickey Mantle is the one who also recommended Jackie Robinson. Read about Greenwade here: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/9fb19ce0.
  12. daytonadan1983

    daytonadan1983 Well-Known Member

    Just got back from a special screening with the Bethune-Cookman athletic department.

    Solid job. Got a kick on how they made Macon, Ga, look like Daytona Beach -- they brought in palm trees to Macon for the filming. [Robinson's first spring training game was in Daytona Beach in 1946]

    There are parts the movie nails perfectly -- especilly his first spring training media gaggle -- and some moments are kinda cliche, but the overall story is told very well.

    Disappointed that our college founder Dr. Bethune didn't get her props, but enjoyed seeing Wendell Smith. I've been reading a lot of Smith's stuff in doing my historical research. Wasn't Larry Doby with Robinson in the 1945 Red Sox tryout?

    Agree with you buckweaver, the scene with the Phillies manager was the best.

    My stuff for our web site.

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