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"Jackie Robinson Story" (1950)


RMeingast
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The "other" Jackie Robinson movie just opened in theatres:

http://metronews.ca/voices/reel-guys/630616/harrison-ford-brings-some-crazy-to-classic-hollywood-biopic-42/

 

Notice that film critic Richard Crouse calls it "an old-fashioned Hollywood biopic."

(The other film critic is Mark Breslin, a Canadian comedy legend, like Lorne Michaels, who has helped develop other comedians like Jim Carrey, Howie Mandel, etc...:

http://www.yukyuks.com/index.cfm?action=aboutUs.markbreslin)

 

 

Anyway, see TCM is airing the 1950 movie starring Jackie Robinson, "The Jackie Robinson Story," on July 19, at 2:30 p.m.:

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/19169/The-Jackie-Robinson-Story/articles.html

 

 

Read about the newer Jackie Robinson movie "42" here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42_%28film%29

 

 

The Canadian connection is that Robinson played for the Montreal Royals:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Royals

 

 

Of course, Robinson was playing with a non-segregated team in Montreal and he had to deal with racism and abuse from his American teammates and from American crowds and opponent players as the Royals played games in the US.

(Montreal fans loved Robinson. After the Royals won the Junior World Series (aka Little World Series) in 1946, he was greeted by the delighted fans:

"It was probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind":

http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060919&content_id=134063&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

This experience certainly allowed him to prepare for what he could expect when he was allowed to break the colour barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947 (along with Larry Doby, who played for the Cleveland Indians).

 

 

Anyway, be interesting to wait and see "The Jackie Robinson Story" on TCM in July and then compare it with "42."

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Apr 15, 2013 9:45 AM

Fix spelling error for Larry Doby.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Jackie Robinson was a better athlete than he was an actor.

Safe to say, Finance. I haven't seen the 1950 flick and am only going by TCM's article:

 

"For a non-actor, Jackie acquitted himself extremely well before the camera. Frankly, if all he had to bring to the performance was the pure strength of his convictions, that was more than enough. It's doubtful any trained thespian could so convincingly convey in a single look the hurt and anger from the jeers and snubs, as well as the sheer will to put those emotions in a back pocket and play to the best of his ability. "Theater audiences cried at the parts where Jack, with great humility, accepted the abuse heaped upon him and walked away," Rachel Robinson wrote. "His dignity and strength were touching to see."

 

While *The Jackie Robinson Story* isn't without its share of stilted performances, several members of the cast make a memorable impression. Most noteworthy is the young Ruby Dee in one of her first screen roles as Rachel Robinson; she turns the cliched stereotype of the baseball wife into a genuine character whose quiet resolve helped her husband to endure difficult times. Other standouts are the veteran actress Louise Beavers as Jackie's doting mother, and Richard Lane as Clay Hopper, the Montreal skipper who was forced to reconsider his own prejudices by Jackie's presence."

 

 

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/19169/The-Jackie-Robinson-Story/articles.html#00

 

 

I'll have to judge for meself on July 19, 2013.

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Apr 14, 2013 1:34 PM

"A working link, a working link, my kingdom for a working link!"

(OK. I don't have a kingdom. How about ten cents Canadian...)

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I saw the preview for the new Jackie Robinson movie. I was very disappointed to hear the hip hop music blaring in the background. Thankfully the filmmakers opted for more a more historically accurate soundtrack in the fil itself:

 

{font:Helvetica}{size:15px}http://www.soundtrack.net/movie/42{font}

 

Edited by: GoodGuysWearBlack on Apr 14, 2013 6:15 PM

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I just saw *42* yesterday. I was not disappointed. It was a genuine "feel good" movie, and all the better because it was true. Well, undoubtedly they "took some liberties" with the dialogue and other details, but as I understand it, this film is pretty close to the actual events of the time.

 

In any case, it was everything a well-made movie should be: well-acted, well-produced, engaging, moving, and above all, entertaining.

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This is one I really want to go see.

 

Btw, does anyone here remember seeing the 1990 made-of-TV-movie titled "The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson", starring that very good actor Andre Braugher? I remember liking it a lot, but after all this time the specifics of the film are rather sketchy, other than it takes place during WWII and when Lt. Jackie Robinson was disciplined for doing the same thing that Rosa Parks would be heralded for doing years later.

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I went to "42" on Friday and I've seen The Jackie Robinson Story several times. IMO in spite of the far greater production costs that went into the new one, they're pretty much the same movie, with the main difference being the graphic way the racism of the day was honestly portrayed in "42".

 

Knowing a fair amount about both the baseball and the social history of that period, I almost had to turn away at some of those embellished scenes that never took place in reality, and in fact never even could have. I started to make a mental list of them while watching, but quickly lost count. To take perhaps the most blatant example, the idea that Jackie Robinson would have stood frozen in place at home plate while watching his home run barely make it over the wall has got to be about the most ahistorical piece of crap I've ever seen in a baseball movie this side of The Babe Ruth Story. In 1947 that display of narcisscism would have turned even his greatest fans against him, as showboating like that was blessedly many decades in the future.

 

 

All that kvetching aside, it was still a good hagiography as hagiographies go, and both Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford were very good, giving quite accurate renderings of the real life Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey. Ford even bore an uncanny physical resemblance to the man known as "The Mahatma". What a fortunate coincidence for everyone that fate brought those two (Rickey and Robinson) together. All in all, "42" is a fairly good introduction to Jackie Robinson for anyone not familiar with his story, just as long as you take the movie for what it is and not for what it isn't. (IOW don't use "42" to bone up for a Jackie Robinson trivia quiz!)

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>To take perhaps the most blatant example, the idea that Jackie Robinson would have stood frozen in place at home plate while watching his home run barely make it over the wall has got to be about the most ahistorical piece of crap I've ever seen in a baseball movie this side of The Babe Ruth Story. In 1947 that display of narcisscism would have turned even his greatest fans against him, as showboating like that was blessedly many decades in the future.

 

Yep, it is a shame an anachronism such as that would be in this film.

 

(...reminds me of the seemingly little remembered and now seldom practiced advice Vince Lombardi is said to have told his players on the gridiron: "When you get in the end zone, act like you've been there before!")

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> {quote:title=GoodGuysWearBlack wrote:}{quote}I saw the preview for the new Jackie Robinson movie. I was very disappointed to hear the hip hop music blaring in the background. Thankfully the filmmakers opted for more a more historically accurate soundtrack in the fil itself:

>

> {font:Helvetica}{size:15px}http://www.soundtrack.net/movie/42{font}

>

>

>

 

 

 

"Brooklyn Go Hard" by Jay Z (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_Go_Hard) is the song used in the trailer for "42":

 

http://42movie.warnerbros.com/

 

It's just used for promo and not in the film itself...

 

Another review for "42" here: http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/Reviews/F/42/2013/04/11/20732856.html

 

 

Anyway, it's certainly a popular film, winning the weekend box office: http://boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/

 

 

TCM is airing the 1950 film "The Jackie Robinson Story" on July 19, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.:

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/19169/The-Jackie-Robinson-Story/

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Apr 15, 2013 8:31 AM

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Yes, at least I mentioned him below (misspelled his name 'tho and I'll go and fix that):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Doby

 

There is a documentary, "Pride Against Prejudice: The Larry Doby Story" narrated by Louis Gossett, Jr.: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1074207/

 

Doby did have a cameo in the George Brent flick (Hello Hibi!) "The Kid from Cleveland" (1949):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kid_from_Cleveland

 

And he has a cameo in the 1980 flick "It's My Turn": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_My_Turn_%28film%29

 

P.S. I'd vote for you, Finance, for TCM guest p...

 

 

 

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>I kind of resent all the attention Jackie Robinson gets, while Larry Doby, who broke the color barrier in the American League a few months later and also had a Hall of Fame career, gets virtually none.

 

That's always the way it is, finance. You might call it "The Charles W. Sweeney/Buzz Aldrin Phenomenon".

 

(...and who was Charles W. Sweeney, you might ask?...that was the guy who piloted the B-29 named "Bockscar" over Nagasaki in 1945)

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}I kind of resent all the attention Jackie Robinson gets, while Larry Doby, who broke the color barrier in the American League a few months later and also had a Hall of Fame career, gets virtually none.

There are several reasons for that relative lack of attention paid to Doby beyond the obvious one that Robinson's signing preceded Doby's by nearly two years.

 

Doby's rookie year was nothing special, while Jackie was voted Rookie of the Year.

 

And to be truthful, Robinson was a far superior ballplayer. Doby was very good, but a marginal Hall of Famer based on his Major League record alone. Robinson is in the conversation for greatest all-time second baseman, and is usually rated no worse than 5th. Doby is nowhere near that spot in any ranking of centerfielders.

 

What would make for a *very* good movie (although I doubt if it'd be a mainstream hit like "42" seems to be) would be one centered on the World Champion Cleveland Indians of 1948. That was not only Doby's breakthrough year, but it also featured the spectacular Major League debut of Satchel Paige, the amazing year of player-manager MVP Lou Boudreau, and last but not least, the Indians' "man of the people" owner Bill "Sportshirt" Veeck, who not only was responsible for signing Doby and Paige, but was also a promotional genius whose team set an all time attendance record that stood unchallenged for nearly 20 years. There was even an ABC TV series ( Home Front ) that was partially centered around the exploits of both that team and the even more accomplished Cleveland Browns football team of that same era.

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While Robinson's signing to the AMERICAN major league was followed by a mere 11 weeks after by Doby, doby was indeed the first black player in the American league( Robinson was in the National league).

 

And even though doby's career was longer, Robinson's final tally stats are a bit better.

 

And to quote someone on the subject, "Giving attention to the SECOND negro to sign with the majors is like giving attention to the SECOND man who invented the telephone".

 

At any rate, Doby never resented the attention Robinson got, even though the crap they went through was at the same level.

 

Sepiatone

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It was on this day - April 15 - in 1947 that Jackie Robinson made his debut playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers (in a game against the Boston Braves): http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/sports/baseball/remembering-jackie-robinsons-passion-and-fury.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=SP_RJR_20130415

 

And on this day all major leaguers wear Robinson's number 42 in his honour.

 

A.O. Scott review from "New York Times" of movie "42" here: http://movies.nytimes.com/2013/04/12/movies/42-with-chadwick-boseman-as-jackie-robinson.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=MO_WCB_20130415&_r=0

 

An earlier baseball player who many believe deserves acclaim as well is Bud Fowler:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/sports/baseball/cooperstown-to-honor-baseball-pioneer-bud-fowler.html?ref=jackierobinson

 

Anyway, the Montreal Royals were the Class AAA farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers when Robinson played for them. The only thing Canadian about the Royals were some of the team owners and the fact their home field was in Montreal (the grandfather of the new Liberal Party of Canada leader Justin Trudeau was one of the major shareholders and on the board of directors of the club).

The players and coaching staff were Americans.

The Royals belonged to the International League: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_Royals

 

So while the fans in Montreal didn't have a problem with Robinson, his fellow American players and coaches did.

 

As for the time frame, 11 weeks vs 2 years, Doby was signed directly from the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League to the Cleveland Indians.

 

So the time frame depends on whether you consider the Montreal Royals a part of Major League Baseball, or not.

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Apr 15, 2013 3:40 PM

Added info. about Justin Trudeau's grandfather, Charles E. Trudeau.

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"Signing"? You're referring to their first contract with the organization, rather than appearance in a major league game? There were several other Blacks signed by the Dodgers organization not too long after Robinson. John Wright, Don Newcombe, and Roy Campanella, I believe....... Talking about Robinson's major league career, you have to realize that it was relatively short, and he was going downhill by the mid '50s.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}"Signing"? You're referring to their first contract with the organization, rather than appearance in a major league game? There were several other Blacks signed by the Dodgers organization not too long after Robinson. John Wright, Don Newcombe, and Roy Campanella, I believe....... Talking about Robinson's major league career, you have to realize that it was relatively short, and he was going downhill by the mid '50s.

Of course I'm referring to Robinson's first contract, which was signed in October of 1945 and given a publicity blitz that was duplicated the next Spring, the next Summer, and all over again in 1947 when he was promoted to Brooklyn.

 

And yes, his career was short, for three very good reasons: His college career, the color bar, and World War II. Without those three barriers, he very likely would have been in the minors by 1939 and in the Majors by 1941 or 1942 at the latest, and would have had a career of a much more normal length.

 

Of course without those last two factors it's also possible that Robinson would have been a star in the NFL rather than baseball,* since football was considered his "best" sport. But then prior to 1946 the color bar was just as firmly entrenched in the NFL as it had been in Major League baseball.

 

* Robinson's football teammate at UCLA, Kenny Washington, was the first African American in the NFL after 1932, after which the league had adopted baseball's unofficial color line.

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It will be interesting to see what kind of a print TCM runs of THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY. The film is P.D. (another lapse by the Popkin boys) and all of the commerical prints I've seen are pretty soft 16mm dupes. I have a vintage original print and, even in fine quality the film looks a bit shabby. Good drama, though, and Minor Watson does a nice job as Branch Rickey.

 

Here's a youtube of a nice condition 16mm print, though its low contrast and noisy soundtrack leads me to believe that it was actually transferred from a negative:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxM_re5-aoU

 

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Time will tell. I haven't seen the movie and am going by the TCM article written by Jay Steinberg:

 

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/19169/The-Jackie-Robinson-Story/articles.html

 

Will try and catch it on July 19, 2013 at 2:30 p.m., if I can that day...

 

Can use the TCM "reminder" feature to remind myself by email...

 

 

 

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I've seen the Jackie Robinson Story in a very rough form....I think they have cleaned it up and put the film back to where you can watch it.....I hope they have fixed it and saved it.......

 

I saw Larry King on Fergusons late talk show last night, and he said he was there at Robinsons first game, and said 42 is a very good movie and says Harrison Ford should get an Oscar for his Branch Rickey.

 

I did see the late Buck O'Neil at Wright State University as a guest speaker in Black Awareness Month around Feb of 2000, or around that year.....You may have seen him on Ken Burns Baseball.......He talked of Sathcel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell and others, as well as his own years in the Negro Leagues before blacks were allowed to play with whites. ....In regards to Robinson, O'Neil said Jackie Robinson wasn't the best player of the Negro Leagues, but he was the one......He said Paige, Gibson, Bell and others were better players, but Jackie was the one.....and he told a story to explain that

 

He said they road in buses, at least two, and were on the road in these buses alot.......Their buses pulled into a small station in the south to get gas.....They asked the white station owner if they could use the rest room and maybe buy some food to eat.....The owner said no, which was not uncommon.....what was uncommon was this new player Jackie Robinson who had been in college and the military, and he told the white owner to take the pump out of the tank. That they would buy gas somewhere else.....Now Buck said this had never been done before......and he said you have to consider that this small country station may only sell a little bit of gas a week, and here we were with these big buses to fill up......and that white man saw those buses pulling out and losing all that money.....so he said, Ok, you can use the restroom.....and I think we can fix you up some food.....and see he changed.....and Jackie did that.....so Jackie wasn't the best player in the Negro Leagues...but he was THE ONE.......When it came to the black player to be the one to cross the color line of white baseball, Buck said Jackie was the ONE......

 

Now as for Negro League stats....the only stat I need is how good Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson were once the color line was broken.....It would be silly to think the best players of the Negro League couldn't have matched the stats of the whites only players of the first half of the 20th century. ......Now Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Cobb, Johnson, Matthews, Williams, Foxx and others would have still been good, but these Negro League stars would have been good also. ......Perhaps it took a World War II to show how Nazi-Hitler like this **** whites only baseball was.

 

Larry King says he is going to go to see 42 again.

 

Let me add that Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball two decades before Martin Luther King Jr gave his I have a Dream speach and the 1960s march to get voting rights, and buses, restaurants and public drinking fountains were still segretated, not just Alabama and Mississippi, but Las Vegas and the North and all over this WASP only 1960s USA. ......and early in the 1970s, In Cincinnati, either before an All-Star Game or the Opening Day Game in which Hank Aaron would tie Babe Ruths home run record, Jackie Robinson told the crowd, that someday he hopes to see a black manager in baseball.....a few years later Frank Robinson did just that.

 

Edited by: WhyaDuck on Apr 16, 2013 3:36 PM

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It is refreshing that '42' wasn't made as a PC version of events. e.g. the 'N' word is used a lot in the film and this is an accurate representation of what that sick manager of the Phillies' Ben Chapman would say to Robinson during games especially when he was up at bat.

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I agree....a politicaly correct 42 movie would be historicaly incorrect........and those that want to make Mark Twains ' Huckelberry Finn ' politicialy correct are historicaly incorrect......' Huckelberry Finn ' is writen by a southerner that saw slaves on the trading blocks in chains, he wrote of what he saw, and it is accurate......and we should not rewrite history to be politiacaly correct, because failing to remember history forces mankind to relive it. .......The N word in ' Huckleberry Finn " and as you say in this 42, is historically correct, and to make it seem like Jackie Robinson was welcomed with open arms would be wrong, and young people then would have absolutely no idea what the movie is or who Jackie Robinson is or the conflict in Huck between white evangelism for slavery yet him helping this black slave escape.

 

I agree that PC needed to be left out of this one.

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