The film 42 is important because it is showing how hard it was for African Americans to be accepted into the MLB and not play in their own league. The movie is showing how Jackie Robinson dealt with all of the threats and other obstacles, so he could succeed in the MLB.
At the time, the MLB was filled with 400 white players while the African Americans had their own league. The movie is also important because it shows how unwelcome Jackie Robinson was when he first joined the league. As the film goes on it shows how influential he was to not only African American kids, but also white kids. There is a part in the movie where Jackie Robinson and Branch Ricky (Brooklyn Dodgers owner) were talking and Branch Ricky saw a white kid imitating Jackie on the field by rubbing dirt on his hands like Jackie did before he went up to bat every time. Jackie was probably the most influential baseball player because at a time in baseball where he was not wanted, hated, etc. by white adults, he had white kids mimicking him when they were supposed to hate him. He paved the way for other African American players in the MLB and all other sports.
The historical significance of this film is that it’s showing what it took to make African Americans accepted into American sports. This film has taken place in 1947 which is at the climax of segregation and was one who was breaking down the color barricade for other African Americans to follow in his footsteps.
The major themes of the film 42 is the integration of African Americans into sports and society, standing up for what you think is right, and facing adversity. The integration of African Americans into sports with white people is important because before 1947, African Americans had to play in their own league. At the time it was an unheard of idea for an African American to play with white people. I think it is important that people take from this movie the idea that you need to stand up for what you think is right. In the movie, the Dodgers owner, Branch Ricky, believed that you should do whatever it takes to win, and it shouldn’t matter if you are black or white. If you are good enough, you should get to play and there shouldn’t be segregation in sports. The reason he signed Jackie Robinson was because he believed that he would help them win and that it wasn’t fair that they were being treated like they were being treated. In the movie, Jackie asks him why he was doing this (by signing him to play). Branch said that when he was at this junior college, they had a black catcher and he didn’t do enough to help him. Ever since then, he vowed to do more.
In the movie 42 there is a lot of adversity Jackie has to overcome. In the film there is a scene where Pewee Reese walks into Branch Ricky’s office before the Dodgers versus the Reds game. Pewee Reese was complaining about how he got one letter calling him a name of carpet bagger. He shows this to Branch. He walks over to a filing cabinet and pulled out three full manila folders of bad letters and death threats that Jackie had gotten. Branch told Pewee to basically deal get over it. The adversity that Jackie was dealing with was so much harder and from so many people. If Jackie had not persevered through it, it would have taken much longer for African Americans to be accepted into American sports. Branch Ricky also faced adversity because white people didn’t agree with what he was doing. He had to stand up for what he believed was right.