42 American Legend 42 American Legend
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42 American Legend

42 American Legend

written and directed by Brian Helgeland about the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson , who wore jersey number 42. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson,and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey . Christopher Meloni , John C. McGinley , Lucas Black , and Nicole Beharie appear in supporting roles.42was released in North America on April 12, 2013.

The film tells the story of Jackie Robinson (Boseman) and, under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (Ford), Robinson's signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers to become the first African-American player to break the baseball color barrier . The story focuses mostly on the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season and somewhat on Robinson's 1946 season with the Montreal Royals .

In 1945, Jackie Robinson and his team, the Kansas City Monarchs , stop by a gas station. When the attendant refuses Robinson entry to the washroom, Robinson says they will find another station at which to fill up the team bus, and the attendant relents. As Robinson comes out, a scout for the Dodgers approaches him and sends him to Brooklyn. He is offered a $600/month contract and $3,500 signing bonus, which Robinson accepts after being warned he must control his temper if he wants to play. Robinson proposes to his girlfriend, Rachel (Beharie), by phone and she accepts.

During Dodgers spring training, Robinson makes it to the franchise farm team in Montreal. After a great season there and spring training in Panama, he advances to the Dodgers. Most of the team soon signs a petition stating they refuse to play with Robinson, but manager Leo Durocher (Meloni) insists Robinson will play. Durocher is then suspended, leaving the Dodgers without a manager.

In a game against the Philadelphia Phillies , manager Ben Chapman (Tudyk) taunts Robinson, causing him to go back to the dugout and smash his bat to vent his anger. With encouragement from Rickey, Robinson then returns to the field and hits a single, steals second and third base, and scores the winning run. When Chapman's behavior toward Robinson generates bad press for the team, the Phillies' owner requires him to pose with Robinson for newspapers and magazine photos. Later, Robinson's teammate, Pee Wee Reese , (Black) comes to understand the pressure Robinson is facing, and makes a public show of solidarity, standing with his arm around Robinson's shoulders before a hostile crowd in Cincinnati.

Robinson's home run against Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller (Hand), who had earlier hit him in the head, helps clinch the National League pennant for the Dodgers, sending them to the World Series . A concluding postscript describes how Rickey, Robinson, and many of his teammates went on to have distinguished careers, including inductions into the Baseball Hall of Fame . The notes also describe the entrance of other African Americans into the Major Leagues, beginning with the season after Robinson's debut.

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