British Board of Film Classification

Quick search of releases

Advanced search


42 artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 128m 3s

Release date 13/09/2013

BBFCInsight Contains racist language

Director(s) Brian Helgeland

Cast includes Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 03/09/2013

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

42 is a drama about Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League Baseball. The film is rated 12A for racist language.

The film contains several uses of 'nigger', 'coon' and other racist terms. As the film is about the very first black baseball player and is set in the period following the Second World War, the context for the racist language is historical. Furthermore, the racist language and attitudes are strongly condemned by the film and by the real-life characters at its centre. The main character, Jackie Robinson, faces racist abuse from members of the public, from opposing players, and even from members of his own team. One particular tirade, directed against Robinson by the coach of an opposing team, lasts for almost ten minutes. The coach shouts "nigger, nigger, nigger" repeatedly, also yelling things like "Why don't you go back to the cotton fields where you came from?" and "Hey nigger, you like white women? Which one of these Dodger wives are you climbing on tonight?". The scene is quite intense as Robinson, incensed by the abuse, fights to control his feelings and ignore it, as required by his own coach.

There are a couple of scenes of very mild violence, with players pushing and scuffling, but no clear blows. We also see an injury to Robinson's calf, as it's being sewn up by the team doctor.

No-one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. No-one younger than 12 may rent or buy a 12 rated video or DVD.


Warner Brothers Entertainment UK Ltd
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
128m 3s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
Registration number

Share this!

Facebook logo Twitter logo