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That's what happens when you try to find a stranger in the alps, Gonfalon
Name a good football movie.
The one thing constant about Jackie Robinson after 1948 is that he never pulled any punches in any direction.
Phil Elliott: Jo Bob is here to remind us that the biggest and the baddest get to make all the rules.
Charlotte: Well I don't agree with that.
Phil Elliott: Agreeing doesn't play into it.
Conrad Hunter: People who confuse brains and luck can get in a whole lot of trouble. Seeing through the game is not the same as winning the game.
Maxwell: You know Hartman, goodie-two-shoes is fidgeting around like a one-legged cat trying to bury #### on a frozen pond, until old Seth fixes him a couple of pink poontang specials. You know, that crazy drink that I fix for stewardesses? Two shots out of that and Hartman is shot to ####, freaked out. I mean, I never saw a guy having so much fun and crying at the same time.
Conrad Hunter: There's one thing I learned early on in life. The most important thing a man can have.
Phil Elliott: What's that, money?
Conrad Hunter: Luck. Luck tells me something about a man. If my people are lucky, they tap into a big field. If not, they can have every geology degree in the world and drill one dry duster after another. Look at me. I'm the luckiest man in the world. Sure as hell ain't brains, is it?
the fault of a director who had no idea how to use Dan Hedaya's considerable talents without letting Hedaya collapse into the caricature he's always on the verge of becoming
Got to tell you, I'm deeply suspicious of any film directed by Ron Howard. Is Cinderella Man really worth a look?
And after Robinson pops out in that final at bat, he then races down the runway and starts smashing his bat against the concrete before breaking down in private tears, enraged by Chapman's abuse and his own inability to retaliate. All this while the teams are changing sides between innings.
After Robinson's pennant-winning home run, the movie has him standing at the plate, watching the ball sail over the wall, and then has him staring at the wall for another few seconds before starting his home run trot
I was puzzled on how they had won the pennant with that HR, yet the Pirates team stood defiantly on the field still. I know customs have changed, but I couldn't see players hanging around during a walk-off HR just in case he doesn't finish circling the bases.
My take was that the vast majority of the scene was happening while the Dodgers were still at bat (did we know that Jackie's out was the third?), and only when the organ music came up was when the inning break occured. This was when Jackie told Rickey that "they are taking the field".
Great post, YR. I can't give the fight my full attention right now but I bookmarked the link.
I liked it. More important, my 10-year-old son really liked it.
Jolly--your review makes 42 seem abundantly missable until it gets to cable. Sounds like the standard biopic.
In 1947 Robinson's presence drew enormous numbers of black fans on the road**, nearly all of them instant Dodger fans. That part of the movie was totally legit.
Sorry for the misunderstanding of your point, but it's also true that the white opposition to Robinson, at least outside the South, was far from unanimous. It's also worth remembering that in player interviews going back to the 30's, interviews that included most of the game's biggest stars, there was strong support for dropping the color barrier.
(D)uring an early-season series in Brooklyn, the level of verbal abuse directed by Chapman and his players at Robinson reached such proportions that it made headlines in the New York and national press.
After all, college and pro football had long been integrated,
he'd been the first in the most racist of the major sports.
Am I missing something? The Dodgers signed Robinson before the NFL signed Kenny Washington.
Pro basketball wasn't integrated until 1950
To white America, Robinson was literally the first public figure African American who had demonstrated in a totally mainstream and important part of American life that he could compete with whites on their own terms and beat them without compromising his beliefs in the slightest.*** All the others before him (Robeson, Louis, Owens, DuBois, etc.) had all been marginalized one way or another, either by suppression or condescension.****
Shortly after their retirement from the track and from the ring, Owens was racing horses as a stunt man, and Louis was refereeing wrestling matches and greeting gamblers in Las Vegas.
It wasn't untypical at all for a retired athlete, but then my point is that Jackie Robinson was most untypical. He spent his post-baseball years on corporate boards and fighting for social justice, corresponding with politicians, businessmen and civil rights leaders to an extent that his letters to them have been collected in a book. No disrespect to Joe Louis, but his retirement years weren't quite on that level of engagement with the world.
All the others before him (Robeson, Louis, Owens, DuBois, etc.) had all been marginalized one way or another, either by suppression or condescension.****
****Shortly after their retirement from the track and from the ring, Owens was racing horses as a stunt man, and Louis was refereeing wrestling matches and greeting gamblers in Las Vegas. And of course Robeson and DuBois were completely marginalized for their political beliefs.
Louis wasn't a Tom, he was 100% authentic, he made a ton of money, and he was enormously popular with whites not living in Yorkville. But his impact was strictly limited to the world of sport, and as you say, he was in many ways merely following in the footsteps of others. His impact on both the U.S. and the greater world weren't remotely comparable to Jackie Robinson's.
I think here you're confusing the messenger with the message. Disrespect would imply that I put Louis's marginalization on Louis's shoulders, as opposed to merely noting the roles that white America limited him to outside the ring.
Murphy was so influential that the Derby barred black jockeys shortly after that.
I think here you're confusing the messenger with the message. Disrespect would imply that I put Louis's marginalization on Louis's shoulders, as opposed to merely noting the roles that white America limited him to outside the ring
The first of these, Dempsey, was just as crude and uneducated as Louis, and yet he was able to parlay his connections into a long lifetime career as a successful restauranteur just off Times Square, a restaurant that became a magnet for tourists until the day that it closed. That sort of ending would have been impossible for Joe Louis, if for no other reason than the fact that in his era black boxers were seen as little more than exotic specimen** that were only vaguely acknowledged as human beings. That's not ideology speaking, but merely empirical observation. (Louis was able to parlay his connections into jobs as a wrestling referee and a Las Vegas greeter, IOW a glorified welfare recipient.***)
People who lived through the Jim Crow era are sometimes unaware of just how few people alive today have the same first hand memories
YR: I was wondering on the thread where we talked about Micheal Mann's movie, Ali, whether it was true Ali ducked a rematch with Foreman after Zaire. For some reason I'm drawing a blank.
Dempsey wasn't just more popular than Louis, he was more popular than any professional boxer in the world until the 70s heyday of Muhammad Ali.
And why may that have been? I thought that Louis was the man who showed the world in a mere 124 seconds that the Master Race was just a myth, and spit in Hitler's eye right along with Donald Duck. What could have been more heroic than that?
Secondly, Dempsey became the world's biggest sports star right in the heart of the Roaring 20s, while Louis ascended during the nadir of the Great Depression.
There's something to that, but then Louis was also the champ all during the boom years of World War II, which didn't seem to do much for him other than to make him a living example of a variant of the Tennessee Ernie Ford song: Another few years older and another few hundred thousand dollars deeper in debt. For all those friends of his, not one of them was apparently a reputable tax adviser.
This again is a distinction worth noting between Louis and Dempsey, but with every passing paragraph you're even further stretching the chasm between Louis and Jackie Robinson, which was the main point I've been making all along.
The question then is: What would have happened to Louis if he'd tried ingratiating himself with similar celebrities?
Do you think they'd have let him into their circle? Do you think they'd have let him act in the B-movie circuit for any director but Oscar Micheaux or Spencer Williams?
Perhaps so, but just as surely, you can't compare the relatively fleeting impact of Joe Louis (or of any other African American public figure prior to 1947) to the far more lasting legacy of Jackie Robinson.
I like Raging Bull but it doesnt really stand up to repeat viewings. Without the crazy, over the top performance of Joe Pesci that movie is merely good not great. Granted Pesci is part of the movie, but the only great part for me is Pesci's performance, the plot, the acting, the dialogue is not up there.
That was one flaw, for me: too many minor characters who appeared and disappeared. But they didn't leave loose ends; they were just sort of randomly used where relevant. Maybe that's not a flaw; maybe that's just realistic.
As for an Ali movie, I'd give serious thought to focusing on his time in prison, assuming it was interesting. I know a fair bit about his career, but I've heard literally nothing about what his time inside was actually like.
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