The story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and how he broke the Major League Baseball color line in 1947 is depicted in the new movie 42, in theaters today, and we're behind the scenes with the film's composer, Mark Isham, to discover how he translates courage and perseverance into a rousing musical score.
"The major inspiration for the score was Jackie himself," says Isham. "He was a unique character in history who did a very unique and wonderful thing for American history, for the betterment of American society, and the more you see him onscreen and you read about him and you know about him, he himself is really all the inspiration you need."
Working with director Brian Helgeland, Isham determined that French horns and trumpets best evoked the emotional hurdles Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman, went through, including his coming of age, his relationship with his wife Rachel (played by Nicole Beharie), and his hardships overcoming prejudice and bigotry.
An Oscar nominee for his score for Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It, Isham's other film score credits include many memorable titles, including Crash, Point Break, Short Cuts, The Majestic, ABC's Once Upon a Time, and other Redford collaborations including Quiz Show, Lion for Lambs and The Conspirator.