What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 42 is an inspiring biopic about the two years in which baseball legend Jackie Robinson broke the sport's color barrier. It's not a complete biography -- just a snapshot of the 1946 and 1947 seasons. Expect many uses of the "N" word; but considering the institutional racism of the 1940s, the word is important to convey the times. Other racial slurs include "boy," "monkey," and "coon"; other language includes occasional use of words like "s--t" and "a--hole." There are a few near fistfights between the Dodgers and opposing players, and at one point a fellow Dodger pushes Robinson; a fight almost ensues. Despite the difficult language and serious themes, the movie offers important historical and ethical lessons for younger viewers and sports fans.
- Families can talk about 42's themes and messages. Why are Jackie Robinson's accomplishments so significant? Can you think of other athletes/public figures who've faced similar challenges?
- How have sports changed since the 1940s? Are some of the issues raised in the film still present?
- Talk about the difference between a biographical film that covers an entire life and those that concentrate on one time period of a historical figure's life. Which do you prefer? Why?
- Why are many sports movies so compelling? What are some good examples of inspiring sports movies?