42 — Incredible Movie, Baseball Fan or Not

My wife and I were able to see a screening of “42,” a movie about Jackie Robinson breaking into the major leagues in 1947.

Being a huge fan of baseball, and watching Ken Burns’ “Baseball” series from PBS every year, and having read somewhat extensively on Jackie Robinson, this movies still had some nice surprises for me.

One thing I had read, and the thing that is always talked about in 1947, was the incredible verbal abuse Robinson had to endure. But even in interviews, people couldn’t bring themselves to actually say the things that were said in those days. In our day of verbal niceties, it’s just too hard to bring ourselves to say those things anymore.

The film had a few key spots where the characters didn’t hold back. One scene in particular is incredibly intense as the Phillies manager berates Robinson constantly and the language is incredibly harsh to hear. I wanted to come out of theater seat and go beat the guy up!

There were moments I knew had happened, and seeing them portrayed on film was powerful. The moment PeeWee Reese came over to put his arm around Robinson as they stood together at first base was deeply moving.

Baseball fan or not, this is a good movie to see. It deals with an important moment in baseball and in our nation.


The only time I feel comfortable writing those words without feeling like I’m cursing is when it has to do with a title. This one does.

It’s a new documentary coming out to limited screens, including one in my metro area. There will also be a follow up time with the filmmaker and local pastor Greg Boyd, who is in the documentary.

Mark Galli isn’t impressed with the film. For some reason he thinks the filmmaker leaves too many questions out there. For some reason Galli thinks the film isn’t decided about the issue. It IS decisive on the issue. All you have to do is watch clips of Mark Driscoll foaming at the mouth with his “classical” Reformed view of hell, then switch to a very calm, very sedated universalist who quietly explains his or her position and why it’s worth considering and you know exactly what the filmmaker thinks on this issue.

That said, it may be something worth watching and then discussing. The film opens Friday in a local Twin Cities theater, along with other limited showings across the country.