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1) Truly Powerful. (Michelle Obama)

2) As one of those who has “made it,” I would like to be thought of as an inspiration to our young. But I don’t want them lied to. (Jackie Robinson)

3) But where did Rickey get that crazy idea and why did Robinson agree? The film doesn't tell us, but the answers to these questions lie in the devout Christian faith of both men. For starters, Rickey himself was a "Bible-thumping Methodist" who refused to attend games on Sunday. He sincerely believed it was God's will that he integrate baseball and saw it as an opportunity to intervene in the moral history of the nation, as Abraham Lincoln had done. (Eric Metaxas)

4) Yet before there was the Voting Rights Act. Before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat or Dr. King became a symbol of nonviolent defiance, there was Jackie Robinson. (Ayana Byrd)

5) A bond developed between us that lasted long after I had left the game. In a way I feel I was the son he [Branch Rickey] had lost and he was the father I had lost. (Jackie Robinson)

6) To explain that the agonies and heartbreak of the Civil Rights Era still lay ahead would prick the happy balloon 42 sends into the air. It’s a conversation starter, then, a perfectly respectable thing for a movie to be. (Mary Pols)

7) You can see the pain and rage on Robinson’s face as he tries to concentrate on his at-bat, knowing if he goes after Chapman, the headlines won’t be about the hateful manager — they’ll be about the first black player in the major leagues “attacking” the opposition. (Richard Roeper)

8) The inspiration of their innocence is amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the small, shrill voice of a tiny white kid who, in the midst of a racially tense atmosphere during an early game in a Dixie town, cried out, “Attaboy, Jackie.” It broke the tension and it made me feel I had to succeed. (Jackie Robinson)

9) It helped that Robinson had both a devilish and cussed streak as an athlete. His signature move was to drift dangerously far from his base, distracting the pitcher as he stood crouched with both arms moving in a constant, jittering shake, relying on his speed to beat the thrown ball back to the base point. Star attraction Robinson had poise and obstinacy and his arrival prompted floods of African-Americans through the turnstiles at Ebbets Field while paving the way for baseball players from other ethnic groups to sign major league contracts. He was the equivalent of Rosa Parks in a sporting context (and Parks's refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger occurred in 1955, some eight years after Robinson's admittance to baseball) and in the decades since he broke the taboo he has gone from being baseball's most unwelcome arrival to perhaps its most honoured player. (Keith Duggan)

10) It also helps that Helgeland (an Oscar winner for writing "L.A. Confidential") does not soft-pedal the savage, poisonous nature of the racism Robinson had to deal with. Especially effective in this regard is a sequence depicting the nonstop vitriol hurled at Robinson by Philadelphia Phillies Manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk) -- abuse Robinson had vowed not to respond to. (Kenneth Turan)

11) Today as I look back on that opening game of my first World Series, I must tell you that it was Mr. Rickey’s drama and that I was only a principal actor. As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made. (Jackie Robinson)

12) Because Robinson's breakthrough came in the United States of America, it's also a tale complicated by its sense of keen economic opportunity: you know, money. And ''42'' doesn't shy from that fact. Mr. Ford's Rickey says, ''Dollar's aren't black and white,'' and the Dodger manager Leo Durocher, played by Christopher Meloni, states, ''We're playing for money here, Mr. Rickey.” (Dana Jennings)

13) We know that Robinson's passionate sense of justice had gotten him into trouble earlier in life. But the patient mentoring of pastor Karl Downs convinced him that Christ's command to "resist not evil" wasn't a cowardly way out but a profoundly heroic stance. But the filmmakers of 42 were evidently uncomfortable with this part of the story and simply avoided it. In baseball terms, they pitched around it. (Eric Metaxas)

14) I was, after all, a human being. What was I doing here turning the other cheek as though I weren’t a man? In college days I had had a reputation as a black man who never tolerated affronts to his dignity. I had defied prejudice in the Army. How could I have thought that barriers would fall, that, indeed, my talent could triumph over bigotry? (Jackie Robinson)

15) But Boseman, 30, is the best part of this new film, infusing his Robinson with a restrained intensity that is evident when he is in the office of general manager Branch Rickey (an earnest Harrison Ford), in the Dodgers' clubhouse and, certainly, as he bounces away from first base, fingers twitching, dust raised around his ankles. (Kostya Kennedy)

16) It’s a tough scene to sit through, with the likable character actor Alan Tudyk bravely portraying this real-life embodiment of pure, ignorant, racist hate, and Chadwick Boseman doing equally fine work as a the fiery, intense Robinson, who must perform with the weight of instant history on his shoulders — while racists such as Chapman (and some of Jackie’s own teammates) are hectoring him every step of the way. (Richard Roeper)

17) Clay Hopper began to come around only after I demonstrated that I was a valuable property for the club. (Jackie Robinson)

18) The days when people could casually lob racial smears over the fence as they did at Robinson have long disappeared and the word "nigger" is probably the single most taboo word in American English. It has become off limits for whites. In fact, the opposite pertains now. The prevailing code of communication between people of all ethnicities is of fastidious politeness. (Keith Duggan)

19) Robinson's combination of fortitude, restraint and passion for the game was stunning. You can't help getting caught up in this story, even as you are wishing the telling was sharper than it is. (Kenneth Turan)

20) To hell with the image of the patient black freak I was supposed to create. I could throw down my bat, stride over to the Phillies dugout, grab one of those white sons of bitches and smash his teeth in with my despised black fist. Then I could walk away from it all. I’d never become a sports star. But my son could tell his son someday what his daddy could have been if he hadn't been too much of a man. (Jackie Robinson)

21) The players all looked so blandly alike, with their neat short haircuts and white, white skins, that I had a hard time figuring out who was who—the racists all blend together—and found that later on, as the Dodgers started emerging as characters, I couldn’t remember who I was supposed to revile and who didn’t seem so bad; they’re off the hook somehow, especially as they grow into a team. (Mary Pols)

22) The sliding moral scale of major league baseball at the time was such that Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher was suspended for an entire season for having an affair with a married actress — but Chapman was just told to knock it off with the racist taunts and to pose for a publicity photo with Robinson (Richard Roeper)

23) I had learned how to exercise self-control -- to answer insults, violence, and injustice with silence -- and I had learned how to earn the respect of my teammates. They had learned that it’s not skin color but talent and ability that counts. Maybe even the bigots had learned that, too. (Jackie Robinson)

24) That this all happened in 1947 — history recent enough there are people around who remember it — might come as shocking news to younger generations who know little about Jackie Robinson other than that his number 42 being universally retired because he broke baseball’s shameful color barrier. For this reason alone, “42” is a valuable film — a long overdue, serious big-screen biopic about one of the most important American pioneers of the 20th century. (Richard Roeper)

25) Yes, Robinson was a symbol, a lightning rod for both black and white America. But it's important to remember he was also all athlete, a feral ballplayer, a professional who played his chosen game hard. (Dana Jennings)

26) I am not talking about the things that happened to me in order to portray myself as some kind of martyr. I am recording them because I want to warn the white world that young blacks today are not willing -- nor should they be-- to endure the humiliations I did. I suffered them because I hoped to provide a better future for my children and for young black people everywhere, and because I naively believed that my sacrifices might help a little to make America the kind of country it was supposed to be. (Jackie Robinson)

27) “I am delighted and moved by his performance,” says Robinson's widow, Rachel, now 90. “He has a quiet dignity that reminds me of Jack. And he got the stance.” (Kostya Kennedy)

28) The Jackie Robinson of “42” is a high school history lesson, lacking in complexity and nuance. Even the domestic scenes with the beautiful Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson paint an almost too-perfect picture. (Richard Roeper)

29) Not being able to fight back is a form of severe punishment. I was relieved when Mr. Rickey finally called me into his office and said, “Jackie, you’re on your own now. You can be yourself now.” (Jackie Robinson)

30) “42” falls short in giving us a full measure of the man himself. (Richard Roeper)

31) It’s not easy to play a stoic, but Boseman anchors the movie, and when he smiles, 42, already such a warm story of such cold times, gets even brighter. (Mary Pols)

32) The same old Jackie Robinson Story is still turning up here and there on television. It was exciting to participate in it. But later I realized it had been made too quickly, that it was budgeted too low, and that, if it had been made later in my career, it could have been done much better. (Jackie Robinson)

33) As written and directed by Brian Helgeland, “42” is competent, occasionally rousing and historically respectful — but it rarely rises above standard, old-fashioned biography fare. It’s a mostly unexceptional film about an exceptional man. (Richard Roeper)

34) He was thrust into a position he had never prepared for -- being the leader of a whole race. (Ralph Branca, qtd in Coffey)

35) Jackie Roosevelt Robinson might have had more obstacles than his first-year competitors, and that he perhaps had a harder fight to gain even major league recognition was no concern of this publication. The sociological experiment that Robinson represented, the trail blazing that he did, the barriers he broke down, did not enter into the decision. He was rated and examined solely as a freshman player in the big leagues -- on the basis of his hitting, his running, his defensive play, his team value. (Sporting News qtd in Robinson, I Never Had It Made 68)

36) From the soundtrack to the speechifying to the subject material to the script’s somber tone, “42” has the uniform of an Oscar contender, but it falls short of Hall of Fame status. Jackie Robinson was great. “42” is good. (Richard Roeper)

37) But despite their common thread the most intriguing thing is what sets these two movies apart: It appears that ''Man of Steel'' wants to try to humanize the comic-book legend, while ''42'' makes a legend of the very human Jack Roosevelt Robinson. (Dana Jennings)

38) This is the United States of America, and one citizen has as much right to play as another. (Ford Frick, qtd in Robinson, I Never Had It Made 62)

39) And yet he was the same because Boseman seemed to burn inside with the flame I so often saw burst open during games while covering the Dodgers during Robinson's last four seasons, from 1953 to 1956. The flame that once seemed about to blister me. (Dave Anderson)

40) We think everybody in this country needs to watch it. (Michelle Obama)

41) When Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record of 714 home runs (about 18 months after Robinson's death in 1972), racist letters hounded him, but he never talked about them publicly until years later. And if he sees ''42,'' he'll appreciate Jack Roosevelt Robinson even more. (Dave Anderson)

42) Ben Chapman, who during his career with the Yankees was frequently involved in unpleasant incidents with fans who charged him with shouting anti-Semitic remarks at them from the ball field, seems to be up to his old trick of stirring up racial trouble. During the recent series between the Phils and the Dodgers, Chapman and three of his players poured a stream of abuse at Jackie Robinson. Jackie, with admirable restraint, ignored the guttersnipe language coming from the Phils dugout, thus stamping himself as the only gentleman among those involved in the incident. (New York Daily Mirror, qtd in Robinson, I Never Had It Made 60)

43) Robinson's words bring us up short because, culturally, we want his legend -- a cross-pollination of proud American mythology and exceptionalism -- to be true because it makes us feel good about ourselves, about baseball, about our perceived progress on race relations. (Dana Jennings)

44) A quick Google search reveals that the real Chapman, while no Han Solo, was not quite as unappetizing as Helgeland’s film makes him out to be. Will this have an effect of affording the white audience a comforting distance from the things he’s saying? (Mary Pols)

45) Here is a great American Hero who refuses to be a mythical hero. (Cornel West in Robinson, I Never Had It Made xi)

46) 42’s purpose is not to make us feel shame in our national shortcomings, at least not primarily, but pride in his triumph. (Mary Pols)

47) Among the many languages of the Civil Rights movement—the oratory of Martin Luther King Jr., the determined activism of Medgar Evers, the poetry of Langston Hughes—perhaps none resonated with more simple eloquence than the baseball playing of Jackie Robinson. (Kostya Kennedy)

48) There's nothing wrong in playing the legend card. But legends, by their very nature, are two-dimensional, and Robinson was a complicated, multifaceted man. (Dana Jennings)

49) The achievements of inspirational Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947, don't need to be hammered home with blaring music, platitudinous dialogue and over-earnest repetition. Robinson's contributions to the world speak volumes and would have benefited greatly from a less heavy-handed and stiff treatment than that by writer-director Brian Helgeland. (Claudia Puig)

50) “We were passionately in love and I'm pleased the film captured that,” says [Mrs.] Robinson. “As Jackie entered this new arena where he was going to be severely challenged by social forces, he needed me. And I felt protective of him.” (Ayana Byrd)

51) They’d throw miniature cotton bales at him, black cats, slices of watermelon. (Ralph Branca, qtd in Coffey)

52) Did Helgeland think that it would be more palatable to a mass audience if he focused on a white baseball executive as much as on a black player who changed the face of the game (Claudia Puig)

53) Omitting the role of faith in Robinson's story does a serious disservice to history -- and to the memories of Robinson and Rickey. It's also financially foolish. The recent mega-success of The Bible miniseries and the $600 million earned by Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ in 2004 show that the audience for faith-friendly films is huge and growing. (Eric Metaxas)

54) He had the guts and the brains for it. For three years he turned the other cheek. It was astonishing. (Ralph Branca, qtd in Coffey)

55) By focusing on Robinson's first season in 1947, the film feels incomplete, despite a few powerful scenes on the diamond. The viewer yearns to know what came before and after his record-breaking debut. (Claudia Puig)

56) On April 15, for the fifth straight year, every major leaguer will indeed wear number 42, and all of them, one suspects, know Robinson's name. Fewer though, may know how aggressively and intelligently he played, and the difference that it made. 42 can show them. (Kostya Kennedy)

57) The reason director Brian Helgeland plays with such a straight bat is he is tackling the most slippery and volatile subject in America: race. Just because black music and sports stars are feted now doesn't mean skin colour has ceased to be an issue. Ask anyone who grew up in the vicinity of Kimani Gray. Or ask the Miami Heat basketball team why they posed in hoodies in sympathy with Trayvon Martin -- another black teenager shot dead for being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and most could probably explain they had been in that situation themselves. (Keith Duggan)

58) Writer/director Brian Helgeland’s warmly inspirational 42 approaches the Jackie Robinson story as something glowing with as much promise as the youthful Robinson embodied in 1945. (Mary Pols)

59) Robinson not only improves the status of black people, but he also lessens the prejudice and hostility of the white people he comes into contact with. Everywhere Robinson plays and goes there are white men judging and controlling him. He has to impress them with his skill, courage, and determination. (Frank Ardolino)

60) Newcomer Chadwick Boseman is terrific as Robinson. He conveys a powerful blend of physicality, bravery, intelligence and stoicism. And Nicole Beharie is superb as his supportive wife Rachel. But Harrison Ford's portrayal of Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey is more blustery and caricatured than fully formed. (Claudia Puig)

61) [Robinson] burned with a dark fire. He wanted passionately to win. . . . He calculated the rivals' weaknesses and measured his own strengths and knew . . . the precise move to make at precisely the moment of maximum effect. . . . He bore the burden of a pioneer and the weight made him strong. . . . We shall not look upon his like again. (Roger Kahn xix)