While I expected to be moved by the amazing true story ofÂ Jackie Robinson crossing the baseball color lineÂ inÂ 42, I did not expect to be playing aÂ never-endingÂ game of “Who’s that Middle-Aged White Guy and WhereÂ IsÂ He From?” But alas, that’s theÂ question that ran through my head throughout the entire movie. And it will happen to you too if you’ve watched any television for the past 10 years.Â So I’m thinking that maybe if I prepare you for this game of Guess Who Â before you go see this movie, you’ll be able to focus on the story. And the cornyÂ dialogue. Because man oh middle-aged white man, it’s full of corny dialogue. Oh, also a whole lot of racial slurs that will make youÂ appreciateÂ what the real Jackie Robinson endured during his first year playing baseball in an all white league. All the below dudes aside, the movie does tell an incredible true story that feels a little too relevant in this day and age when so many people are still struggling for basic civil rights.
With all thatÂ in mind, let’s begin with an easy guy.
First up at bat we haveÂ T.R Knight. He plays Harold Parrot, the right-hand man forÂ Branch RickeyÂ (Harrison Ford).Â Although he’s wearing glasses in the movie, you’llÂ definitelyÂ recognize him from his role as Dr. George O’Malley onÂ Grey’s Anatomy.Â A show that he left back in 2009, but is somehow still on the air.
Next up is former Disney Channel movie starÂ Ryan Merriman. He plays the racist-turned-kinda-not-racist Dodgers player Dixie Walker. You’ll remember him from the fantasy story,Â The Luck of the IrishÂ and the sci-fi thrillerÂ Smart House. You also might remember him from the diary entry you titled, “My Very First Crush!”
Oh look! It’s John C. McGinleyÂ fromÂ Scrubs. This cranky old doctor plays Red Barber in the movie, the play-by-play radio announcer who actually made me laugh aloud several times during the movie. That’s a good thing. There were a few moments that were so high on the cornball scale that I coudn’t help but giggle. Such as one scene where this kid asks his father about Pee Wee scoring during that game that came off like a failed commercialÂ audition.
Hello there Detective Stabler! Aren’t you looking dapper in your topless scene. The former Law & Order:Â SVU detective plays the philandering Dodgers managerÂ Leo Durocher. Christopher Meloni’s come a long way from the hardened streets of NYC. The only question is if baseball distracts him long enough to forget his chemistry with Benson. The detective he so rudely forgot to say bye to before leaving the show.
Feeling sporty? Probably because youÂ recognizeÂ Derek Phillips from his role asÂ Billy RigginsÂ inÂ Friday Night Lights. InÂ 42Â he played fellow Dodgers player Bobby Bragan. If only he’d brought Tim Riggins with him. (RIP Taylor Kitsch’s career.)
How about Hamish Linklater ladies? Throughout the entire movie, I couldn’t place him. Even though I did like him. He plays Ralph Branca, one of the few guys who accepted Jackie Robinson playing on the team almost right away. Even after browsing his IMDB, I still can’t quite put my finger on how I know him. But considering he’s had roles on shows like Â The Newsroom,Â The Good Wife, The Big C andÂ American Dreams, I’m guessing it’s from one of them.
Like Ole Hamish, Brad Beyer will allude you for a long time. He’s never starred on a show long enough to get name recognition, but he’s certainly starred on enough procedural shows to make you feel like you know him from somewhere. We’re talking aboutÂ NCIS,Â Â CSI: NY,Â CSI: Miami,Â Without a TraceÂ andÂ Criminal Minds. However you won’t care much about him after seeing him play the blatantly racist Dodgers player Kirby Higbe.
Want to know how to know if you’re racist (accidental or otherwise)? If you agree with anything Alan Tudyk’s character Ben Chapman says during the movie. Â The whole time I watched him spew out racist rants, I tried to figure out where I’d seen those eyes before. Turns out that it’s probably from watchingÂ SuburgatoryÂ clips. Alan plays Noah Warner on the comedy and just happens to be one of those faces you can’t forget.
Do you recognize this guy? It’s um, well, HARRISON FORD! He’s the only guy in the movie who I could place right away.