Football coach Harold Jones befriends Radio, a mentally-challenged man who becomes a student at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina. Their friendship extends over several decades, where Radio transforms from a shy, tormented man into an inspiration to his community. Written by
In 1976, the year the movie takes place, Harold Jones was the junior varsity football coach, not the varsity head coach. He would not become the varsity head coach until 1985. The varsity head coach at the time was Jim Fraser. See more »
When Coach Jones arrives at the jail to pick up Radio, Radio turns and says "There's Coach!" and gestures at coach with his right hand, which is holding a sandwich. In the next shot, the sandwich is in Radio's lap in his left hand. See more »
This was unusual: a modern-day film which was ultra-nice. In fact, it was so nice it bordered on being too hard to believe in parts. As I watching this based-on-a-real-life story, I was thinking, "nobody is this nice, this tolerant." Mainly, I was referring to Ed Harris' role as "Coach Jones." I think they went a little overboard on his character, but that's better than the reverse: showing him worse than what he was in real life. Odd to see Harris playing the role, too, since he has a long resume of playing nasty, profane characters.
Anyway, I never complain about a nice, feel-good film, and it is nice to see a bunch of well- meaning, kind people. Those folks direct their friendship, love and compassion to "James Kennedy," better known as "Radio," a mentally slow high school kid played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The story takes place in the mid 1970s in South Carolina. Gooding does a nice job with the role, too. However, like Sean Penn's role of a mentally-challenged man in "I Am Sam," an hour-and-a-half of a character like this is plenty. After that, the loudness of those guys gets tiresome to hear.
Note: It was interesting in one of the documentaries on this DVD to find out that, in real life, in took years for "Radio" to make his transformation, not months as shown in the film.
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