Christopher Meloni has a small but entertaining part as former Dodgers manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher, while John C. McGinley deserves mention for his extremely amusing turn as legendary announcer Red Barber.
The most memorable and powerful scene in “42,” though, is courtesy of usual funny man Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”), who plays redneck Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman and delivers a long and unrelenting vitriolic rant while Robinson is at the plate. It’s uncomfortable and painful to watch — and thoroughly unforgettable.
“42” is authentic and touching. All baseball fans should see it, but it should appeal even to those who don’t already know the significance of the number.
Rental Recommendation: The first Jackie Robinson movie, “The Jackie Robinson Story,” came out in 1950 — just three years after his historic debut — and it actually starred Robinson himself, coming off an MVP season. He was a much better ballplayer than actor. Grade: C+
Email Steve Ouellette: firstname.lastname@example.org
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie
Rated: PG-13 (for thematic elements including language)
Running time: 128 minutes