Jackie Robinson Story, The

1704. THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY (1950-usa). With JACKIE ROBINSON, RUBY DEE, MINOS WATSON, LOUISE BEAVERS. Directed by ALFRED E. GREEN. In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson became the first black to appear in a modern era major league baseball game. If Robinson was lacking in the ability to not only play but star in the majors, or if he was lacking in character, he might- for awhile, at Ieast – have been the last of his race to grace a National or American League roster. Jackie, however hit a solid .297 in that initial major league season, leading his league with 29 stolen bases. Two years later he not only repeated as stolen base champ (with 37) but topped the league in hitting with a .342 average The following year, he starred as himself in this celluloid biography which oozes warmth, intelligence ant irony. The scenario details Jackie’s boyhood love for the the sport; his distinguished career as a college track and football star; his time in the Negro Leagues; his signing to an organized baseball contract by Brooktyr Dodgers’ President Branch Rickey(nicely played by veteran character actor Minor Watson); the troubled first days of his pro career as he plays for the Dodgers’ minor league affiliate in Montreal, where his presence or the field resulted in controversy and he was instructed by Rickey to ignore the racist taunts of fans and players his promotion to the major leagues; and his eventual acceptance as both a professional athlete and human being. To its credit, the script never becomes mired in unnecessary sentimentality or platitudes. For its day it is a remarkably forthright look at the obstacles facing black Americans during the pre-civil rights era. Thii film is both fine entertainment, and an invaluable historical record of one of the century’s most courageous pioneers. 77 minutes. Diodrama