"THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY"
Arthur Mann and Lawrence Taylor
In complete silence the silhouetted grey shadow of a baseball
player at bat fills the screen. The background is a tone of
black. The player stands motionless for a few seconds and
then commences waggling his bat as if preparing to hit. Since
he is a right handed hitter he stands front to audience and
watching for the ball to come from his left. Slowly he ends
his waggling by pulling his bat way back, stands thus posed
a moment... then swings hard.
Instantly we hear the familiar crack of bat against ball.
Almost simultaneously there is the roar of a baseball crowd,
our music comes in, and our picture title, THE JACKIE ROBINSON
STORY, hits the screen. Now, as subtitles appear, they show
against a continuation of other baseball scenes in silhouette:
a figure running, sliding, jumping for a high ball, throwing,
etc. With the end of the titles we
Professional baseball scenes vintage of 1919: crowds in parks,
flying pennants, action on the diamond.
On one of the park pennants we read the inscription: WORLD
SERIES, 1919. CINCINNATI VS. CHICAGO.
We continue the stock shots now, perhaps even showing closeups
of such baseball immortals as mentioned by our narrator (a
phantom voice never identified) whom we now hear.
In 1919 American professional
baseball, slowed down by World War
I, was picking up speed again. It
had its Babe Ruth who was astounding
the country by hitting 29 homers for
Boston, its Ty Cobb then winding up
a Hall of Fame career by leading the
American League in hitting with a
.384 average, Ty's great contemporary
in Cleveland, Tris Speaker, its great
pitchers, Walter Johnson, Burleigh
Grimes, Herb Pennock... And, down in
Georgia, it had something else...
coming up. Name? Jackie Robinson.
Race? Negro. Occupation? Infant in
his mother's arms.
GEORGIA 'CROPPER COUNTRY PANORAMIC (STOCK)
DRAB, FLAT ROAD LONG SHOT
Into the scene, far distance, moves a rude, mule-drawn wagon.
THE WAGON FULL SHOT
Holding the reins is an old Negro in well-worn, farmhand
clothes. Beside him on the seat and holding a sleeping baby
in her arms is a Negro woman, about thirty. She is dressed
in the best that a poor woman of her time and place might be
able to afford -- a store suit, but re-tailored to fit, and
neatly pressed. Between them sits a two year old girl, also
in her starched best. Behind, standing and sitting amidst
some cheap suitcases, are three other children, two boys and
a girl, from four to ten years of age.
SAME - CLOSER
The cry of a far-off train whistle comes to the group. The
mother shifts about in an expression of nervousness and
glances back at the children behind her. The whistle has
caused excitement among them. The oldest girl leans forward
to her mother eagerly, apparently wondering about the train.
GIRL - MOTHER CLOSE SHOT
The mind of the mother is too pre-occupied to permit her to
give the girl more than a fleeting smile and then she turns
In the family history of every living
American, except for the American
Indian, there is the story of
migration and settling and re-
settling. Either the American himself,
or an ancestor, had to travel to get
where that American is today. Jackie
Robinson was raised in Pasadena,
California. This is how his mother,
a widow, brought him and his brothers
and sisters out of Georgia.
THE WAGON LONG SHOT
The old man is whipping up his mules to hurry them along.
DOUBLE SEAT IN DAY COACH - NIGHT MEDIUM SHOT
The mother and her brood are asleep. She is against the
window, the baby still in her arms, and her head fallen back
against the headrest. Alongside her is curled the two-year
old girl. Half-sitting, half-slumped against each other on
the seat opposite are the next two youngest children, and
lying on blankets on the floor between the seats is cramped
the oldest child. Once, as the narrator talks, the mother
opens her eyes slowly, looks her children over, makes a slight
re-adjustment of position here and there among them, then
lets her head fall back again.
ESTABLISHING SHOT - RAILROAD STATION - PASADENA CALIFORNIA -
DAY - (STOCK)
A taxi in front of the station takes on Mrs. Robinson and
her children. The driver helps with their luggage and then
pulls away from the station. Except for music, the scene is
INT. TAXI - (PROCESS)
Mrs. Robinson and the children in the taxi as they look out
at the scene. (Stock shots of Pasadena's business sections,
then of the residential area are to be inter-cut.)
WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DAY MEDIUM SHOT - AS FROM
As children leave school, trooping out noisily and happily.
Among the children are several Negroes.
INT. TAXI - (PROCESS)
The children and the mother gaze intently as they note Negro
pupils among the white children. Then they gaze at each other
as if it is something hard to believe.
CLOSE ON TWO OF THE CHILDREN - (PROCESS)
As they turn their heads to continue looking at the school
even though the taxi is now some distance past it.
TAXI DRIVING INTO NEGRO DISTRICT
As CAMERA FOLLOWS TAXI, we see that we are now in a low-priced
area of homes, stores, etc.
They had never seen anything like
the city that was to be their new
home. They looked and wondered and
the mother told herself that sooner
or later they would be well, if
humbly, settled there... And -- in
time -- they were... and very
As narration fades, we
STREET SCENE LONG
A nine year old colored boy is running towards the Robinson
home in high excitement. He is carrying a fielder's glove at
which he has to glance every other second though he is in
(talking through the
following scenes as
This isn't Jackie -- but when he was
nine, and the family couldn't afford
to get him a baseball glove, this is
how his mother helped him make a
necessary adjustment to life. Jackie
had found an old, dilapidated glove...
ROBINSON HOME MED. SHOT
The kid leaps up the stairs and into the house.
ROBINSON KITCHEN MED. SHOT
The kid slides into the kitchen, holding the glove out to
Mrs. Robinson who is turning around from the gas range, and
talks to her eagerly.
MRS. ROBINSON CLOSEUP
She takes the glove, examines it, and has to smile. It is
badly frayed, the side stitching burst in a number of places,
and padding extruding. Nevertheless, she nods and turns
KITCHEN MED. SHOT
Mrs. Robinson taking a sewing kit out of a drawer, the kid
hopping around just in back of her and getting his head in
her way. She goes to table, sits down, and commences threading
MRS. ROBINSON AND BOY CLOSE
She starts to take the first stitch. He asks her something
anxiously. She nods reassuringly and his face lights up with
a heart-wide grin.
STREET SCENE - DAY MED. SHOT
The same boy stands at a street corner, a bunch of newspapers
at his feet, a dozen or so more under his arm, selling papers,
both to car patrons and to pedestrians.
Between work and school Jackie, like
this boy, didn't have all the time
in the world to play...
The boy turns his back to camera as he sells a newspaper and
we see the glove sticking partially out of his back pocket.
...but he always kept his glove
EXT. EMPTY PLAY LOT LONG SHOT
Running onto an empty lot where several other boys are playing
ball in a make-shift game, is Jackie. One of the boys bats
out a fly and Jackie scoots after it.
(NOTE: The following shots, illustrating narrator's talk,
are quick, almost montage views, taken against any studio
backgrounds already up and available. They are all angled to
keep face of boy unrecognizable... and as shots progress boy
gets bigger to indicate his growth.)
Boy mopping a floor.
Boy delivering package to woman who opens door.
Boy piling up scrap lumber in corner of yard.
Boy pushing hand-truck loaded with sacks.
Boy driving small delivery truck, stopping and jumping out
All the things that boys find to do
when they have to work through their
schoolhood years, Jackie did...
ESTABLISHING SHOT - ATHLETIC FIELD - DAY - (STOCK)
Track events in progress. Students and fans watching.
...yet he managed to make time for
sports as well.
BROAD JUMP PIT LONG SHOT - (STOCK)
We get a bare flash of a young Negro lad in track suit taking
his run and launching into a broad jump.
This still isn't Jackie, but when he
attended Pasadena Junior College he
led in all sports, broke the National
Junior College running broad jump
record with a leap of 25 feet, six
inches -- a record set a few years
earlier by his own brother, Mack!
AERIAL SHOT - LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM - DAY FOOTBALL
GAME IN PROGRESS - (STOCK)
EXT. COLISEUM - DAY FULL SHOT - (STOCK)
Football game in progress, thousands of fans watching.
LONG SHOT - PLAYING FIELD THE TWO TEAMS IN POSITION TO START
A PLAY - (STOCK)
MED. LONG SHOT THE PLAYERS - (STOCK)
As signals are called and a runner gets the ball. (From this
distance we can't recognize any player or distinguish actual
numbers on their uniforms.)
The player with the ball breaks through the opposing team's
line and dashes for the sidelines and toward camera.
But this -- IS -- Jackie Robinson...
As player nears camera we recognize him as Jackie. Over scene
is HEARD roar of the crowd. CAMERA HOLDS as Jackie runs into
a CLOSE SHOT, then past camera.
...playing football for the University
of California at Los Angeles where
he had won an athletic scholarship.
STOCK SHOT LONG
Any shot of a player crossing into end zone for a touchdown,
as opposing players trail after him... this, apparently,
being the end of Jackie's run.
THE CROWD LONG
They are cheering.
FOOTBALL EXCERPTS - (STOCK) MONTAGE
These should be actual shots of Jackie in action against
various college teams during his UCLA days. (During these we
should work in a studio CLOSEUP or two to let us take a good
look at the man.) Each of the shots is identified by the
narrator as follows:
Against Southern California!
Against Stanford! Etc.
COLISEUM STANDS MEDIUM
We see small section of student body watching game. Seated
with two white girl companions is an attractive Negro girl
(Rae). After joining crowd in a cheer one of the white girls
turns to Rae.
Jackie sure can run! How does it
feel to see your future husband going
wild down there?
(acting taken aback)
Future husband? You're faster than
he is! He hasn't got that far yet.
(waving hand derisively)
Now don't pretend, Rae! We know.
(turning to other
Don't we, Claire?
As other nods --
So don't pretend, Rae!
Rae laughs but is a little embarrassed at being kidded about
it. The white girl sees this and pats Rae's face, as you
will to a child you are fond of, to indicate she meant no
FOOTBALL FIELD LONG SHOT
Another quick shot of action on the field, with crowd roaring,
EXTERIOR MED. SHOT
Our shot takes in the tailgate of a furniture truck backed
close to a warehouse-like entrance or loading platform. A
tablet on wall of warehouse reading EMPIRE STORAGE COMPANY
helps identify scene. A Negro of about fifty, strongly built,
stands on truck tailgate waiting. Jackie, head hidden under
huge club chair which he is carrying, walks into scene from
It wasn't all touchdowns and cheers,
however. There was also work...
Jackie swings chair to truck where older man grabs it.
That's the last one, Jake.
Jake settles chair down, leans against it.
I saw you play yesterday.
Yeah? Like the game?
It was good. You was good. But what's
the use if you got to do this kind
of work? I didn't have to go to no
college to get this job.
(smiling, after pause)
You see, Jake, you're smarter than I
Jake studies Jackie a moment, and then, with a slow, knowing
smile, lifts chair up and disappears into truck with it.
EXT. UCLA CAMPUS PANORAMIC - (STOCK)
General shot campus showing college buildings b.g. and
students either wandering around or lounging on ground.
And there was always studying to be
TREE TRUNK CLOSE
Jackie sitting with back propped against tree reading book.
Oh, I'm sorry I'm late.
Jackie looks up as Rae enters scene. He would get up but she
slips down beside him before he can get started.
Stay put. I was held up by Claire
King. She just wanted to talk.
(indicating his book)
That's okay. I can use all the time
I can get for this.
Oh. Then I'll go.
Jackie instantly tosses book over one shoulder and takes one
of Rae's hands in his so she can't get away.
Did you say something?
Your book! What about your book?
What about you?
Rae has to break down and smile and they are looking at each
other as we
FOOTBALL GAME - DAY - (STOCK) PANORAMIC
Another game with stands loaded.
STANDS SECTION CLOSE
Rae and a few people around her.
FIELD - (STOCK) LONG
A player, indistinguishable, goes down under tacklers.
Rae wincing as voices, o.s., yell:
Jackie's down! Wow! They sure got
him that time!
A white girl sitting with a boy friend in front of Rae
They sure pile on to him!
What do you think? Who wouldn't if
they had a chance to slug...
The girl pokes him and indicates with her eyes that Rae is
seated right behind them. The boy looks back at Rae, then at
his girl again with a non-committal shrug.
LONG SHOT - THE FIELD - RAE'S ANGLE
As the players finally unpile. However, the ball-carrier
lies there and two or three of his own teammates rush toward
QUICK CUT - RAE - ALARMED CLOSE SHOT - THE FIELD
Jackie on ground, ball under him, two or three players trying
to help him to his feet. While they do so, the trainer rushes
into scene to help them. CAMERA HOLDS as the trainer and
another player help Jackie off the field. Over scene comes a
cheer from the crowd, glad that Jackie isn't seriously hurt.
However, he does have a decided limp.
CLOSEUP - RAE
She looks greatly relieved.
MED. SHOT - JACKIE, TRAINER AND PLAYER
As they walk toward camera, then past camera, on their way
to dressing room, o.s.
MED. CLOSE - AT ENTRANCE TO DRESSING ROOMS
As Jackie, the trainer and another player walk into scene
and enter the dressing room. All are quiet, and over scene
we HEAR roar of the fans again.
INT. DRESSING ROOMS - DAY FULL SHOT
Lights are on, there is a doctor's bag on one of the rub-
down tables, a dozen or so uniforms tossed on various chairs
and on the floor near the lockers. The trainer and player
help Jackie up onto a table and pull his jersey off. Jackie
TRAINING TABLE TWO SHOT
(talking as he works)
Hip's badly bruised.
The player who helped Jackie off the field comes into shot.
He is angry.
I don't know what's wrong with those
guys giving it to Jackie like that.
Just because he's...
Hold it! I knew before the game they
were out to watch Jackie close. The
trainer on their team told me. But
it was because of his playing ability
and nothing else.
You better get back to the bench.
I wasn't kidding about that either,
Jackie. They had respect for you out
Jackie mulls over the trainer's words.
Thanks, Dick. It's nice to know.
Say, Jackie. How's your brother Mack?
I remember him when he went to the
University of Oregon... and when he
ran in the Olympics overseas. One of
the finest athletes I ever met.
Oh, Mack? He's fine. Fine, thank
FRONT STEPS ROBINSON HOME MEDIUM
Jackie and Rae are sitting quietly on the steps. Mrs. Robinson
comes out door just as Jackie slips his body down one step
and lays his head against Rae's shoulder. Mrs. Robinson, who
has some knitting in her hand, goes to a chair in a dark
corner of the porch.
JACKIE - RAE CLOSE
Still in some pain, aren't you? I
think football is a wild game. I
don't think I like it.
(shifting in discomfort)
I don't myself right now.
MRS. ROBINSON'S VOICE
I think it's disgusting... young men
battering each other... no better
than just plain old bulls.
Jackie gives Rae an amused side glance at this, then shrugs.
Well, it won't last much longer.
Why? What are you going to do?
Oh... something. This isn't getting
me anywhere. I mean... this isn't
getting us anywhere.
He shifts about to look directly at Rae with a smile.
And that's serious!
She pushes his head around and away from her.
MRS. ROBINSON CLOSE
She sees this byplay and her face softens in a smile. Quietly
she gathers up her knitting and gets up.
FRONT STEPS MEDIUM
Mrs. Robinson enters house. Jackie hears the door closing
and looks around. Then he smiles down at Rae who smiles back
JACKIE - RAE CLOSE
What did you mean, Jackie? About
your going to do something?
(his face serious)
Oh... I mean I'm too big to be just
ornamental... Keeps Mom and Mack
hustling to pay my way... I've got
to start in being real useful...
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT MED. SHOT - JACKIE
He is in bed, unable to sleep. He has a school book on a
table beside the bed; a small lamp is burning. He picks up
the book and studies it for a few moments, but his heart
isn't in it. A clock on the table shows that it is three
o'clock in the morning. Jackie sighs deeply, then slowly
starts climbing out of bed, still careful of his hip.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT MEDIUM - JACKIE
Standing by the gas range Jackie pours hot coffee into a
vacuum lunch bottle. Two sandwiches are on a piece of paper.
He corks the bottle and is wrapping up the sandwiches when
we hear Mrs. Robinson's voice.
MRS. ROBINSON'S VOICE
Who is that? You, Jackie?
MRS. ROBINSON'S VOICE
No. Just couldn't sleep. I'm going
out to see Mack. Want to talk to him
MRS. ROBINSON'S VOICE
Can't it wait till morning? It's
I know. But I won't be long. I know
where to find him.
MRS. ROBINSON'S VOICE
Three o'clock! My! My! What a thing
to do... what a thing to do...
EXT. PASADENA STREET SCENE - NIGHT LONG
Jackie walking along Colorado Avenue, or similar business
street, deserted and lonely at this hour except for a street
cleaner in the distance. Jackie carries the lunch package in
one hand, much as he would a football. Sandwich and vacuum
bottle are wrapped in the same, tight package.
Jackie approaching street cleaner who, however, does not
hear him because of the noise of his heavy broom and the
fact that parked cars separate the two men.
JACKIE AND CAR MEDIUM
Jackie has reached car. He stops a second and we hear the
street cleaner's broom being pushed over the concrete. Jackie
takes a few more steps, bringing him past the car. He stops
and turns in the direction of the street cleaner.
(knowing it will be a
We see that Mack, Jackie's older brother by three years, and
former University of Oregon track star, is the street cleaner.
He is in the loose uniform of the town's sanitation corps
and is startled by Jackie's words and appearance, then grins.
What the... what are you doing here
at this hour? Schoolboys should be
JACKIE - MACK
Yeah. I couldn't sleep so I fixed
you some lunch. Here...!
He throws the package like a forward pass and Mack, shifting
broom to crook of his elbow, snags it expertly.
(dropping his broom)
Man oh man -- I can use some... Hope
you figured I was a bit hungry...
He is obviously very pleased.
You bet. Coffee, too.
Now you're talking. Let's sit down
and take it easy for a while...
Mack opens the package, takes a sandwich and offers one to
Jackie. Jackie shakes his head.
(takes a bite)
Anything bothering you?
Yeah. I want to quit college. Right
after the basketball season... when
my scholarship is up.
Mack almost chokes on his first bite.
(pounding Mack's back)
Take it easy, boy. I don't want to
lose you now.
You know Mom. She sees me as a doctor,
minister or lawyer, perhaps. I'd
like to please her but it just isn't
Yeah. I know.
(continuing his thought)
It would mean years more in school --
and the way I feel, I'd rather work
at getting some kind of a sport job --
an assistant coach -- or a trainer --
something like that... But I can't
figure out which to aim at... Coaching
jobs are darn hard to get...
All I can say, Jackie, is that you
ought to stay in college as long as
you can -- try to graduate -- and
keep at sports as hard as you can.
Something might turn up... and as
far as education goes -- it'll do
Then, noticing the trash he has been sweeping, he smiles.
How much good -- I'm not saying.
Jackie nods. Neither of them is at all bitter about it. It
is just accepted.
Sure... I know... But I've got to go
to work. I want to marry Rae. School's
one thing -- but you and Mom can't
support me in marriage.
During the scene, Mack has continued to eat and now he opens
the thermos of coffee. Jackie shakes his head that he doesn't
want any and Mack pours himself a cup. As he starts to drink,
a convertible filled with young people drives in sight, the
youngsters singing a football victory song. Jackie and Mack
watch it drive by. Banners and streamers hang from the car --
all showing UCLA insignia.
Mack grins at Jackie.
Funny place for a football hero to
be sitting at this time of night...
Jackie grins back at him.
Funny job you've got for a university
He kicks at the pile of debris near them. Mack grins back at
That's the way it is...
They sit in silence for a moment and CAMERA PULLS BACK and
draws away from them, their figures small against the long,
lonely, dark street...
EXT. UCLA CAMPUS - NIGHT ESTABLISHING
EXT. GYM - NIGHT ENTRANCE
A student about to enter calls to another student passing
Hey, Jerry! Going to watch basketball
The passing student shakes his head and points to some books
he is carrying to indicate he has to study.
INT. GYM FULL SHOT
A practice session is on, the players just passing the ball
around and shooting baskets. At the sidelines stands an
JACKIE MED. SHOT
We see him run to the basket, get the ball on a pass, and
shoot. Catching the ball as it comes through the net he slings
it far upcourt.
ASSISTANT COACH MEDIUM
All right, fellows. Let's work out
GYM LONG SHOT
The players break up into two teams and take position for
the start of a game.
JACKIE AND PLAYER CLOSE
Jackie and the player opposing him stand together waiting
for the opening whistle to sound.
That true, Jackie, about your quitting
at the end of the basketball season?
As Jackie nods --
Not even going out for baseball again?
No, I'm not.
Don't you like baseball?
Can't afford to like it!
Ever hear of a Negro in organized
We see a few seconds of game skirmish, and follow Jackie
down the court in a rush towards the basket which he
JACKIE AND PLAYER CLOSE
They are both panting a little now as they line up against
each other again.
Well, don't think I'll miss you.
I'll make the first team after you're
(with friendly dig
into player's ribs)
Well, I'll miss you. You kept me
The other player pulls his fist back as if to sock Jackie.
Get out! Kept you stepping! I didn't
have a chance!
They are both grinning as the whistle sounds and they jump
into play again.
BASKETBALL GAMES - (STOCK) MONTAGE
We see Jackie in action against other college teams during
the basketball season, and over each separate game appears a
title identifying the particular rival college involved in
the shot. After final shot we
EXT. STUDY HALL LONG
A group of students on the steps of one of the campus
buildings are reading the college paper which is held by one
One of the students is reading aloud.
"UCLA loses four-letter athlete.
Jackie Robinson leaving school."
He wasn't kidding.
Gee, that boy's gonna leave a hole
behind him hard to fill. How come?
One of the other students rubs forefinger against thumb in
the "money sign."
Economics, my boy. A man must live
before he can play. And in order to
He makes the money sign again as we cut go:
INT. DRESSING ROOM MEDIUM
Jackie is taking his stuff from his locker and packing it in
a small bag. The trainer we met in the football sequences
and a student are standing by. Jackie is explaining something
...Coming out of Junior College to
UCLA, the way I did, I only had a
two-year scholarship to fit my
athletic eligibility. Well... the
scholarship is over.
Isn't there any way you can stay on?
My mother is 63 years old. She's
worked as housekeeper, maid, cook,
laundress, janitress and selling
yard goods in a store to keep us
She wanted to do it. She must not
want to see you give up now.
Yes, she'd work for the next ten
years if I stayed in school...
Can't take a chance. I can't expect
more future than Mack... and with
all his college he wasn't able to
get anything worth while. That's not
worth ten more years of work for my
His packing finished, Jackie shakes hands with both men.
Luck to you, and I'll take the same.
TRAINER AND STUDENT
All the luck in the world. You'll
make out all right, Jackie.
As Jackie exits the trainer turns to the student.
Somehow it doesn't make sense. The
only four-letter man we've had at
UCLA in ten years. High basketball
scorer for us in both years he was
here. On top of that he's as fine a
baseball player as I have ever seen...
and it don't mean a thing. He's
walking out of here without anything
ahead of him except a couple of games
of pro-football signed up.
Maybe he can have a career in
(shaking his head)
Baseball is his game.
He tells everyone he doesn't care
(with a short smile)
Yeah... I know. What else is he going
INT. ROBINSON HOME CLOSEUP
A pair of hands counting a roll of paper money, each bill
being slapped down on a table.
CAMERA MOVES BACK to reveal Jackie standing up and counting
the money in front of his mother who is seated at the table.
She seems puzzled as she looks at the bills and then up at
What's that, Jackie?
Money. Remember, Mom?
She gives him a warning glance not to joke with her.
What is that, Jackie?
(in mollifying tone)
Okay. Okay, Mom. It's an advance
payment for playing professional
football. I'm signed up to play for
He tidies up the bills and leaves them in front of her as he
But I don't like for you to play
football. Is that why you quit
No, Mom. I'm going there just to
play a few games. They came to me
when they heard I was going to quit.
We can use the money till I get what
I want. So I took it.
Honolulu's far away.
I'll be there and back inside of two
She is troubled as she looks at the money and then up at
Jackie again. He shrugs.
And then, maybe, I'll have some
answers to all the letters I've been
writing for a coaching job.
When she still doesn't reply he smiles and reaches out to
pat her folded hands reassuringly.
It'll be all right, Mom. Just give
me a little time and you'll be proud
She looks directly at him.
I was proud of you when you went to
I know. But... I didn't feel proud
EXT. ROBINSON HOME - NIGHT FULL SHOT
Jackie and Rae are sitting on the front steps, apparently
having reached a pause in their conversation which has left
them both looking a little troubled.
CAMERA MOVES IN as we hear:
...May take us a little longer this
way but it means a better start...
As she nods mechanically --
When it does... uh...
(in sudden disgust)
Oh... maybe you're right. Maybe I'm
just going around in circles.
Rae turns to him quickly in sudden compunction.
Jackie, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to
act so cold to the idea. I'm not
even listening because... because I
just don't want you to go away.
As he tries to talk --
No. I know you have to do something
like this to get a start. I know...
but that doesn't make me like it.
(taking her hand)
All right. And I am going around in
circles. I don't know how to beat
that. But Rae... there's one thing I
want you to be sure of...
As she nods --
Every circle comes right back to
As her face lights up --
And all I'm worrying about is getting
around fast enough!
They smile at each other and then Rae leans her head back
against Jackie's chest. They stay like this, both gazing
off, when she speaks again.
I have to take my post-graduate
nursing course in a hospital. I think
I can get in Bellevue in New York.
That's where I'll be...
But why so far...
(turning to face him)
That's where I'll be when you're
ready. It's better that way. Something
for me to do. You're more free...
They study each other's faces.
INT. SHIPBOARD CABIN - (PROCESS) CLOSE
A corner of a cabin. Jackie is typing away at a small table
next to a porthole through which we can see a mid-ocean
horizon rising and falling with the roll of the ship. Next
to him is a small pile of letters already written. The distant
clang of ship's bells is HEARD.
We can see that the letter is printed "S.S. LURLINE - HONOLULU
BOUND." Under it he has typed the following heading and
"Mr. W.J. Jeffrey Athletic Director Overton College Overton,
And that he is tapping out the first few lines of his letter
which begins as follows:
"Dear Mr. Jeffrey:
In application for an athletic coaching, or assistant
coaching, appointment at Overton, I would like to submit the
MONTAGE - FOOTBALL SCENES
Opening with STOCK of Hawaii, then into clips of several
football games, ending with a SHOT of a steamship leaving
EXT. ROBINSON HOME - DAY MED. SHOT - JACKIE
He is walking up to the house, carrying a suitcase in each
hand. CAMERA HOLDS as he reaches front door.
EXT. FRONT DOOR CLOSE - JACKIE
He lowers suitcases and knocks at the door as he finds it
locked. He waits a moment, gets no answer, then finds his
own key and unlocks the door.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY MED. SHOT
As Jackie enters, places his bags on the floor and closes
the door behind him. He stands there for a moment, then goes
toward a table where there are several pieces of mail.
JACKIE AT TABLE MED. CLOSE
He picks up the dozen or so letters and finds that four of
them are for him. He sits down, opens and reads them, one by
one. We do not see the first two which he crumples up and
drops into a wastebasket. The third one he re-reads and thinks
about for a moment, then places it to one side. The fourth
he reads and crumples again and discards with the others.
Then he rises and walks back and forth as he thinks. After a
moment he stands at the living room window and stares out
CLOSE - JACKIE
He stares out of the window, then sees something, turns and
heads for the front door.
EXT. HOUSE - DAY MED. SHOT
Mrs. Robinson is walking up toward the house, carrying two
large sacks of groceries. Jackie hurries to meet her, greeting
her and taking the packages at the same time, even as they
(happy to see him)
I was hoping you'd be here -- your
telegram came just a little while
ago so I went out to get some
He knows that she intended to get some extra-special food
for a homecoming dinner.
CAMERA PANS them into the house.
INT. LIVING ROOM FULL SHOT
Jackie and his mother enter and pass through into the kitchen.
(as they walk through)
...you didn't get hurt, did you?
MED. CLOSE AT KITCHEN DOOR
As they enter kitchen to put down the packages.
(as he enters)
Not a scratch. Got a sore arm though --
from writing letters...
(as she follows him
Letters? Some letters came for you.
She comes back into the living room, heads for the table
where Jackie picked up his mail. As Jackie reenters:
I put them here...
I read them...
She turns to him, hoping that he will have some good news.
He smiles at her, then moves over and picks up the letter he
saved and hands it to her.
TWO SHOT - FAVORING MRS. ROBINSON
As she reads the letter.
What's this National Youth
It's something the Government set up
to help underprivileged children ---
they get all sorts of training ---
...And they want you to be an athletic
Looks that way... Anyway, I'm taking
it before they change their minds...
Mrs. Robinson looks at the letter again, then back at Jackie.
(with a smile)
You'll be near Rae, anyway...
She moves to the sofa and sits down as she talks.
Maybe you can be there when she
graduates -- or whatever it is --
from the hospital...
So even if we don't have a doctor in
the family, we'll have a registered
Why not write her and let her know...?
Good idea. Soon's I put my stuff
He turns, picks up his suitcases and starts through the hall
door with them and we
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY FULL SHOT
This is a room in the nurses' quarters of a large hospital.
Everything white, clean, uncrowded. Rae, in graduate nurse's
uniform, is seated at a desk reading a letter. On the desk
is a picture of Jackie -- in civilian clothes. There is a
box of stationery, ink, pen, etc., on the table in addition
to several books.
CLOSE - RAE READING LETTER
She shakes her head, smiling a bit, but with a bit of sadness.
INSERT PORTION OF LETTER
"...I'm enjoying my work with the kids and the Association
has been fine to me. I'll be leaving it soon, though, as the
Army has called. But at least, I can stop worrying about the
future for awhile..."
BACK TO SCENE
Rae folds the letter and smiles in sad contemplation as we
hear her thinking voice paraphrase Jackie's last sentence:
He can stop worrying now that he's
in the Army...
We know that she will really start worrying. She glances at
the framed photograph of him. As we look at it, Jackie's
clothes change into the uniform of an Army Private.
ARMY POST - (STOCK) MONTAGE
If obtainable we will show quick scenes of Jackie's army
life as he supervises various athletic activities.
INT. HOSPITAL - DAY RAE'S DESK
There is a picture of Jackie in the uniform of an Army
private. The uniform fades and is replaced by the uniform of
a first lieutenant.
CAMERA PULLS BACK from photograph and we see that Rae is
writing a letter.
INSERT LETTER - RAE'S HAND WRITING
"...so I will be finished with my course in two weeks and
then go back home. When you get your Army discharge I'll be
waiting for you in California..."
ESTABLISHING SHOT - ARMY POST - DAY - (STOCK)
This is supposed to be Ft. Breckenridge, Kentucky, although
it can be any large Army installation as long as it remains
STOCK SHOT - SOLDIERS
Marching, training, etc.
STOCK SHOT - MORE SOLDIERS
Entering and leaving barracks, etc.
INT. BARRACKS' ROOM - DAY CLOSE SHOT - JACKIE
He is packing a suitcase and an Army bag.
CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal another Negro officer with Jackie.
This man sits on a bunk -- both are dressed in their uniforms.
Jackie moves to a chest and takes some clothes and stuffs
them into the Army bag. Then he takes a photo of Rae off the
wall and packs that in the suitcase. The last thing he removes
from the chest is a fielder's baseball glove.
What you going to do with that?
I don't know. Don't know if I'll
ever do anything with it again...
INSERT JACKIE'S HANDS stuffing glove into his bag.
CLOSEUP - SAME BAG
As Jackie's reaches into it and comes out with the glove.
There is a burst of laughter as CAMERA PULLS BACK to show
that Jackie is home and unpacking his bag in front of Rae,
Mrs. Robinson and Mack, all three of whom are laughing.
Just like you. First thing one sees
when you unpack is a baseball glove...
or a pair of spiked shoes...
Jackie draws himself up a little stiffish and addresses Rae
in formal tones.
And when have you ever seen me unpack
before, Miss Isum?
(embarrassed in front
of Mrs. Robinson and
I didn't mean that I had ever seen
you... why, Jackie! What do you...
Well, if that's to be your attitude!
She flounces from room and Jackie motions to his mother and
Mack as he prepares to follow.
Excuse me. I have to effect a...
a... a rapprochement, I think they
He hurries after Rae while Mrs. Robinson looks after him and
then turns to Mack to ask with suspicion edging her voice:
What's he mean by that... that
rapproche -- that stuff?
Search me. We didn't bother with
that kind of stuff when I went to
EXT. WAREHOUSE MED. SHOT
Same scene as Scene 43. Jake is standing on back of truck
maneuvering a settee onto its legs when Jackie walks into
the scene and smiles up at him.
You been out of the Army a long time
now, Jackie. Ain't got yourself a
good coaching job yet?
Still writing letters, eh?
Yes. But if I don't get an answer
soon I'll be back here looking for
my old job.
I hope that don't happen, son. But
if it does... I can sure use you.
Why don't you go to them coaching
places in person instead of writing
You mean why don't I spend fifty
dollars train fare instead of a three
Yeah... I ain't got all the brains
in the world.
I wouldn't even want to prove I got
The two are laughing, with Jake sounding off in wild whoops,
when Mack's voice is heard, o.s.
They stop laughing and turn around as Mack runs into scene
carrying a letter which he hands to Jackie.
It just came.
Jackie tears letter open.
He is reading letter.
MACK AND JAKE MEDIUM
It's from the Kansas City Monarchs.
It can only be one thing... an offer.
Who are they?
Never heard of the Kansas City
Monarchs? It's a professional baseball
But I thought professional teams
don't want us.
It's an all-colored team.
Jackie looks up and Mack can't wait.
(a little dazed)
A hundred dollars a week... to play
Jake jumps from truck and is so intrigued he takes letter
from Jackie to puzzle over it himself.
And I didn't even write them. How
did they know?
Oh, they knew about you from UCLA
and some of the pro games you played
at Brookside. They must have scouted
(handing letter back
Here. That's what it says... a hundred
Just pushing a little old baseball
around. Maybe there's something to
that college stuff after all.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY GENERAL HOSPITAL - (STOCK) PANORAMIC NAME
PLATE HOSPITAL CLOSEUP
INT. DRUG STORE CLOSE
Just a table in a corner at which sit Jackie and Rae, the
latter in white uniform of a nurse, and with Coca Cola bottles
and glasses before them. An air of sadness seems to have
overcome both of them.
Well... you've got to take it. I
don't see what else you can do.
(in same mood)
Yeah... and if I can stay with the
Monarchs a couple of years I should
be able to save up a little money.
(looking at her)
Maybe even enough...
Maybe when I know I'm set there,
She nods, but not with any particular enthusiasm. Jackie
notes this and nods slowly in agreement with her reaction.
I don't blame you. Gee... a couple
more years. Why don't we set a wedding
date for about 1960 and have it over
Rae doesn't think it is funny, even if it wasn't meant to
be. She stands up and looks at her wristwatch.
I don't know about 1960, but in five
minutes I'm due back in the ward.
Jackie gets up and puts some coins on the table.
And tomorrow I'm due in Kansas City.
They stand looking at each other, both with blank faces,
unable to fathom either how to solve their problem or what
lies ahead of this new development as we
ESTABLISHING SHOTS - KANSAS CITY - DAY - (STOCK)
Over scenes are SUPERIMPOSED the words: KANSAS CITY.
EXT. BALLPARK - DAY CLOSE SHOT - SIGN
"MONARCHS vs. CLEVELAND"
o.s., we HEAR crowd noises.
EXT. BALLPARK - DAY FROM HIGH ANGLE
The playing field. A game is in progress.
WIDE ANGLE SHOT - THE STANDS
A fair-sized audience, practically all colored.
EXT. DUGOUT TWO SHOT
Jackie, in uniform, is sitting in a corner of dugout alongside
an older man, apparently the manager.
This being your first game I was
going to hold you out a couple of
innings but maybe you want to take a
lick at bat now?
(nodding to batter)
As Jackie starts away --
And look! Uh... we give them a show
out there, Jackie. If you make an
out, act mad. If you think you get a
bad call on a ball, talk it up. They
like that here.
Jackie considers this, nods, and then walks away quietly.
The manager shakes his head as if doubtful that Jackie can
come through on this order.
Jackie, bat in hand, moves "on deck" and squats, waiting his
A Monarch player waggling bat viciously as if daring pitcher
to throw one in the groove.
UMPIRE BEHIND BAT
Holding a "two-three" count up with his fingers.
Gazing contemptuously towards batter, winding up and throwing.
Striking out with a tremendous swing, he yells in fury and
starts pounding the ground with his bat in anger.
As Jackie moves to plate he passes the retired batter. The
latter is still gesticulating angrily, but as he passes Jackie
he winks at him and we know it is all an act for the fans.
GRANDSTAND - (STOCK)
As loudspeaker announcement is heard:
Now batting for Kansas City Monarchs
in place of Rumley -- Jackie Robinson!
Jackie takes his stance. The catcher squats and begins talking
(calling to pitcher)
This is a new boy, Bill. Take it
real easy with him. Don't discourage
the new boy. Nice and easy! Nice and
As the catcher is talking Jackie turns and nods to him as if
grateful for the expected gentle treatment.
He acts interested in what catcher is telling him, then nods
as if in gentlemanly agreement with the policy of treating a
new man with consideration. He begins his windup slowly but
when he finally whips the ball it is with everything he's
The ball streaks past Jackie's head so closely that he has
to fall to ground to avoid getting beaned. As he gets up,
acting fully bewildered, the catcher runs to him and helps
him dust his clothes, simulating deep concern. Jackie gazes
at catcher, and then at pitcher, with great suspicion.
GRANDSTAND SMALL SECTION
The spectators are enjoying this byplay hugely.
Jackie waiting and showing determination to hit. He swings
and hits... but doesn't run.
GRANDSTAND ROOF LONG
The ball going high over the stands and onto the roof.
A new ball is thrown to him. He begins his windup and throws.
Jackie swings and misses, so hard that he is carried several
feet from plate and ends up facing stands. He acts angry,
pulls his bat back of him with one hand and looks as if he
is going to sling it into the seats.
For a moment he stands thus, wrestling with himself almost,
as if trying to control his temper. There is a roar of
excitement from the spectators, and then Jackie lets the bat
down. Lowering his head in deep dejection he starts walking
back to the dugout. The crowd's yelling now turns to laughter.
As Jackie steps in to resume his seat next to manager.
That was great, Jackie! Fine stuff!
They loved it.
As Jackie nods --
But, of course, you know...
As Jackie looks up --
You're also supposed to get a hit
once in a while
He casts an amused look at manager from under his eyebrows.
Make up your mind.
The Monarch batter hits a pop fly and the side is retired.
The Monarch team, including Jackie who goes to shortstop,
takes the field. The infielders snap up ground balls thrown
by first base and we get our first glimpse of Jackie in action
as a fielder.
Various shots of Jackie in action as a shortstop; picking up
a ground ball and shooting it to first, covering second and
throwing to first for a double play, backing up the third
baseman on a hot grounder and recovering when the latter
A series of ciphers show three innings have been played. In
the fourth inning slot the figure "1" appears for each team,
and then further ciphers appear up to the beginning of the
The Monarchs come running in, including Jackie who goes to
the bat rack.
He selects a bat and heads for the plate.
SAME - CLOSER JACKIE AT PLATE
Jackie first takes a strike, then cuts at the next pitch and
lines a double into the field. The crowd yells.
FULL SHOT - THE FIELD
As Jackie runs, then slides into second just in time to beat
the pitch from the outfield. He gets up and dusts himself
off as the second baseman, ball in hand, grins at him.
About time you started hitting, boy.
Jackie grins and the second baseman returns the ball to the
pitcher. As he throws, Jackie suddenly lights out for third
and catches the pitcher flatfooted, not expecting such a
daring play. The crowd roars as Jackie slides safely into
CLOSEUP - PITCHER
Looking disgusted with himself.
CLOSE SHOT - JACKIE ON THIRD
Grinning to himself. He obviously loves the sport and enjoys
a spectacular play. He takes a long lead, teasing the pitcher.
FULL SHOT - THE FIELD
The next batter flies to the infield and Jackie gets back to
base in time. The shortstop holds the ball for a moment,
then satisfied that Jackie is holding the bag, tosses to the
pitcher. The moment the ball leaves his hand, Jackie has
started for home. By the time the pitcher catches the ball
and relays it to the catcher, Jackie is sliding in safe at
home plate. The crowd roars approval of his daring base-
MED. SHOT - AT DUGOUT
As Jackie returns. Several players grin and ad lib their
approval of the way he has handled himself. As the game
continues, one of the players, Slim, moves close to Jackie
and starts a conversation.
Good going. You ought to sleep well
I generally sleep pretty good.
On a bus?
That's right. I forgot we travel by
Make four hundred mile jumps between
games. Only chance we ever get to
hit a bed is in a two or three game
Not so good.
It ain't de luxe, brother!
This is designed to show the nomadic life of these
A. Players piling into their own bus at night.
B. Players inside bus, half asleep as they travel.
C. Shots of game, including Jackie getting a hit.
D. Bus traveling again.
E. Players dressing on bus, getting into their uniforms.
F. Players emerging from bus at ballpark, going right onto
field as if they've delayed game by late arrival.
G. Inside bus again; night, players asleep, some still in
H. Game in progress. Jackie in good fielding play.
I. Shot of fans showing their appreciation of game.
EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT MED. SHOT
The Monarch bus drives down highway, toward camera, which
PULLS BACK and PANS as it disappears down highway, L. to R.
EXT. HIGHWAY LONG SHOT - MONARCH BUS
As it drives past. Through the windows we get a glimpse of
INT. BUS FULL
In the dim illumination we can see the players, a few asleep,
most sprawled out and listening to a major league night game
BUS SECTION CLOSE
Slim has a portable radio on his lap. Jackie is in seat behind
It's two and two on Greenberg as
Feller winds up... and it's ball
HIGH-PITCHED WAIL FROM REAR OF BUS
Shut off that radio! I want to sleep.
Quiet, Leander! That's Hank Greenberg
That Leander! He sleeps all day out
in right field.
I don't care if it's Duke Ellington!
I want to sleep.
Come on, Hank. Wait it out... 'less
There's the windup again... and
Greenberg SWINGS at a high one and
There is a general murmur of disgust from all in the bus.
What he bite on that for?
(snapping off radio)
Ah-h... that's the game!
There is a lull as everyone settles back with closed eyes.
Then the plaintive voice of Leander is heard again.
What you want now, Leander? I turned
the radio off. Go to sleep.
I ain't sleepy no more. I'm hungry.
ANOTHER BUS SECTION CLOSE
Several players open up their eyes and consider this. They
look at each other and seem to indicate Leander has something.
The bus driver looks back and then at the manager who occupies
a front seat.
Hungry? Why you...
(on second thought)
(looking back at Jackie)
How about you?
Jackie compresses his lips and nods as if it isn't a bad
idea at all. Almost immediately other players pick up
Leander's word and we hear them.
Yeah... hungry. I can eat. About
time... gotta get out of here anyway.
I'm for it!
He checks manager who nods in agreement. Driver nods back
and peers ahead.
EXT. ROADSIDE CAFE - OVER DRIVER'S SHOULDER AND THROUGH BUS
We see a forlorn-looking combination filling station and
lunch room, with several cars parked around.
Don't look too bad...
INT. BUS FULL SHOT
As the players, full of good humor, move around in their
seats, trying to see the lunch room.
EXT. ROADSIDE CAFE MED. SHOT
As the bus pulls in and to a stop.
FULL SHOT - IN BUS
The players, Jackie included, peering through the bus windows,
studying the almost deserted roadside cafe.
(at them all)
Whose turn? Let's not waste time...
The players look at each other and finally Slim gets to his
feet. He combs his hair and brushes at his clothes, trying
to look as presentable as possible. The others watch him as
he leaves the bus.
EXT. CAFE AND BUS FULL SHOT
Slim starts toward the cafe. He hesitates at the door for a
moment, then enters.
INT. ROADSIDE CAFE FULL SHOT
A plain eating spot with one long counter, usual coffee urns,
and wall aperture through which the chef can be seen in the
kitchen. Three male patrons are seated together halfway down
from the door, and the counterman, about thirty, is leaning
against the wall talking to them as Slim enters. The four
look towards Slim without any welcome and wait till he
Sixteen of us... in the bus outside.
How's chances of getting a late
COUNTERMAN - PATRONS MED. CLOSE
The patrons look to the counterman to see what his reply
will be. He notes their stare and then folds his arms.
I'm all alone here. Afraid I couldn't
The three patrons now swing their stare on Slim.
He seems not surprised and is ready with his next question.
How about sandwiches? Could you have
the chef make some up for us?
He seems to be considering this but before he can answer an
offstage voice is heard:
How many of you?
KITCHEN WINDOW CLOSE
The chef, a rugged, elderly fellow is looking through the
Make you about sixteen beefs, sixteen
ham and eggs. That be all right?
CHEF - SLIM MEDIUM
Slim walks to chef as he replies.
Swell. Some fried potatoes on the
Take about twenty minutes.
The counterman walks into scene and stoops under counter to
get a roll of paper containers.
(a bit sulky)
Coffee for everybody?
Yeah... but don't pour it until the
sandwiches are ready, please... so
the coffee will be hot.
Just getting it ready, Bud. Just
getting it ready.
He indicates outside with his thumb.
You suppose we could wash up a bit?
The counterman sneaks a quick look towards window but the
chef is apparently too busy to hear this. He turns back to
Sorry. It's out of order.
His face is expressionless.
Oh... Thanks. Then we'll go up the
road and be back in fifteen minutes.
SLIM - COUNTERMAN MEDIUM
Have to leave a deposit on the
sandwiches in that case.
(reaching into pocket)
EXT. BUS - LUNCH ROOM LONG
Slim leaves lunch room and walks slowly to bus.
INT. BUS MEDIUM
Shooting towards front entrance as Slim climbs aboard.
They're feeding us. That's all. I
told them we're goin' up the line a
Without another word the driver starts the motor up.
EXT. BUS - ROAD FULL
The bus starts up the highway.
EXT. BUS - HIGHWAY LONG
We see the bus coming to a stop alongside a wooded section.
The door opens and the players straggle out. One by one they
disappear from sight as they walk into the woods and bushes --
EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT MEDIUM
The bus speeding along.
INT. BUS - NIGHT FULL
Now everyone but the driver is asleep, stretched out in the
various and often grotesque postures typical of bus slumber.
INT. CORRIDOR MEDIUM
Any sort of corridor in which Rae, in hospital uniform, meets
another colored nurse. Rae carries medical tray.
'Morning, Rae. I read about your
Jackie last night. He's been going
great for months. He write you?
Yes. He's doing well. Except he
doesn't like the traveling.
Well, tell him to give it up and
come back here and get a job.
(with slight smile)
I sure feel like it.
That's the time to write.
I'll wait. Waited this long.
They smile and pass on.
ESTABLISHING SHOT - CHICAGO SKYLINE - DAY - (STOCK)
EXT. COMISKY BALL PARK - DAY - (STOCK) LONG SHOT
EXT. BALL PARK ENTRANCE - DAY MED. SHOT
TOWARD BOX OFFICE. A sign visible:
"MONARCHS vs. CHICAGO"
INT. BALL PARK - DAY FULL SHOT
A fair-sized crowd, players warming up on the field, but the
game hasn't started.
EXT. DUGOUT - PLAYERS MED. SHOT
Several players stand near the dugout, throwing balls back
and forth. Taking it easy as they warm up. Since most of
them are watching those players on the field, we realize
that the Chicago players are those practicing; the Monarchs
are waiting for their turn.
EXT. DUGOUT DIFFERENT ANGLE
Jackie and Slim enter the dugout from clubroom runway and
notice Bill Piedmont, a pitcher, sitting alone, somewhat
disconsolately. Jackie and Slim settle down on each side of
What's the matter with you? Didn't
you pitch and win yesterday?
That's right. You were hot.
Yeah... but there's no future to it.
How much does a twenty game win
pitcher get paid in the major league?
I don't know. Thirty thousand up,
That's right. And I've won thirty so
far... and I'll get more.
And you ain't getting any thirty
(staring at Slim)
Think you could do as well in the
No. Not any thirty or more. But I'd
sure come close to twenty...
I think so.
And maybe be able to save a few
dollars for when my arm goes...
He walks off. Slim watches him and turns to Jackie.
He's right. We're all in the same
boat. Get enough to get by -- but
nothing to put by.
SLIM - JACKIE TWO SHOT
Slim gets up.
He doesn't finish but walks out on field leaving Jackie alone.
Jackie sits thinking and we can hear Slim's words echoing in
...enough to get by -- but nothing
to put by...
Someone calls Jackie and he snaps out of his reverie and
runs onto field.
EXT. FIELD FULL
Centering on Jackie at shortstop as play begins. We HEAR the
crack of a bat and Jackie shoots over to his left to make a
pickup and throw out to first. It is a neat, fast play.
Jackie stepping up to bat.
RADIO ANNOUNCER CLOSE
We see him talking into his mike.
Jackie Robinson up again. He got a
hit once and walked once. Let's see
what he does now.
The ball flashes by Jackie, low. He makes no move.
Ball one. Too low.
Jackie waggling his bat, drawing it back... but failing to
swing as the ball comes by low again.
He is plainly nettled as he receives ball, gets catcher's
sign, and winds up.
From behind catcher. We see Jackie poised to hit, the ball
coming... and Jackie merely lifts his elbows to let ball
He is laughing.
Jackie is not biting. They've got
the wrong man. It's ball three now
and the pitcher's on the spot.
He wipes sweat from brow. Winds up and --
The ball comes by and without waiting for the umpire's call
Jackie tosses his bat aside and makes for first.
Ball four and Jackie walks again.
He's got eyes, that boy.
With the first baseman in the act of tossing the ball back
to the pitcher -- the ball still in mid-air -- Jackie is off
on a dash to second. The pitcher is rattled, fumbles
momentarily, and then gets off a high throw. Jackie is safe
on a long, hooked slide.
EXT. DUGOUT MEDIUM
Monarch players are tumbling into the dugout from the field,
ad libbing about winning a tough game.
EXT. SIDELINES FULL
We see Jackie loping along towards dugout. Suddenly his name
is called and he looks towards the boxes.
Oh, Robinson! Can I see you a minute?
Jackie pauses, then veers toward the box seats.
BOX SEAT MEDIUM
Sukeforth is standing as Jackie enters the scene. Sukeforth
extends his hand and Jackie takes it... wondering and perhaps
a little suspicious that he may be dealing with a crank.
My name is Clyde Sukeforth. I'm with
Branch Rickey... of the Brooklyn
Jackie neither changes expression nor acknowledges this in
any way. Sukeforth climbs out of box onto field and takes
I'll walk up to the dressing room
with you. Talk to you there.
They start off, Jackie still wondering.
INT. DRESSING ROOM DOOR MEDIUM
Stopping outside the dressing room door, Sukeforth begins
talking again. Several Monarch players, including Slim, walk
by and look at them curiously.
Branch Rickey wants to see you.
Frankly, I don't know. Can you leave
for Brooklyn tonight with me?
Jackie is taken aback by this, then, after studying Sukeforth,
he suddenly nods his head.
Great! I'm at the Palmer House. I'll
arrange for our railroad tickets and
suppose you phone me at the Palmer
I'll do that, Mr. Sukeforth.
They shake hands and Sukeforth leaves. Jackie stands looking
after him a moment, his head shaking in wonder. Then he enters
INT. DRESSING ROOM MEDIUM
Jackie reaches his locker and starts pulling his shirt off.
Slim enters scene accompanied by Bill, the pitcher.
Who was that white man, Jackie? A
friend of yours?
Nope. Said he was a scout for the
Brooklyn Dodgers. Said Branch Rickey
wants to see me.
S'matter? You owe Rickey some money
Yeah... what does Mr. Rickey want to
see you about?
He didn't say. Just wants to see me.
Maybe to see if I've got two heads
What'd you say?
He's getting the train tickets and
I'm to phone him at seven at his
Better hurry up and pack. We'll miss
You don't think I'm crazy, do you?
Slim and Bill join in the laughter and Bill lets his hand
fall on Jackie's shoulders.
You'll find a lot of these cranks
showing up. I don't know what makes
'em do it. Last year I was signed to
pitch for the Giants, Senators and
But none of us have ever been signed
for Brooklyn yet. That's a new one.
You ought to take Bill and me out
and show us a good time on the
strength of that.
On the strength of that I'm going to
have dinner and go home to bed. It's
been four days since we had a bed to
sleep in and I'm going to get a
nightful of it.
You got something there...
INT. HOTEL BEDROOM - NIGHT MED. SHOT - JACKIE
He is in bed, sound asleep, when a knock is heard at the
door. Jackie rolls over a bit, paying no attention.
CLOSER - JACKIE
As he lifts his head sleepily when the knocking continues,
louder this time.
Who is it?
There is silence for a moment, then a dry, angry voice is
Robinson? Clyde Sukeforth.
CLOSE UP - JACKIE
He appears stunned, is completely motionless for a moment,
then snaps on the bedside lamp. The room is illuminated for
the first time and we see that it is a cheap one, poorly
furnished. On the dresser is a framed picture of Rae.
Just a second!
He gets out of bed, in his pajamas, and hurries to open the
door. From his expression he still isn't sure what to expect.
MED. SHOT - AT DOOR
As Jackie opens it and an annoyed-looking Sukeforth enters.
They stare at each other for a moment.
What are you trying to pull, Robinson?
He moves into the room, angrily continuing to berate Jackie.
Playing hard to get or something...?
Or just trying to make a fool out of
me? Acting like a smart guy... making
me miss my train...
I should have taken it and not come
TWO SHOT - FAVORING JACKIE
He is growing indignant at this treatment from a man he is
not sure of. He controls his temper, but nevertheless makes
Just a minute, Mr. Sukeforth -- if
that's your name... I don't know you
and you don't know me...
Sukeforth looks at him sharply. Jackie hesitates, then
...If Mr. Rickey did send you to see
me, then I've made a big mistake --
and I'm sorry...
Sukeforth doesn't understand for a moment. Then, angrily, he
reaches into his pocket, brings out his wallet and gives
Jackie a card.
INSERT CARD IN JACKIE'S HAND
BACK TO SCENE
Jackie looks up from the card, puzzled.
It's still hard to believe... A lot
of fellows come to the game and...
Oh... You thought I was giving you
the business! I should have thought
Jackie relaxes a bit and waits for Sukeforth to continue.
When Mr. Rickey told me to come out
here and talk to you, I didn't think
I was hearing right myself... but
here I am...
He looks around the room, then back to Jackie.
And you said you don't know why he
wants to see me.
(no longer angry)
(urging him on)
After all, there's no chance for me
in major league baseball.
As Sukeforth nods in agreement --
The only thing I can think of... and
I've got no right to suggest it...
just between us...
There's talk about an all-Negro
football team being started by Mr.
Rickey... the Brown Dodgers...
Oh... so that's it. Football.
I don't know. But he wants to see
you and he's paying your fare...
both ways if you come back... What
do you say... yes or no?
Jackie looks around the room, plainly at a loss.
You'll just have to make up your
mind, quick. I can't tell you any
more. I don't know any more.
Fine. Let's pack. We leave in an
ESTABLISHING SHOT - NEW YORK SKYLINE - DAY - (STOCK)
EBBETTS FIELD - BROOKLYN - DAY - (STOCK)
A game is on.
INT. BUILDING HALLWAY - DAY MED. SHOT
Jackie and Sukeforth round a corner and walk down the hall
toward camera. CAMERA PULLS BACK and PANS to a doorway on
which is printed:
BROOKLYN BASEBALL CLUB, INC.
Branch Rickey, President.
CAMERA HOLDS as Jackie and Sukeforth walk up to the door.
Sukeforth opens it without knocking and leads Jackie inside.
INT. RECEPTION ROOM - DAY FULL SHOT
An attractive secretary sits at a desk. Two doors lead into
adjoining offices. On the walls are signed, framed photographs
of some of the old and new Dodgers.
Hello, Mr. Sukeforth... Mr. Rickey
is expecting you.
Sukeforth leads the way to a door marked "MR. RICKEY." He
opens it and motions Jackie to step in first.
INT. RICKEY'S OFFICE - DAY LONG
On Rickey, as he looks up towards camera from his desk in a
good-sized, well-furnished office, decorated with additional
pictures of baseball notables -- officials as well as players.
Hello, Clyde! Got your man, eh?
He stands up, warm of face and manner, but we can tell from
the look in his eyes that he is making a quick and keen study
Come in, Jackie. I'm very glad to
DESK AREA SIDE SHOT
As Sukeforth and Jackie come up to desk.
How do you do, Mr. Rickey.
Yes, this is Jackie Robinson... and
it looked for a while as if I wasn't
going to get him here.
Sit down, won't you?
How come? Don't like Brooklyn?
As he takes a chair.
I've got nothing against Brooklyn.
But... uh... on the Monarchs we get
all kinds of men who show up and
talk big about signing us up for
this and that. It's a kind of a gag.
RICKEY - JACKIE TWO SHOT
Oh, sure! Sure! Sure! But didn't
Clyde show you his credentials?
Yes... we got together finally.
Well, that's the main thing... And
You're wondering, naturally, why I
sent for you.
More than wondering, Mr. Rickey. I'm
most curious. Although... I sort of
figured it out for myself...
(a bit surprised)
Well, I know you're starting an all-
colored football team.
Oh! Yes! Yes! We are thinking about
that. But... that's not what I want
(quietly; after pause)
Jackie, I want you for baseball.
JACKIE - SUKEFORTH CLOSE TWO SHOT
Jackie is bewildered. He looks towards Sukeforth as if for
help in understanding but Sukeforth's expression is just as
puzzled. Then Jackie turns back and his face hardens a bit.
You said that as if you were talking
about organized baseball, Mr. Rickey.
But I'm a Negro. There are none of
us in big league ball. I don't
DESK - THREE SHOT
Why I should want to put a Negro
I'm going to tell you...
And you, Clyde.
Because I am going to have to tell
Jackie and Sukeforth consult each other with another glance
as Rickey falls silent a moment.
Leaning forward to Jackie.
I have been looking for someone like
you -- an intelligent, educated,
good Negro ballplayer -- for some
time. I needed a man whose character
was well regarded and whose background
was unblemished. As far as we can
find out, you are such a man. You
might as well know now... we've done
a lot of checking up on you. I can
tell you your life story from Georgia
to where you are sitting now. It may
be that you will be the first Negro
in organized baseball.
He is flabbergasted and, at the same time, beginning to feel
an excitement which he cannot well hide. But he is also
puzzled, and his hand goes to his chest, indicating himself,
as he manages to get out one word...
DESK AREA THREE SHOT
As Rickey stands up and shoots a finger out at Jackie as if
guessing what is on his mind.
Why you? Let's get this straight so
we can all understand it. It's too
important for anyone to have a false
impression. People are going to shoot
at us... we must know where we stand.
I didn't call you here because I
want to do something for you, or for
your race, or for the Brooklyn Ball
Club. I want to do something for all
of us... All of us Americans.
Rickey turns and gazes out of the window.
EXT. EBBETTS FIELD - (STOCK) FROM RICKEY'S WINDOW
The park is crowded with fans. (The Brooklyn Ball Club offices
are not near Ebbetts Field; they are in downtown Brooklyn.
But the liberty we take is not offensive and should not be
objectionable to anyone.)
...For years I have seen and watched
Americans together in the grandstands
and bleachers of our country's ball
parks... Negroes, whites of all
BASEBALL CROWDS - ANY PARK - (STOCK) MONTAGE
Selected to illustrate Rickey's continued speech. (Great
care should be taken here as the proper scenes can lend
pointed and heartwarming emphasis to this important, key
scene. We see Negroes and Whites laughing together, growing
tense together, gulping with relief as some emergency is
met. We may have a group CLOSEUP which might include (this
may have to be staged) an American executive type, a Negro
and a Jew, suddenly all filled with heartbreak or dismay as
a hometown hero has apparently struck out, or some other bad
break has ensued. In no case need we show what they are
watching. The faces of the crowds can express the typical
emotional situations that come up in any game.)
...Italians, Irish, Swedes, Jews,
Germans, Chinese, Russians, Japanese,
Czechs... and I have marveled at
their fellowship, their cheers,
laughter, disappointments, enthusiasm,
all as one... and all made so by the
magic of a sport they all loved and
appreciated equally. And I couldn't
help ask myself a question... a long
time ago... and hundreds of times
since -- If Americans can find such
a common meeting ground in a game...
the game of baseball... If they can
play together like this... why can't
they live together like this... in
the game of life?
Over heads of Jackie and Sukeforth towards Rickey still
looking out of window. He turns back and finishes quietly.
And... I know they can... and maybe
baseball can show the way... because
baseball is wholly and peculiarly
He is looking at Rickey with new eyes.
That's why I called you here, Jackie.
Do you want to get in on it? Because
it starts with you!
JACKIE - SUKEFORTH TWO SHOT
Sukeforth looks to see what Jackie's answer will be, and
Jackie begins nodding slowly, and replies, not as if he is
talking to Rickey, but as if he is asking questions of
himself... because this is serious.
If I'm strong enough. If I should be
the one on whom this all depends.
When Rickey remains silent --
I can try. For all I've got.
RICKEY - JACKIE TWO SHOT
That should be enough. But I want
you to know exactly what you are
getting into. I'll do my part. You
mustn't let me, or all of us, down.
Jackie, we can't start you with
Brooklyn. It wouldn't be fair to
both of us. We don't know if you're
major league or not.
He nods. He agrees.
We'll let you try out for Montreal,
one of our farm teams, and later
hope you make Brooklyn. But aside
from that, if and when we announce
you for even Montreal... do you know
what's going to happen? The papers?
People? Other players? Other clubs?
The reaction in the south?
And if we get over that and you
actually start with Montreal -- Will
you stand what you're going to have
to go through? The razzing... the
cruel, unfair razzing that every
player gets, and the special razzing,
the special name-calling you're going
to get. Can you stand it?
Are you sure? Because...
You're not going to be able to fight
back... no matter what the offense.
...No matter what the offense! Do
DESK THREE SHOT
Both Rickey and Sukeforth wait for Jackie's reply. Finally
Can you use a ballplayer who hasn't
the spirit... to fight back?
It's a poser. He rubs his face, his chin, and practically
his entire head. Eventually he finds an answer.
That's what's going to make your job
so tough. No! I want a fighter every
time. I want a man in there for
everything he's got! But... you'll
have to take it... not fight back...
and yet, do it so that somehow it's
no discredit to you... so that somehow
the crowd will sense it's not
cowardice that is stopping you but
something deeper. If, and when, you
can put that over... your troubles
are over. No player will bother you,
no man will unfairly attack you by
name or epithet, when you have
established that with the baseball
public. Because the very core of
Americans is fair play... once they
have felt the true situation involved.
RICKEY - JACKIE TWO SHOT
Rickey stands up. Jackie follows.
Jackie, I know from your background
that you've been spiked and beaned
in baseball, you've been clipped and
two-way tackled in football, you've
been banged around on the street.
That's what you face now. And you
don't dare yell copper... or fight
back. You don't dare because more
than you... much more than just you...
hangs in the balance.
(extending his hand)
Take a day to think it over. And
think it over!
They shake. In the background, Sukeforth enters the scene
looking a little dazed at what has happened, in fact, blowing
INT. ROBINSON HOME - LIVING ROOM FULL
Mrs. Robinson at table knitting as Mack enters in his street-
cleaning uniform, carrying lunch pail.
I'm going, Mom. See you in the
The telephone rings and Mack goes to it. Mrs. Robinson
Hello... Yes, yes...
We hear the jangle of heavy coins coming from the receiver
as Mack turns to his mother in surprise.
It's Jackie, Mom. He's calling from
Also surprised, and a bit perturbed, she gets up and joins
New York? What's he doin' there?
Hello... Yeah, Jackie, it's me, Mack.
What are you...? Huh?... The
Dodgers?... The Dodgers!... Yeah...
Mrs. Robinson stands quietly waiting, but we can tell she is
dying to know what it is all about. But Mack is listening.
Then he finally talks again to Jackie.
Yes, she's right here, Jackie. Just
a minute, I'll tell her.
(turning to mother)
Listen, Mom. Jackie's got a chance
to try out for Montreal -- baseball --
and maybe go with the Brooklyn
baseball team afterwards. He'll be
the first Negro in real baseball.
But he has to promise that no matter
what kind of trouble happens -- and
there'll be trouble --
Will he get hurt?
Oh, not actually... but it could be
nasty... you know. But he's got to
promise not to fight back no matter
what happens to him and he don't
know if he can trust himself to take
it. Feels he'll feel like only half
a man. And if things go wrong on his
account it might be the end of Negroes
in baseball. He doesn't know what to
Mrs. Robinson reaches for the phone but Mack holds it away
and seems surprised at what appears to be a quick decision
on her part.
What are you going to tell him?
Let me have the phone, Mack.
He gives it to her. She clears her throat and then begins...
INT. PHONE BOOTH CLOSE
Jackie talking into a pay station phone.
Hello, Mom! Mack tell you? What do
you think, Mom...?
Yeah... I feel all right. Yeah, I'm
sure. I feel swell... But what
MRS. ROBINSON CLOSE
We can't advise you, son. You have
to talk to somebody with better
judgment. Somebody in New York you
can sit down with...
JACKIE IN PHONE BOOTH CLOSE
But I don't know anybody in New
Yes, you do, son. In Harlem there
are churches and good men at the
head of them. Find one. Tell him.
And listen. It means as much to him
as it does to you and all of us.
Yeah... maybe you're right, Mom.
That does sound good.
ROBINSON HOME MEDIUM
...and take good care of yourself
and let us know... What?... No, we
won't tell anyone until you let us
know... Yes, just Rae. Good-bye.
She hangs up and turns from phone to Mack.
That was good, Mom. How'd you happen
to think he could go to some church
and talk to a minister?
She sits down and takes up her knitting again.
He needed help and it just naturally
came to me he could go to church.
EXT. HARLEM CHURCH - NIGHT FULL
INT. RECTORY - NIGHT TWO SHOT
Jackie and an elderly minister are seated, both silent,
serious and thoughtful. Jackie seems to be waiting for an
opinion from the minister. The latter finally stands up and
Jackie follows suit.
I understand. It's quite a problem.
Do you have time for a little walk,
A walk? Well... surely, if you like.
(reaching for hat)
Let's take one.
HARLEM - (STOCK) EFFECT SEQUENCE
This scene, which is one of the most important in the picture,
will depend almost entirely on footage available, editorial
selection of scenes, and technical handling. We see Harlem
at night and get the feeling of humanity so congested, and
sometimes so suppressed, that it overruns its boundaries
both physically and emotionally. Yet there is also the music
and laughter of Harlem, and the spirit of a people not to be
overcome. Song and violence, rowdy kids and sober elders,
church and saloon, and always the streets crowded, the
buildings giving an appearance of being stuffed. Intercut in
these scenes are the minister and Jackie, so that they appear
to be looking on and absorbing what they see. Occasionally
the minister will glance at Jackie to make sure he is taking
it all in. Occasionally he will explain what is going on...
and the dialogue for this is to be written when the proper
scenes are selected.
EXT. THE CHURCH - NIGHT FULL
Jackie and the minister have arrived back at the church and
JACKIE - MINISTER MED. CLOSE
That's your people.
As Jackie nods:
I know that if you don't make good...
it may hurt us. But...
...we always can take hurt, if there
is the chance to benefit.
That means I take the chance.
We all take the chance. The Lord has
appointed you one of the rising men
of your race. And we've got to be a
The minister looks at him. Jackie nods. He keeps nodding as
we cut to:
A series of newspaper headlines -- front page --
DODGERS SIGN NEGRO PLAYER!
Jackie Robinson sent to Montreal Royals
NEGRO BREAKS INTO BIG LEAGUE BALL!
Baseball world in furore!
Down in the body of one of the newspaper stories is the
INSERT NEWS STORY PARAGRAPH
"In the meanwhile, there has been no comment from Jackie
Robinson, who, having returned to his home in Pasadena, is
preparing to marry Miss Rae Isum, a schooldays sweetheart."
RADIO STUDIO - ANNOUNCER CLOSE
An announcer is standing at a mike, reading from a script he
When Branch Rickey announced that
Jackie Robinson had been signed and
would play for the Montreal farm
club there was plenty of excitement.
Almost everybody had something to
say about it -- and what's more --
they said it!...
QUICK CUTS - (STOCK) - (ALL SILENT)
A. Two men arguing on a street corner.
B. Men arguing in bar.
C. Man and woman arguing.
D. Three Negroes discussing a serious problem.
E. Group at exclusive club discussing same heatedly.
F. Radio commentator talking into mike.
ANNOUNCER AGAIN CLOSE
...The talk came from high places in
baseball as well -- with many a club
owner declaring that they wouldn't
stand for it. But there it was. What
would they do about it? It is
something we won't know until the
season starts in a few weeks in
ROBINSON HOME STEPS - NIGHT TWO SHOT
Jackie and Rae are sitting together.
You're sure you want me to come to
Florida with you? I've never been
I'm sure. I'm very sure. Not afraid,
are you?... because of all this fuss
in the papers? I've never been south
either, since babyhood.
A little. But that's not why I wonder
about coming. I just don't want to
be in your way. You'll be busy with
all that spring training... people
wanting to talk to you.
Who'll want to talk to me? They talk
about me... but not to me much. If
you aren't there I'll just be alone
once I'm off the field.
Is that the way you figure it?
Why... Dem's the conditions that
prevail... like Jimmy Durante says.
(with sidelong glance)
Well... if dem's the conditions,
I'll see what I can do.
We cut as Jackie, pleased, starts to put his arm around her.
SERIES OF QUICK CUTS - (ALL SILENT EXCEPT FOR MUSIC)
1. Shot of Jackie and Rae getting on plane.
PLANE IN FLIGHT. (STOCK)
3. Jackie and Rae getting on train.
4. Train speeding along. (Stock)
5. Stock shot - Florida. Palm trees, stucco buildings, etc.
6. Shot of Jackie and Rae entering bus. Rae is about to take
a seat in middle of bus when Jackie stops her and indicates
she is to sit in rear of bus.
7. Rae and Jackie in bus as he points to sign near driver.
8. Sign, reading: "Colored must sit in rear."
INT. BUS DEPOT FULL
Bus coming to stop, driver opening door and passengers
beginning to exit.
BUS DOOR MEDIUM
Jackie stepping out and helping Rae down as a well-dressed,
middle-aged Negro steps up to him.
And Mrs. Robinson?
My name is Gaines. I am an attorney
in town. A group of us heard you
were due here for spring training.
We thought you might not have made
arrangements for a place to stay.
Why... we were going to find a
There is no suitable hotel, Mr.
Robinson. That's why we talked it
over. I'd be pleased to have you
stop at my home while you are here
as our guests. Such as it is, it is
the only place available.
(puzzled, looking at
That's very kind of you... but...
why... we don't want to impose...
Not at all. You are a very important
man to us. It will be our pleasure,
I assure you.
Jackie studies Gaines a moment and then understands. He
extends his hand and both men shake.
EXT. HOUSE - DAY FULL
A car pulls up outside a comfortable looking frame house.
The three, Gains, Jackie and Rae, get out, the two men
dividing the bags between them, and walk towards house. As
they get near the door, it opens and a dignified colored
woman steps out and smiles a welcome. From a distance we see
the introductions made and the group passes inside.
DODGERS' TRAINING FIELD - (STOCK) PANORAMIC
A general view of the training field with about fifty-odd
players tossing the ball around.
GAINES' CAR - (PROCESS)
We see Jackie and Gaines in car as it comes to stop near
field which forms the b.g. Jackie, carrying small zipper
bag, emerges from car, waves thanks to Gaines, and starts
INT. DRESSING ROOM - DAY FULL
Jackie is buttoning up his uniform and nearly a dozen
reporters, most of them white, are shooting questions at
him. Several have notebooks in their hands and are writing
down his answers.
...Think you're good enough to make
Don't know if I'm good enough to
make the Montreal team -- so I'm not
even thinking about the Dodgers...
What'll you do if a pitcher tries to
Same as you would. Duck.
The other reporters grin.
You hope to be a Dodger sometime,
Sure -- provided I'm good enough...
What about the other players? You
think there'll be any trouble?
He means -- do you expect to get
along with the other guys --- Suppose
something happens -- then what? How'll
it affect you...?
Jackie doesn't answer for a moment. Then:
That's too tough for me to answer.
All I can say is that I'm going to
do my best -- as a player and on and
off the field... How it'll turn out --
I don't know any more than you do...
A few start writing this down and now the trainer moves up
in front of Jackie.
Sorry, boys -- but you'll have to
continue this later -- right now
Robinson's due on the field...
The reporters understand and several move to follow Jackie
as he and the trainer exit.
EXT. DUGOUT - DAY MED. SHOT
As Jackie, the trainer, and several reporters come up out of
it and stand there for a moment.
EXT. PLAYING FIELD - FULL SHOT - THEIR ANGLE
Showing ballplayers, some batting, fielding, throwing balls,
etc. o.s., we hear the trainer's voice:
Oh, Mr. Hopper!
At the call, a tall, greying man in his fifties, in uniform,
turns around and walks toward Jackie and others, including
MED. SHOT - JACKIE, TRAINER, REPORTERS
As Mr. Hopper walks into scene and up to them.
Jackie -- this is Mr. Hopper --
Manager of the Montreal Royals --
Mr. Hopper -- Jackie Robinson...
They both nod and shake hands. Hopper is a hard man to figure
out. His accent is Southern -- his attitude calm and quiet.
Got a few minutes for us, Mr.
Certainly -- but let me get Jackie
out there first...
He starts moving toward the field as he speaks and Jackie
follows him. Then they both stop and look out toward the
MED. SHOT - FROM THEIR ANGLE
Almost every player on the field is looking in their
direction, curious about Jackie.
TWO SHOT - HOPPER AND JACKIE
As Hopper moves forward again. Jackie is a bit nervous and
we can tell that Hopper knows how he feels, but there are no
PANNING - HOPPER AND JACKIE
As they move down the first base line toward a player who is
tossing a ball with two other men who are standing as a pair
some distance away.
Boys... this is Jackie Robinson.
That's Harker, Billings and Piletti.
Catch with them a while.
The players and Jackie nod. Hopper turns away and Jackie
joins Harker who is the lone player, with Billings and Piletti
some sixty feet away.
We ANGLE SEVERAL SHOTS while the following routine takes
place. Piletti throws the ball to Harker who is alongside
Jackie. Harker throws it back to Billings. Billings should
throw now to Jackie -- instead he also throws to Harker.
They keep this up a while, with Piletti and Billings never
throwing to Jackie, just to Harker, and as it goes on and
the white men realize they have committed themselves to this
insult, their faces sharpen, the atmosphere becomes a little
tense as indicated by the quick glances they shoot each other
and the way they avoid even looking at Jackie. It is his
first crisis, a childish one, perhaps, but nevertheless
serious. He stands quietly, his face betraying nothing, but
his eyes just following the ball.
CLOSEUP - JACKIE
As he studies their faces, his eyes following the ball in
flight. He hopes they might be kidding him.
QUICK CUTS - CLOSEUPS - THREE PLAYERS' FACES FROM JACKIE'S
Their faces serious. It is not a gag.
CLOSEUP - JACKIE
Looking out toward other players on field.
THE PLAYING FIELD FULL SHOT - JACKIE'S ANGLE
Several players, including Clay Hopper, who has turned around,
are watching with interest, paying no attention to their own
MED. CLOSEUP - JACKIE
He is troubled, not knowing what to do, but realizing that
he must do something -- yet nothing that will offend the
three players who are still ignoring him. He studies them
PANNING SHOT - THE THREE
CAMERA STUDIES their faces for a brief moment. We even feel
that they are sorry they have done what they have, but they
don't know how to get out of it without one of them turning
CLOSEUP - JACKIE
He takes a breath and moves a step closer to Harker.
Piletti throws again.
JACKIE - HARKER CLOSE
The ball is again intended for Harker but Jackie leans over
and casually gathers it in in a graceful catch. Before there
can be any reaction he has the ball on its way back to
BILLINGS - PILETTI
Billings is so unnerved by the whole incident that he fumbles
the ball and has to walk after it.
JACKIE - HARKER CLOSE
Jackie turns after throw to find Harker looking at him almost
gratefully. Harker nods in commendation.
Glad you did that. I don't know how
the heck we got into it.
Billings has recovered ball and is so confused by the whole
episode that, instead of throwing it back to Harker, who is
extending a glove up in the air as a sign, he throws it to
Jackie instead. Harker watches and looks back at Billings.
Then he calls out in pretended indignation.
Oh, great! Now you're leaving me out
of it! Oh, fine!
The four of them have to laugh now and as we cut away Harker
is begging Jackie for the ball.
Here... let me get a chance to throw
once in a while!
His face inscrutable, he turns and studies the faces of the
other ballplayers who have been watching the incident. They,
too, are smiling. Thoughtfully, he walks away.
EXT. GAINES HOME FULL
We can see two women seated on the porch.
EXT. PORCH CLOSE
Rae and Mrs. Gaines are talking.
You're sure you don't want to walk
Well... not yet.
You're not nervous about it, are
you? Afraid down here?
Uh... to tell you the truth, I
wouldn't be comfortable. I've never
been south and I'm afraid I wouldn't
know how to act. You probably don't
understand but... when one isn't
accustomed to... well, sort of
deferring... or whatever it is down
I'm afraid I'm not clear. Perhaps if
you explained. I worry about making
a mistake and getting Jackie into
I understand. Of course I do. But it
really isn't as bad as reported.
Some of what you hear is true... a
lot exaggerated. We live our own
lives... and as long as we live our
own lives we are not bothered. Most
of the white people understand our
position and are helping, bit by
bit, to make things better, easier.
We've got to show respect for all of
them -- whether we respect them or
not. Always say Mister or Mrs. --
never use first names, even if they
ask you to.
None of those are hard to do, really.
You do defer, but even that isn't
hard -- once you get used to it.
In what way?
Every way. In stores, say, don't try
to get waited on until you're the
only one left -- and give way even
if you're first and they come in
later... Never, of course, try or
expect to mix --- and as long as
they come first in everything --
you'll get along all right...
Rae is thoughtful for a moment.
Tell me -- why are you living here --
instead of up North...
To tell you the truth, I like it
down here. Even so... I like it down
here. If I left... it would be like
running away from home. I couldn't
I like it, too. It feels like home...
And yet it's strange.
Yes. Strange. Almost... mysterious.
Mrs. Haines nods in understanding. The two sit silently as:
We get a synoptic impression of activities: Jackie training,
a class being instructed in base sliding, Jackie, Rae, Mr.
and Mrs. Gaines around a card table at home, and, at the
end, a shot showing a group of white Floridians standing in
silence, watching Jackie taking part in a scrub game.
GAINES' PORCH - DAY MEDIUM
Jackie emerges and Rae comes as far as screen door.
I'll be right home after practice.
Rae nods as Jackie waves and starts to run down the walk.
GAINES' HOME FULL
A car pulls up and Gaines gets out just as Jackie comes down
His face is serious as he looks towards Jackie.
GAINES - JACKIE
As Jackie comes up to him.
Hello, Mr. Gaines. I was just on my
way to the field.
Gaines puts his hand on Jackie's shoulder.
Not this morning, Jackie.
Not this... Uh? What do you mean?
Come up on the porch. I had a call
from Mr. Rickey. I'll tell you what
Rae is still standing. Mr. Gaines offers her a chair, then
nods to Jackie to take one, and seats himself.
The town has put a stop to mixed
You mean... on account of me?
Jackie looks at Rae... then back at Gaines.
Then... you mean I'm through? Is
that what he said?
By no means! Mr. Rickey isn't giving
up that easy. You're to train in
By myself? I don't get it.
Oh, no. With the others. Mr. Rickey's
answer to the town was to decide to
move the whole Brooklyn organization
out of here to another town. Not
far. You'll still stay here with us.
And I... I'm the cause of all that?
Don't hold yourself cheap, Jackie.
Mr. Rickey thinks that you, and what
you stand for, is worth it.
INT. BALL PARK - DAY FULL SHOT
Training session on. A few dozen players on the field,
catching, throwing, batting, etc. Jackie is playing shortstop.
MED. SHOT - THE FIELD FOCUSED ON PITCHER AND BATTER
A batter misses the first pitch, then connects on the second
and runs for first. Jackie scoops up the ball but makes a
very bad throw to first -- and the batter is safe.
MED. CLOSE - JACKIE
Looking disgusted with himself, then flexes his right arm a
few times as he moves back into position.
EXT. DUGOUT - DAY GROUP SHOT - RICKEY AND TWO REPORTERS
They are watching practice.
FULL SHOT - THE FIELD OVER RICKEY AND REPORTERS
As they watch batting practice. Another batter hits a grounder
to Jackie. This time he muffs the ball and it goes into the
GROUP SHOT - RICKEY AND REPORTERS
The cynical reporter grimaces at Jackie's performance.
From what I've heard, you had a good
ballplayer in Robinson. But from
what I've seen -- you've wasted your
and mine, too...
The other two reporters show nothing. Rickey isn't bothered.
Could be... but I don't think so...
(turns around and
calls o.s., to trainer)
Pete -- tell Robinson I want him at
MED. SHOT TO INCLUDE RICKEY, REPORTERS, TRAINER
As the trainer nods to Mr. Rickey and trots out on the field.
As he leaves, the first reporter turns to Rickey curiously.
He ever played first?
Not that I know of...
Because he's been trying so hard
he's thrown his arm out... it won't
be so hard on him at first...
The reporters think about this, but the cynic isn't impressed.
Just how bad is his arm, Mr. Rickey?
From what I've heard, he can't even
comb his own hair...
...and you're keeping him out
The trainer comes back.
How long before his arm...?
A week will bring it around...
Rickey thinks about it, then turns to the reporters, looking
directly at the cynic.
I suggest that you catch our first
exhibition game -- two weeks from
No -- Jacksonville...
I'll be there...
QUICK FADE OUT:
EXT. BALLPARK - DAY - (STOCK)
Over scene is title: JACKSONVILLE.
EXT. PARK ENTRANCE - DAY FULL SHOT
Fans milling around box-office. A few reading sign on box-
The authority for the cancellation is partially covered so
that we do not have to blame anybody.
BACK TO SCENE
A few disgruntled fans muttering in disappointment.
EXT. PLAYERS' ENTRANCE - DAY MED. SHOT - AT GATE
It is padlocked and a policeman stands in front of it. As
scene opens, a dozen or so ballplayers, in business or sports
clothes instead of uniform, are walking into scene and up to
gate. Jackie is among them.
SAME - CLOSER
The trainer moves up toward the cop as the players ask him
to open the gates.
How's about opening up?
Not today, I'm afraid...
The players do not know what's wrong. The trainer moves up
to the policeman.
What's the matter?
Why not? Whose orders?
Well -- there's a statute on the
books that says white and colored
can't compete against each other --
even in sports...
The trainer looks as though he's about to explode and so do
some of his players. Jackie looks upset. The trainer shrugs
helplessly and motions toward the players to leave.
They start back and CAMERA PANS them to sidewalk where they
start walking o.s.
EXT. SIDEWALK MED. SHOT
As the 2nd Reporter and the cynic meet the players.
Pete -- what's...
Cancelled -- usual reason...
Think you'll ever play a game down
(holding his temper)
We'll play all right...
He shoulders on past the reporters and the players follow
him... As they walk o.s. we
EXT. BALL PARK - DAY
CAMERA reveals ball park's name:
Jersey City vs. Montreal Royals
INT. BALL PARK - DAY FULL SHOT
A few players warming up. A few hundred fans in stands and
more entering. Most of the ball players are around the
dugouts, all of them in uniform.
EXT. DUGOUT MED. SHOT
Branch Rickey and Clay Hopper are standing in conference
near the dugout. Players, including Jackie, in b.g.
...and I want you to use him --
trouble or not...
Hey -- Robinson!
Jackie comes up to them from b.g. Waits for them to speak to
Jackie -- I want you to play second
(looking at Jackie's
Arm working all right?
Give it all you've got today...
I will, Mr. Rickey...
Rickey motions for him to join his teammates and he does so.
Rickey is thoughtful for a moment.
I'm going to stay for awhile -- just
It'll probably take some time --
after they find out Robinson's in
They walk away, talking about the situation.
EXT. BALLPARK - DAY FULL SHOT - GAME IN PROGRESS
Scoreboard reads: 1 to 1 -- 2nd Inning. Fans seem to be
enjoying the game. The batter scores an out and the teams
change sides as we HOLD. The Royals are coming to bat.
EXT. PLAYERS BENCH DUGOUT IN B.G.
A player selects a bat and moves to take up his position at
the plate as the pitcher and catcher warm up. Hopper motions
to Jackie who steps forward and picks out his own bat.
No -- use your own judgment...
Jackie nods again, swings his bat, and moves up to the "on
deck" spot. As he does so, the first batter gets a hit and
races toward first.
EXT. PLAYING FIELD
As the batter reaches first safely and Jackie moves up into
the batter's box.
EXT. BOX SEAT - DAY MED. CLOSE - RICKEY
He is watching game. Two reporters, the cynic included, sit
MED. SHOT - JACKIE AT PLATE RICKEY'S ANGLE
The first pitch is a called strike. The second is a ball.
The third is a ball. Fourth a strike. Fifth a ball. Sixth a
ball and Jackie walks.
Watch him... See that stance -- see
how he hugs the plate... He's hard
to pitch to -- he'll walk at least
one for four...
At this point we go into a special sequence which must be
worked out at time of shooting between Jackie and the
director. It is designed as a demonstration of what makes a
good ball player as illustrated by Jackie... with Rickey
commenting on him for the benefit of the two reporters. The
action is not confined to any one inning but spreads over
the entire game in montaged scenes that take in his hitting,
funning and fielding. It should end up a memorable sequence
for all who play or enjoy baseball and believe, usually
wrongly, that they know all its tricks, embracing not only
physical skill but headwork as well. When it is over the
entire audience must have a knowledge and appreciation of
what makes Jackie Robinson the player he is... and,
furthermore, a better knowledge of baseball itself.
RICKEY - REPORTERS
Hopper enters scene.
Can I see you alone a moment, Mr.
Rickey smells trouble. He makes his excuses to reporters,
who also sense something in the air, and walks off with
RICKEY - HOPPER CLOSE
We've just got word. Police are on
the way. Mixed playing again.
Better get him off the field, Clay...
no use making it worse...
MED. SHOT - TO INCLUDE HOPPER
He nods at Rickey and heads back toward dugout.
EXT. DUGOUT MED. SHOT
As Hopper walks up to players' bench. Jackie and the players
look up at him.
Sorry, Jackie -- but you'd better
leave the park for awhile... The old
trouble. See you in the dressing
Jackie gets up and slowly walks down into the dugout and
towards dressing rooms. The other players are silent, yet,
we feel, resentful about this unfair situation Jackie has to
INT. DRESSING ROOM MED. CLOSE - JACKIE
He starts pulling off his uniform and the trainer walks into
scene. Jackie is definitely unhappy.
Same old thing. Same old thing!
Yeah, Pete. Thanks for looking at it
my way but I bet you fellows are fed
up with all the trouble I've caused.
All the jumping around, cancelled
games... ruction in the air.
Yes, it's been a lot of fuss. But
that's the game. We're getting paid
for it. Not our business to squawk.
It's the game... but I'll never get
to play it, I'm afraid. I've got a
hunch that maybe Mr. Rickey has
enough, too... and maybe I'll be
back with the Kansas City Monarchs
in a few days... if they'll take me.
Pete is about to reply when the sound of a door opening makes
them both turn towards the entrance.
DRESSING ROOM DOOR LONG
Rickey and Hopper are entering. They walk purposely and Rickey
beckons with his finger.
Pete... better go out on the field
and take a look at Hugh's hand. He
caught one on the knuckles.
JACKIE - PETE MEDIUM
As Rickey and Hopper enter scene.
Yes, Mr. Rickey. You going to give
it to me now?
Give you what?
My walking papers. You must be caught
up with all this melodramatic stuff...
police chasing the team all the time.
(winking at Hopper)
Yeah. Never had such excitement in
(back to Jackie)
I'll give it to you. Jackie... you
are now officially a Montreal Royal.
You have made the team. Okay?
Jackie, who has been sitting a bit dejectedly, straightens
up slowly and looks from one to the other. His face is filled
more with wonder than anything else.
You're still with me!
As Hopper nods --
Still with you.
And I was ready to give up!
He seems lost in thought, his gaze directed at a far corner
of the room, as Rickey gives him a farewell pat on the
shoulder and exits. Jackie doesn't even look up. Then Hopper
is standing over him.
All right, Jackie?
Yes, Mr. Hopper.
Think I've got even better news for
For you. You can pack up. We head
north tomorrow... for Jersey City
and our first game of the season.
GAINES HOME DINNER TABLE
With his wife and Jackie and Rae seated before him, Mr. Gaines
rises to propose a toast.
It is safe to say, Jackie, that this
drink is not the only one to be raised
in your honor tonight. It is safe to
say that hundreds of thousands of
our people are doing the same. You
have opened another door formerly
locked to us by intolerance. It is a
milestone... I speak for a great
many when I say... thank you... thank
The Gaineses and Rae drink, but when Jackie, embarrassed,
tries to take his glass, Rae puts her hand on it, laughingly,
and stops him.
You're not supposed to drink now.
You don't drink, anyway.
EXT. TRAIN - NIGHT - (STOCK) LONG
A train roaring through the night.
EXT. ROOSEVELT STADIUM, JERSEY CITY - DAY - (STOCK) AERIAL
Stadium on a gala day, pennants streaming, stands packed.
(Or any comparable stadium will do.) As we look at it, the
legend: "JERSEY CITY, APRIL 14, 1946" appears over the
picture. Then the picture gradually darkens until we
INT. RADIO STUDIO COMMENTATOR
He is seated at desk, reading from his notes.
...This was an unusual day in
organized baseball, ladies and
gentlemen. For the first time, a
Negro player was presented to the
public. And for his first time, a
Negro made his appearance in the big
time, his every instinct telling him
the crowd might not be friendly at
all. But whatever the feeling of the
crowd before they saw Jackie Robinson
today... they forgot it. Because he
made them think of one thing... and
one thing only... baseball! And what
baseball! Few will forget what they
saw... I can see it yet...
PLATE JACKIE AT BAT
He is waggling his bat.
Runners on first and second waiting to go.
The fans are silent, watchful.
He winds up and throws.
He takes a ball.
Swings and fouls off. Waiting. Another ball. Another ball.
A called strike.
Shows two strikes and three balls.
Checking runners, then winding up and throwing.
Swinging and connecting as a roar comes from the crowd.
Outfielder starting to run, then stopping as he realizes
ball will clear fence easily.
RADIO STUDIO COMMENTATOR
...But a lot of players hit home
runs. He gave them more baseball
than that. He gave them real baseball.
When next he came to bat there were
yells for another homerun. Jackie
didn't hit a homerun. He showed the
crowd something brand new... how to
score on a bunt!
ANGLING from third or left field to take in most of infield,
including home plate and first base. Jackie bunts towards
third and beats the throw to first.
SECOND - FIRST BASE LONG
Shooting from left field side of second along the line to
first base and taking in pitcher. Jackie is taking a long
lead off first as pitcher gets ready to throw. With the pitch
he is off for second, running towards us.
Catcher receives pitch and whips throw to second.
SECOND - FIRST BASE LONG
Continuation of former shot showing Jackie going into slide
and beating throw to second.
Receives ball from second baseman in disgust and turns around
towards plate. Only once, before throwing, does he turn around
to eye Jackie, then he starts his windup. The second he goes
into it there is a roar from the crowd and we can tell from
the frantic look that comes into the pitcher's eyes that he
knows what is happening -- Jackie must be off again... this
time for third! But it is, of course, too late for him to do
anything but finish his throw.
THIRD BASE LINE
Jackie racing along.
Reaching high for a bad throw, then whipping ball.
Jackie sliding in under throw.
The crowd yelling and laughing at this continued larceny on
Receiving throw from third baseman and tucking glove under
arm to wipe his brow and glare towards Jackie.
Jackie dusting himself off as third baseman looks on coldly.
Ready to throw. He checks Jackie and starts windup.
Shooting to show both Jackie and the pitcher, the latter in
the b.g. With the downswing of the pitcher's arm, Jackie is
off and the crowd roars again. But after a half dozen stops
Jackie stops suddenly and dashes back to third, just beating
a try from the catcher to stop him.
Taking in Jackie and the pitcher, the former dancing away
from third distractingly and the latter plainly worried by
Jackie's tactics and snapping a couple of throws to third in
an effort to trap him off base. Finally, the pitcher begins
his windup and immediately Jackie is off for third. With the
yell from the crowd the pitcher stops in mid-windup to make
a quick throw to third again. Again Jackie has stopped and
is on his way back to third but the umpire there waves him
away and signals that he may go on to home.
Pitcher's balk. You can score.
The pitcher comes running over to umpire to protest but
realizes after a few words that he plainly made a balk and
has no chance. He walks back to mound dejectedly.
Jackie tumbling in as pleased teammates slap him on the back.
RADIO STUDIO COMMENTATOR
...Before that game was over Jackie
had hit safely four times and scored
four times, with the aid of two stolen
bases and two pitcher's balks! Yes,
ladies and gentlemen, that was how
the first day went for the first
Negro in organized baseball. They
probably won't all go that well...
there may still be trouble... But we
have an indication that Jackie
Robinson has what it takes... to
take hold of the public's heart!
EXT. SYRACUSE, N.Y. AERIAL OR PANORAMIC VIEW
Over which appears legend: "SYRACUSE."
BALL PARK PAN OR GENERAL VIEW
A game is in progress.
PLATE MED. CLOSE
Jackie takes a strike.
Hey, dare, big boy! What you-all
doin' on a white man's field?
Jackie turns head briefly in direction of ground boxes where
voice, mimicking a thick southern accent, is coming from.
A thick-necked toughie is doing the yelling. He continues,
in a manner which he calculates will tickle those around
him. Next to him is another man who bends over to fumble
with something at his feet.
Better get your carcass out'a there
before you get rode out!
The other man comes up with a black cat around whose neck a
length of strong twine has been attached. The man throws the
cat onto the field.
He hears a yell of laughter from some of the crowd and looks
Shooting from behind him towards box where cat is being made
to run back and forth along box, and where Thick-Neck is
yelling again, ostensibly about the cat, but while looking
Get that black --
A laugh from his companion drowns out the next word.
-- off the field. Get him off the
STANDS SECTION CLOSE
We can see that a number of fans are not impressed with this
type of humor.
Smiling at the byplay, he winds up just as Jackie turns
We can see the cat business going on in the b.g. as Jackie
pulls his bat back, swings and connects.
As ball falls safe for a texas leaguer, Jackie going on to
Attendant has appeared and makes the two men lift the cat
back with them in the box.
Shooting from center field and taking in Jackie on second
and the next man at bat. We see the pitcher throw and the
batter hitting a long single on which Jackie easily goes
around third to home. As Jackie turns to go back to the
visiting team's dugout his path brings him near the ground
box seat where the cat has been sat on the box rail.
As Jackie passes and the man holding the cat holds it up to
Jackie and jeers.
Here's a brother of yours, Jackie.
Why don't you take him along? He
wants to get into baseball, too.
Jackie veers suddenly towards box and man falls back in alarm.
But Jackie makes no menacing motion. Instead he picks up the
cat and starts unloosening the twine as he walks away.
We walk with Jackie as he gets the twine loose, holds the
cat close and pets him comfortingly.
The fans watching in silence as Jackie, walking with cat
below, steps into dugout. Suddenly someone applauds. It is
taken up and soon the entire park is echoing with the
Jackie sitting in the shadows, his hand still fondly petting
Our radio commentator again double-exposed against a
background which includes a series of quick shots showing
Jackie playing, crowds cheering, an occasional jeering fan.
...With the baseball season almost
over, Jackie Robinson has proved
himself one of the standout players
in the International League. In his
home town, Montreal, he is a hero.
To the great majority of fans in
other International League towns, he
is also a favorite. There's no doubt
of it. Jackie has made good here...
but the biggest hurdle is ahead of
him... the major league. The
opposition is strengthening. There
are going to be fireworks!
MONTREAL - (STOCK)
There are stock shots available of the riotous scenes when
the Montreal Royals won the International League pennant in
1946 and the crowd went wild over Jackie, riding him around
on their shoulders.
INSERT NEWSPAPER HEADLINE
MONTREAL ROYALS WIN INTERNATIONAL PENNANT!
Jackie Robinson Leads League in Hitting!
BACK TO SCENE
Continuation of stock shots of Montreal celebration.
A fan throwing confetti, supposedly on the crowd below.
The confetti turns into snow and we see empty, snow-covered
GAINES HOME LONG
Gaines and his wife emerge on porch just as postman comes up
PORCH MED. CLOSE
Gaines accepts letter from postman who exits after they
exchange greetings. He opens letter and begins to read while
Mrs. Gaines turns to go back into house.
Just a minute, Clara. This is from
Oh. Is he coming back here?
No. That's why he writes. He's on
his way to Cuba. That's where Brooklyn
and Montreal will train this year.
Does he think he can go with Brooklyn?
He says all he has to do is beat two
hundred other men trying for the
That's all right. He has to show he
is able. The important thing is...
...he has nothing else against him.
He, and all of us, have come that
He folds letter slowly and thoughtfully as she pats his arm
HAVANA - (STOCK) AERIAL
A legend reads: "HAVANA, CUBA."
The Montreal team is working out in the field preparatory to
playing a game, with the ball being whipped out around the
infield. Jackie is playing second.
BROOKLYN DUGOUT MED. CLOSE
Just close enough so we can read the insignia on the uniforms
of the players and know that it is the Brooklyn team which
will oppose Montreal.
Shooting from second towards home plate we see a trainer cup
his hands to his mouth as if to yell.
Robinson! Mr. Rickey wants to see
INFIELD REVERSE SHOT
Jackie waves acknowledgement and then starts trotting in.
Rickey is standing alone, holding a first baseman's glove.
As Jackie enters scene Rickey nods and flips the glove to
Jackie who catches it but looks puzzled.
For me? This is a first baseman's
That's right. I want you to use it.
I don't get it. Not play second, you
mean? Mr. Rickey, I don't like first
base. I'm not a first baseman. I did
well at second last year.
Jackie, your team begins a seven
game practice series against Brooklyn
today. I want you to play first. I
want you to play like you've never
played before. Last year at Montreal
doesn't mean a thing. This is it.
This is where you decide whether
Brooklyn wants you... and by Brooklyn
I don't mean me -- I mean the Brooklyn
players. I want you to run them
ragged, on the bases, in the field,
at bat. Run wild. Steal their pants
off. They know they are definitely
weak at first. They want to win the
pennant. Make them wonder if their
chances wouldn't be better if they
had you. If they wonder loud enough...
I'll get you for them.
Jackie still has a fielder's glove on his hand. Slowly he
shakes it off and puts the first baseman's glove on instead.
He seems to have forgotten that Rickey is there. He pounds
his fist into the pocket of the glove thoughtfully and then,
without another word, still deeply preoccupied apparently,
walks off. Rickey's gaze follows him.
BASEBALL SERIES MONTAGE
Jackie awkwardly scrambling for one in the dirt at first and
barely recovering to make the out. Jackie hitting. Jackie
racing in for a bunt, turning to find no one at first, and
then racing the runner to the bag for the out. After which
he mops his brow wearily. Jackie running the bases, stealing
into a base, beating a pitcher's throw to trap him, teasing
the pitcher, teasing again, then away on a run. Jackie
hitting. Jackie hitting again. Jackie walking.
And again hitting as we
INT. SMALL OFFICE MEDIUM
Clyde Sukeforth is at a desk working away with a pencil at
some figuring. Nearby stands Rickey waiting. Clyde makes a
final notation, tosses the pencil away and shakes his head
I've never seen anything like it
before. His fielding was only fair,
as you know. He was new to first
base. But, at bat!... For the seven-
game series Jackie stole seven bases
and hit .625!
Pretty good. Pretty good.
Clyde is amazed at this conservatism, and his face is a study
as Rickey nods and walks away.
EXT. HOTEL NACIONALE, HAVANA - (STOCK)
INT. CORNER HOTEL ROOM CLOSE
Jackie at a small desk, writing. His voice is heard telling
us some of the words he is putting down.
...Training is over, Rae. I've had
no word yet. We fly to New York
tomorrow to play exhibition games
against Brooklyn on April 9th and
10th. The tenth is the last day before
the official season begins so if I
don't hear by then... I know I'm
cooked. They say that some of the
Dodgers didn't want me...
EXT. SECTION HOTEL PROMENADE CLOSE
Simply two wicker chairs against a palm trunk or tropical
plant of any suitable type for a background. Rickey and Hopper
are seated and talking.
It's a tough problem. Most of the
players see his value, a few don't.
That still leaves a Dodger team
divided against itself. I don't want
No... unless you could take a chance
that they would all come around when
they see that Jackie is helping them
towards a common cause -- the pennant.
I don't know... I don't know.
EXT. EBBETTS FIELD - (STOCK LONG
A game is in progress.
RADIO ANNOUNCER AT FIELD CLOSE
He is at the mike calling the game as he sees it.
Well, here is Jackie Robinson up
again in the last exhibition game
before the start of the official
National League season. Jackie has
had two chances to show whether Rickey
is wrong in not signing him for
Brooklyn -- and failed to get a hit
both times. Let's see what he does
now with a man on first to bring in.
Showing Jackie at plate and another Montreal player on first.
Jackie waggling his bat, apparently determined to come
They are watching Jackie keenly when another player jumps
into the dugout excitedly and says something to some of the
players. The others hear his words and turn to him in great
interest, forgetting about Jackie.
Winding up and throwing.
Swinging and hitting.
Angling to show that Jackie has hit into an easy double play,
so easy that he stops running about two-thirds of the way to
first and turns to lope back to the Montreal dugout.
RADIO ANNOUNCER CLOSE
That wasn't so hot. An easy double
play. It's hard to believe after the
sensational reports of Jackie's
playing in Cuba. Well, everybody has
a bad day and I imagine he is feeling
pretty blue now as he runs towards
No! He isn't sad at all... He's
Wait a moment! Something's going on
at the Montreal dugout. All his
teammates are running out to greet
him as they would a hero! What in...
INFIELD - FRONT OF DUGOUT
Shooting towards dugout, we see the Montrealers running out
to Jackie, grabbing his hand, pounding him on the back.
PLAYERS - JACKIE CLOSE
Several of them clustered around Jackie are all talking at
You've made it, Jackie! The
announcement just came out! You're a
He is nodding, smiling, yet still incredulous.
RADIO ANNOUNCER CLOSE
...They've had to announce it to the
crowd here, ladies and gentlemen.
What we heard from Cuba was right.
Jackie Robinson was good enough to
be signed by Brooklyn. He's a Dodger --
INT. DRESSING ROOM - DAY MED. SHOT - JACKIE AND CLAY HOPPER
They are standing together at one end of the room, Jackie
listening to Hopper.
...and I mean it when I say I'm glad
you're going with the Dodgers...
...Even though I'd like to keep you
with the Royals...
Jackie knows that Hopper means it and it affects him, as
they shake hands.
Mr. Hopper -- I really appreciate
all the help you've given me... And
I mean it, too, when I say that last
year in Montreal was the happiest
year I've ever had... Rae and I'd
just as soon live there the rest of
INT. RICKEY'S OFFICE CLOSE
Jackie is leaning over Rickey's desk and signing his contract
while Rickey looks on. When Jackie finishes, Rickey puts out
his hand and they shake.
My congratulations, Jackie. The going
is still going to be tough. But I
can trust you now to take what comes
and not lose your head until you win
the National League players over
like you did in the International
You can trust me, Mr. Rickey. I can't
afford to fail. My career is no longer
a personal one, as you know...
Against a background which illustrates the tough time Jackie
had in the National League his first season -- getting spiked,
ducking baseballs, being given the "hip" in his baserunning --
we see newspaper stories headed variously:
ROBINSON SPIKED AGAIN YESTERDAY
PLAYERS DENY ANTI-ROBINSON PLOT, SAY ROUGHNESS ACCIDENTAL
ROBINSON CALM IN NIGHT GAME FRACAS
Whatever the scenes, Jackie is shown as quietly accepting
whatever happens and standing clear while his teammates defend
him. The news stories are dated to show the progression of
the summer months during the 1947 season, or else we might
show the calendar months being stripped off one by one.
Part of the same effect is the following headline:
HOLD JACKIE ROBINSON NIGHT AT EBBETTS FIELD!
Here we insert stock shots showing Jackie out in the field
receiving the Cadillac car, television set, etc., with his
mother and Rae also present at the ceremonies in his honor.
THERE FOLLOWS THE HEADLINE:
ROBINSON WINS "ROOKIE OF THE YEAR" AWARD!
We illustrate here with stock newsreel shot of Jackie at
Baseball Writers Award Dinner.
RADIO ANNOUNCER CLOSE
This announcer is possibly Walter Winchell or Drew Pearson
or some other national name if proper arrangements can be
made (i.e., a Damon Runyon Fund benefit in the case of Walter
Today, ladies and gentleman, near
the close of the 1949 baseball season,
a great National League player, and
outstanding American citizen, is on
his way to Washington. His name is
Jackie Robinson. He isn't going there
to play ball. But he is going to
talk about how an American patriot
plays ball with the country that
extends him the right to fight for
freedom. He has been asked to discuss
the patriotism of the American
Negro... before the members of the
Un-American Activities Committee.
INT. COMMITTEE ROOM - (STOCK)
We show those scenes of Jackie in which he is beginning the
selected excerpts given below.
You can put me down as an expert on
being a colored American, with thirty
years of experience at it. And just
like any other colored person with
sense enough to look around him and
understand what he sees, I know that
life in these United States can be
mighty tough for people who are a
little different from the majority --
in their skin, color or the way they
worship their God, or the way they
spell their names. I'm not fooled
because I've had a chance open to
very few Negro Americans. It's true
that I've been the laboratory specimen
in a great change in organized
baseball. I'm proud that I've made
good on my assignment to the point
where other colored players will
find it easier to enter the game and
go to the top. But I'm very well
aware that even this limited job
isn't finished. As I see it there
has been a terrific lot of
misunderstanding on this subject of
communism among Negroes in this
country, and it's bound to hurt my
people's cause unless it's cleared
up. I understand that there are some
few Negroes who are members of the
Communist party, and in event of war
with Russia they would probably act
just as any other Communists would.
So would members of other minority
and majority groups... Most Negroes --
and Italians and Irish and Jews and
Swedes and Slavs and other Americans --
would act just as all these groups
did in the last war. They'd do their
best to help their country stay out
of war; if unsuccessful, they'd do
their best to help their country win
the war -- against Russia or any
other enemy that threatened us... I
can't speak for any fifteen million
people any more than any other one
person can, but I know that I've got
too much invested for my wife and
child and myself in the future of
this country, and I and other
Americans of many races and faiths
have too much invested in our
country's welfare, for any of us to
throw it away. I am a religious man.
Therefore, I cherish America where I
am free to worship as I please, a
privilege which some countries do
not give. And I suspect that 999 out
of almost any 1,000 colored Americans
you meet will tell you the same thing.
But that doesn't mean that we're
going to stop fighting race
discrimination in this country until
we've got it licked. It means that
we're going to fight it all the harder
because our stake in the future is
so big. We can win our fight without
the Communists and we don't want
INTERCUT into speech are scenes of typical Negro life, both
impoverished and comparatively affluent, selected to best
illustrate his particular words at the moment. There is a
CLOSEUP of Jackie as he reaches his final words. As he speaks
them we cut to:
This is the silhouette that began the picture, showing Jackie
in action. As his silhouette performs across the screen, the
following titles begin rolling up:
ROBINSON WINS NATIONAL LEAGUE BATTING HONORS
GENERAL EISENHOWER PRESENTS FREEDOM HOUSE MEDALS TO RALPH
BUNCHE, JACKIE ROBINSON AND HERBERT HOOVER
JACKIE ROBINSON VOTED MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN THE NATIONAL
GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER MEMORIAL INSTITUTE GOLD MEDAL FOR
BETTERMENT RACE RELATIONS AWARDED TO JACKIE ROBINSON
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