Today, January 31, marks the 100th birthday of Jackie Robinson, baseball legend…and movie star.
Yes, Robinson starred as himself in 1950’s The Jackie Robinson Story, which told of the challenges he overcame on the way to breaking baseball’s color barrier. Here’s the complete film:
Robinson’s bio was tackled again in 2013’s 42, starring Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman as the baseball great. The film is available to Netflix subscribers or it can be rented for $3.99 from iTunes, Vudu and other providers.
The two movies above are fairly well-known, but did you know that Robinson has also been played by Andre Braugher (now Captain Holt on Brooklyn 99) and Blair Underwood (perhaps best known for L.A. Law).
Braugher starred in The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson, a 1990 TNT movie about the athlete’s early life. It’s not available for streaming. To view the complete movie, you might have to settle for a VHS copy. So here’s a trailer:
Underwood played Robinson in Soul of the Game, a 1996 HBO movie focusing on stars of the Negro Leagues in the days before Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here’s the complete film:
If you’d prefer a non-fiction look into Robinson’s complete life, we recommend Ken Burns’ 2016 two-part, four-hour PBS epic, Jackie Robinson. You can stream it free with Kanopy if your local library is a participant and you’ve got a library card.
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