6.4/10
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34 user 10 critic

The Program (1993)

Several players from different backgrounds try to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. Each deals with the pressure differently, some turn to drinking, others to drugs, and some to studying.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joe Kane
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Camille Shafer
...
Bud-Lite Kaminski
Duane Davis ...
Alvin Mack
Jon Pennell ...
Bobby Collins (as Jon Maynard Pennell)
...
Louanne (as Joey Adams)
J.C. Quinn ...
Joe's Father
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...
Ray Griffen (as J. Leon Pridgen II)
Michael Flippo ...
Coach Humes (as Mike Flippo)
Jeff Portell ...
Reporter #1
Ernest Dixon ...
Coach Clayton
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Storyline

A college football coach is told by his bosses that unless they do better this season it could be his last. To bolster the team he recruits a talented wide receiver. A female student is assigned to help him assimilate with college life and that includes doing his studies because he spent his whole life just playing football. And he finds himself attracted to her and she already has a boyfriend who is also on the team but he might be more concern about losing his position than losing her to him. And the coach has to deal with his other players' situations like the team's quarterback who deals with his father being distant by drinking and it eventually gets him in trouble. And one of the team's defensive players is obviously using steroids but passes the drug tests. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From Different Worlds They Come To Prove Themselves In The Gritty World Of College Football. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

24 September 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Challenge - Die Herausforderung  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$23,004,026 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson and Andrew Bryniarski would all co star together in Higher Learning (1995) See more »

Goofs

Kane discards the ice pack on his neck, just before going back into the game against Michigan. As he is shown leaving the bench area, he passes by Jefferson who is wearing jersey # 80. In the next shot/clip Kane is shown heading onto the field, the coach tells Jefferson to also go into the game and Jefferson is now wearing jersey # 20. See more »

Quotes

Alvin Mack: All you need to know is how to sign an NFL contract... period.
Darnell Jefferson: I know man but I promised the Rev. I'd get a degree, I don't wanna let him down.
Alvin Mack: Whatchu think nigga... you gonna be on the supreme court?
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Soundtracks

Lay Down Your Love
Written by Mark Maeller and Andy Goldmark
Performed by Marc Nelson
Courtesy of Andy Goldmark Productions
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User Reviews

 
Underrated, Accurate Football Movie Starring the Godfather's James Caan
20 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Trips Bunch. The Power I. The Cover 2. If you know what these terms mean, and understand their uses in football strategy, then you'll really enjoy watching David S. Ward's the Program. Ward also wrote and directed Major League, a great movie; however, with The Program, it is obvious how much his sports writing style has evolved.

The movie traces one season of college football for a once dominant, but now struggling Division 1 powerhouse, the fictional ESU Timeberwolves. James Caan is hilarious and well-cast as the Head Coach on the hot seat, and it's really great watching him deal with serious issues both on and off the field. Craig Shaeffer does a solid job at both his role and the QB position. His character is like a young, much more tortured Steve Young: he can throw the long ball, he can buy time with his feet, and he can do it all while battling inner demons. Omar Epps (the Wood) is simply perfectly cast as Darnell Jefferson, the prototype freshman Tailback fighting for his spot on the 1st team (plus the beautiful Halle Berry plays his love interest).

The movie is filled with hilariously awesome lines and performances, and is a classic among people who actually play football. While the editing work could be scrutinized among movie Nazis (the editing job when Kane and his girl are riding his motorcycle is questionable at times), the good far outweighs the bad. Namely, the in-helmet camera work really puts you on the field with them. Overall, David S. Ward does an excellent job of jumping from perspective to perspective, and it quickly builds into this chaotic, early 90s mosaic of Division 1 college football. And surprisingly, the issues explored in the film really resonate with the issues going on in today's sports (i.e. Steroids, Motorcycle death wishes).

Listen, if you haven't seen this movie, and you love football, and are of mild intelligence, then you are either really young or really lucky that you missed it because I wish i could watch it again for the first time. However, if you have no appreciation for the game of football, you're better off going elsewhere. Football idealists, be warned as well. This movie is the anti-Rudy. It's the story of one school's fight for a bowl bid, and fighting for that bid at all costs.

PS- My vote is very biased. I love to quote this movie with friends. I love to watch football on both Saturday and Sunday. I play fantasy football. I play Madden. I played Division 3 football in college. You have been warned.


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