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Edge of America (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  21 November 2005 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 299 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 1 critic

Based on a true story, a black educator takes a job teaching high-school English at the Three Nations Reservation, and is coaxed into coaching the girls basketball team.

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Title: Edge of America (TV Movie 2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kenny Williams
...
Annie Shorty
...
Carla McKinney
...
Shirleen
...
Franklin
...
Dwayne
...
Mother Tsosie
...
Homer Horton
Fraya Aspaas-Montoya ...
Francie
Trini King ...
Alvina 'Baby' Tsosie
Deanna Taushi Allison ...
Marissa (as Deanna Allison)
...
Leroy McKinney
...
Cuch
Reb Fleming ...
Stellar Dodge (as Reb Flemming)
Lyle Bahazoni ...
Jasper
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Storyline

Based on a true story, a black educator takes a job teaching high-school English at the Three Nations Reservation, and is coaxed into coaching the girls basketball team.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Live. Dream. Believe.

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

21 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

On the Edge  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the radio room when Mr. Williams comes in Dwayne switches off the radio on one board. Then a few moments later after Mr. Williams comes back with the class you can see Dwayne using the same board for music. Yet later, after Mr. Williams gets the class to agree to his idea, Dwayne uses the wrong board, the one on his other side, to turn the radio back on. See more »

Quotes

Kenny Williams: So, we're all good at basketball, right?
Homer Horton: You put it on your resume.
Kenny Williams: I was a player. And basketball never did a damn thing for me that a book didn't do better.
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Soundtracks

Edge of America
Written by John Trudell and Anne Humphrey
Performed by Anne Humphrey
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User Reviews

 
A Black White Man on the Rez
23 December 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

An above-average TV movie that avoids the pitfalls of cliche.

This movie began airing as "On The Edge" on the Dutch Hallmark Channel in December 2003. It's a solid piece of work on all levels, well above average for family-oriented TV movies. James McDaniel performs with typical power as Kenny Williams, a racially aggrieved black schoolteacher and basketball coach who has relocated from his home in Texas to the Three Nations Reservation in Utah. There the coach takes over the hapless girls' basketball team. Predictable culture clashes, high-school social conflicts, family tensions, and athletic drama unfold from there. But the story remains relatively spare, relying on believable characterization rather than its timeworn plot elements to carry the film. Williams' struggle to adapt to, and find acceptance in, his new community dominates the story. At one point, not long after a parent from a nearby white high school has all but called Williams a "nigger," the mother of a girl on the team dismisses him as a "white man."

It's surprisingly compelling material, but it means that the Native American community drops into the background despite the able performances of a large cast. This is a movie about a black coach in a Native American community, not a movie about a Native American community with a black coach. The latter would have been a more compelling story. The very similar "Stand And Deliver" devotes more attention to the students in the story and is a better movie for it.

The movie is beautifully shot. Interior scenes convey a feeling of authenticity with their lived-in-ness, and the exterior shots do justice to the majestic landscapes of the American West. Also, the soundtrack features several new recordings by singer/ songwriter Annie Humphrey. "Edge of America" and "Good Medicine" might be her best work to date.

Thankfully, the new coach is not able to turn his team into state champions overnight with a motivational speech at the end of the first act. Instead, we see Williams repeatedly making mistakes and struggling to learn from them for the sake of his own pride and the team's progress. His relationship with the girls on the team is complicated by their appreciation of his efforts and their frustration at his shortcomings. The story concludes with a satisfyingly low-key scene of homecoming for the team and their coach that steers clear of either the triumphalism or mawkish melodrama that mar most sports dramas.


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