42 Movie Poster

Trivia for 42

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  • Howard Baldwin and wife Karen Elise Baldwin developed this project after Ray (2004). They commented on how hard it was to get an African-American bio pic made.
  • The role of Branch Rickey was originally intended for Robert Redford.
  • The Birmingham (Alabama) News reported that Birmingham's Rickwood Field, the oldest surviving professional baseball field in the US, "played" three different roles in this movie. It doubled for Franklin D. Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which no longer exist. It also appeared as "itself" in a scene recreating the 1945 season when Jackie Robinson was a member of the Kansas City Monarchs.
  • Pee Wee Reese's line that someday all Dodger players might be wearing the number 42 was actually said by Dodgers outfielder Gene Hermanski in 1951. Brian Helgeland liked the quote so much, he had Reese say it because he is a central character. Since 2004, every April 15th has been "Jackie Robinson Day" in Major League baseball, and every player wears number 42. Robinson's first day in the Major Leagues was April 15, 1947.
  • When calling the catch of a fly ball in the movie, broadcaster Red Barber says "Back, back, back..." In another play-by-play call, he exclaims "Oh, Doctor!" Contrary to popular belief, Barber didn't use either line regularly. Barber said the only time he used those lines in a broadcast was when he called Al Gionfriddo's dramatic, game-saving catch off of Joe DiMaggio in the 1947 World Series. Since recordings of that Barber call became so famous, many people assumed they were trademark calls.
  • In the movie, the punishment for not agreeing to play on the same team with Jackie Robinson was being "traded to Pittsburgh". Branch Rickey left the Dodgers in 1950, and become general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1953. Bobby Bragan, who said he wanted to be traded but then asked not to be, ended up managing the Pirates in 1956.
  • Branch Rickey is Harrison Ford's second film role playing a real life character. The first was Capt. Alexei Vostrikov, based on Nikolai Vladimirovich Zateyev, in K-19: The Widowmaker (2002).
  • The film broke the record for highest box office opening weekend by a baseball movie. The previous record holder was The Benchwarmers (2006).
  • Although Chadwick Boseman underwent weeks of baseball training to prepare for his leading role, Jasha Balcom, a former minor league player, was his stuntman in some scenes.
  • In 1997, baseball commissioner Bud Selig universally retired Jackie Robinson's number, 42. The handful of players still wearing the number were allowed to keep it. As of the film's release, only Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees continued to wear 42 on a daily basis. Rivera retired at the end of the 2013 season. As of 2014, barring special requests or approval, no major league player will wear #42 again.
  • Alan Tudyk claimed that he and Chadwick Boseman deliberately avoided fraternizing while filming their scenes together, to better convey the animosity between Jackie Robinson and Ben Chapman.
  • Branch Rickey blurts out "Judas Priest!" According to those closest to Rickey, that was the worst profanity he ever uttered.
  • Four players from the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers were still alive when this film came out: Tommy Brown, Ralph Branca, Marv Rackley, and Don Lund.
  • The movie sanitizes Leo Durocher's speech to the Dodgers on the eve of their planned strike in protest of the signing of Jackie Robinson. His actual quote was "Don't care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fucking zebra, I'm manager of this team, he plays!"
  • For the scenes when Ben Chapman taunts Robinson, Alan Tudyk got into character by watching videos of street fighting before each take.
  • The last scene of the movie takes place at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. As Jackie Robinson rounds the bases for his home run, one shot includes the Cathedral of Learning, a famous building at the University of Pittsburgh. In real life, Forbes Field was right next to the university. Forbes Field was torn down after the Pirates moved to Three Rivers Stadium in 1970, and the university kept home plate in its exact location. Forbes Field's home plate is encased in the ground at the same location as in the movie, in William Posvar Hall at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • (Cameo) Kelley Jakle: the babysitter. Jakle is Branch Rickey's great-granddaughter.
  • Branch mentions that Jackie wishes he wasn't leading the league in hit by pitch. Jackie Robinson finished 1947 as the batter most hit by pitchers, with 9.
  • While it is true that Jackie Robinson didn't get a hit in his first game, he did get on base via a throwing error by Bob Elliott, third baseman for Boston. He scored later, when Pete Resier hit a double.
  • The line "No. I want a player who's got the guts *not* to fight back." was actually said by Branch Rickey to Jackie Robinson.
  • The film does not explore Jackie Robinson's career with the Montreal Royals, but he was hugely popular. After leading the team to the league championship, it was noted: ..."probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob that had love, not lynching, on its mind."
  • T.R. Knight and James Pickens Jr.. used to star together on Grey's Anatomy (2005).
  • Nicole Beharie also starred in The Express (2008) as Ernie Davis's girlfriend. Chadwick Boseman had a brief, minor role in that movie, but shared no scenes with Beharie.
  • Jack Nicholson was considered to play Branch Rickey.
  • Jackie Robinson was not the first black major league baseball player, but he was the first in the 20th century. The first black major league player was Moses Fleetwood Walker, on the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. He was followed by his brother Weldy. Evidence suggests that another player named William White may have played even earlier.
  • In the movie, Branch Rickey punishes some of his rebelling players by trading them, or threatening to trade them, to the Pittsburgh Pirates, in that they were one of the worst teams in the National League. Coincidently, in 2013, the same year the movie was released, the Pirates ended a streak of 20 straight losing seasons, going 94-68 and making the playoffs where they beat the Cincinnati Reds in the Wild Card Game but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.
  • Harrison Ford purposely played Branch Rickey wearing prosthetics and talked in a different voice so that people wouldn't know it was him.
  • Mr. Jackie Robinson, was an excellent pitcher. In fact, most professional scouts pursued him in regard to his arm talent. But, the scout that pursued him as a fielder, did so in hopes of Jackie embarrassing himself in the field. Thus, proving "black" players didn't belong. Of course the story didn't go as the scout had hoped.
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