The Jackie Robinson Story
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|The Jackie Robinson Story|
|Directed by||Alfred E. Green|
|Produced by||Mort Briskin, William J Heineman (United Artists)|
|Written by||Arthur Mann
|Music by||Herschel Burke Gilbert|
|Editing by||Arthur H. Nadel|
|Distributed by||Eagle-Lion Films Inc. (initial release)
MGM/Fox Video (2002, DVD)
|Release dates||May 16, 1950|
|Running time||76 min.|
The Jackie Robinson Story is a 1950 biographical film starring baseball legend Jackie Robinson as himself. The film focuses on Robinson's struggle with the abuse of racist bigots as he becomes the first African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Even during its release in the era of racial segregation, the film received critical praise and fared well at the box office.
On April 19, 2005, 20th Century Fox and Legend Films released a colorized version of the film, donating a portion of the proceeds to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a charity that benefits education for gifted students. An "official" version remains in release by MGM Home Entertainment (whose sister company, United Artists, produced this film).
The film begins with Robinson as a child, being given a worn-out baseball glove by a stranger impressed by his fielding skills. As a young man, he becomes a multi-sport star at the University of California, Los Angeles, but as he nears graduation, he worries about his future. His older brother Mack was also an outstanding college athlete and graduate, but the only job he could get was that of a lowly street cleaner.
When America enters World War II, Robinson is drafted, serving as an athletic director. Afterward, he plays baseball with a professional African-American team. However, the constant travel keeps him away from his college sweetheart, Rae.
Then one day, Brooklyn Dodgers scout Clyde Sukeforth invites him to meet Branch Rickey, president of the Major League Baseball team. At first, Robinson considers the offer to be a practical joke, as there are no African Americans allowed in the segregated major leagues. When he is convinced that the opportunity is genuine, he and Rickey size each other up. After thinking over Rickey's warning about the hatred and abuse he would have to endure without being able to strike back, Robinson signs with the Dodgers' International League farm team, the Montreal Royals. Though he wants to delay marrying Rae to shield her, she insists on an immediate wedding so she can support her man in the trying times ahead.
Robinson leads the league in hitting in his first year, and despite the grave concerns expressed by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Rickey goes ahead and promotes him to the Dodgers. Reviled at first by many of the fans and some of his own teammates, Robinson gets off to a shaky start, playing out of position at first base and going through a hitting slump, but then gradually wins people over with his talent and determination. The team goes on to win the pennant, with Robinson driving in the tying run and scoring the winning one in the deciding game.
- Jackie Robinson as Himself
- Ruby Dee as Rae Robinson
- Minor Watson as Branch Rickey
- Louise Beavers as Jackie's mother
- Richard Lane as Clay Hopper
- Harry Shannon as Frank Shaughnessy
- Ben Lessy as Shorty
- William Spaulding as Himself (as Bill Spaulding)
- Billy Wayne as Clyde Sukeforth
- Joel Fluellen as Mack Robinson
- Bernie Hamilton as Ernie
- Kenny Washington as Tigers Manager
- Pat Flaherty as Karpen
- Larry McGrath as Umpire
- Emmett Smith as Catcher
- Howard Louis MacNeely as Jackie as a boy
- George Dockstader as Bill
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Jackie Robinson Story.|
- The Jackie Robinson Story at the Internet Movie Database
- The Jackie Robinson Story at the TCM Movie Database
- The Jackie Robinson Story at allmovie
- The Jackie Robinson Story is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- The Jackie Robinson Story at Google Videos (Adobe Flash video)