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42 — Jackie Robinson biopic

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  • 42 — Jackie Robinson biopic

    Trailer was released yesterday (film comes out in April):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP3G4E2ael8

    I'm not getting my hopes up for "42". The cinematography in the trailer looks fantastic, and the lead actor looks like he's gonna nail Jackie, but I'm already disturbed by two scenes in the trailer that make me think they're going to go heavy on the "legend" and ignore the "truth". Which is a damn shame, because the truth needs no dramatic embellishment.

    The two scenes I didn't like are 1) the home run "bat flip" — even DiMaggio would have been beaned for that **** in that era. Jackie was proud, but he wasn't stupid. And 2) the Reese-Robinson on-field embrace — which never happened, in Cincinnati or elsewhere. It was Eddie Stanky who was Robinson's closest ally in '47, not Reese; and Reese tried to make it very clear during his lifetime that he didn't go out of his way to treat Robinson differently, which Robinson appreciated.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the screenwriters ignored Jon Eig's fantastic book "Opening Day," which debunks some of the more enduring Robinson myths. I wish they'd used that as their source material.

  • #2
    I'm not all that fired up about this movie either. The bat flipping scene looks really out of place. I agree that if anyone did that in 1947 he would end up in the hospital. The embrace doesn't bode well for the movie either. I believe that it happened, but that it didn't happen in 1947.

    Some of the casting seems odd to me. Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chris Meloni as Leo Durocher both seem like poor casting in my opinion.

    I agree that using Eig's book (the best baseball book I've read in the last 10 years) would have been good to use as source material, but I see a few problems with using it. Eig punctures a few legends. The Dodgers didn't come off so well in his book in their treatment of Robinson. I think the film-makers would be uncomfortable showing a team that didn't rally around Robinson like the legend says they did. My guess is that they would also be uncomfortable portraying someone like Ben Chapman like Eig did, and rather just paint him as a cartoonish redneck.

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    • #3
      I watched the trailer twice. That wasn't much of a "bat flip" IMO. When I first heard that Harrison Ford was going to play Branch Rickey I went h Ford doesn't look anything like Branch Rickey. I was surprised to see how much Ford looked like Rickey in the trailer. I wonder what Rachel Robinson thinks about the script?
      Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-22-2012, 11:28 AM.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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      • #4
        Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
        The embrace doesn't bode well for the movie either. I believe that it happened, but that it didn't happen in 1947.
        The embrace is so important to the Legend of Robinson that they made a statue out of it in Brooklyn. But it's highly, highly unlikely that it ever happened.



        As the legend goes, Robinson was enduring a particularly nasty bout of racial insults during a game in Cincinnati in 1947. Reese supposedly walked all the way over from shortstop to first base (possibly during warmups between innings), put his arm around Robinson in full view of the nasty crowd at Crosley Field, said a few words to him, patted him on the back, and went back to his position.

        The way Dodgers pitcher (and future Orioles PA announcer) Rex Barney told the story: This gesture caused the crowd to audibly gasp, and the Reds players got even more fired up and rode Robinson harder.

        The problem is, as Jon Eig discovered, not a single writer from New York, Cincinnati or anywhere else wrote about this incredible "crowd-gasping" gesture at any point in 1947 or '48. And in fact, neither Robinson nor Rickey mentioned or wrote anything about Reese being a close ally of Robinson in the first year after he joined the Dodgers. Eddie Stanky was mentioned as the leading pro-Robinson force in the clubhouse. Reese also admitted in the '50s that it took him a while to warm up to Robinson. He didn't hate him, like some teammates, but the Kentuckian didn't go out of his way to befriend him early on. Around 1949, Reese and Robinson genuinely started becoming friends and were very close late in life. But as Eig writes: "Not in 1947."

        When Reese was later interviewed about Robinson's first year, he made a point of saying publicly — even at least once to Robinson's face — that he didn't go out of his way to treat Robinson differently. Robinson's response was all class: "I think that's what I appreciated most, Pee Wee."


        I agree that using Eig's book (the best baseball book I've read in the last 10 years) would have been good to use as source material, but I see a few problems with using it. Eig punctures a few legends. The Dodgers didn't come off so well in his book in their treatment of Robinson. I think the film-makers would be uncomfortable showing a team that didn't rally around Robinson like the legend says they did. My guess is that they would also be uncomfortable portraying someone like Ben Chapman like Eig did, and rather just paint him as a cartoonish redneck.
        I think it makes Jackie's story more extraordinary that the Dodgers didn't rally around him like Hollywood's going to make it seem they did. That Leo had to hold a "come-to-Jesus" meeting with the entire team, that a couple players even got traded away because they didn't want to play with the black guy. That's reality, and it's plenty dramatic.

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        • #5
          I just heard that there's a scene with Jackie getting a HR on a sky high popup...the movie is doomed!!!!
          :^(
          "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

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          • #6
            Originally posted by George H Ruth View Post
            Eddie Stanky was mentioned as the leading pro-Robinson force in the clubhouse.
            That's interesting, if true, since Stanky was one of three Dodgers, along with Dixie Walker and Bobby Bragan who asked to be traded rather than having to play on the same team as Robinson. And Stanky was indeed traded to Boston before the 1948 season for two stiffs and $40,000 just to get him out of Brooklyn.
            They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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            • #7
              It must have been extremely difficult for Robinson if Stanky was the leading pro Robinson player. Stanky's support of Robinson didn't amount to very much.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dude Paskert View Post
                I just heard that there's a scene with Jackie getting a HR on a sky high popup...the movie is doomed!!!!
                :^(
                That's not all. It's rumored that in the movie Jackie's walk up music as he comes to bat will be Public Enemy's legendary song "Fight the Power!" Boyyeeee!!!!

                Jackie-Fight-the-Power 1.JPG
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                • #9
                  I guess they're trying to market a younger crowd with the Public Enemy song. The homerun on a popup seems pretty silly too. Sounds like its gonna be another movie like Cobb or The Babe.
                  "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                  "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
                    I guess they're trying to market a younger crowd with the Public Enemy song. The homerun on a popup seems pretty silly too. Sounds like its gonna be another movie like Cobb or The Babe.
                    Actually, I was just kidding about the walk up music. I assumed that Duke Paskert was joking as well.
                    Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-24-2012, 10:12 AM.
                    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                      Actually, I was just kidding about the walk up music. I assumed that Duke Paskert was joking as well.
                      I'm pretty glad to hear you say that, hopefully DudePaskert was kidding around too. After watching the trailer I didn't think it was to far fetched that a Public Enemy song would be used in the movie.

                      I don't think DudePaskert is kidding around though.
                      "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                      "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Back in the 1990's Spike Lee wanted to make a Jackie Robinson film on the scope of his Malcolm X film. He wanted to release it on April 15, 1997, the 50th anninversary of Jackie's debutr with the Dodgers. However, the movie never came to pass.

                        http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethe...portunity.html
                        Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 09-24-2012, 10:26 AM.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Someone posted the entire 1950 The Jackie Robinson Story film on youtube! :hyper:

                          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                            It must have been extremely difficult for Robinson if Stanky was the leading pro Robinson player. Stanky's support of Robinson didn't amount to very much.
                            The way I understand it, Durocher had made it damn clear (verbally) that Robinson was there to play and anyone who didn't like it could leave. Stanky, Durocher's pet, was the glue in the clubhouse that made sure Leo's edict was enforced. (Not physically, per se, but just ... don't mess with Jackie or else you'll be messing with Leo, who was still the real boss despite his year-long suspension in 1947.)

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                            • #15
                              Saw the trailer last week and didn't even notice Harrison Ford, but I did notice the bat flip. Looks cool how the old ballparks have been recreated but the boys on the BBF Ballparks forum are already picking it apart for inaccuracies.
                              Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,and welcome to Yankee Stadium. Here are the lineups for todays game...

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