In 1965, the coach of the high school girl basketball team Don Haskins is invited by the Texas Western Miners to be their coach. Despite the lack of budget, Haskins sees the chance to dispute the NCAA and moves with his wife and children to the college dormitory. He recruits seven talented and rejected black players to play with five Caucasian players and formed a legendary team that won the 1966 national championship against the powerful Kentucky. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Prosthetic ears, cheeks, and nose was added to Jon Voight to make his angular face more rounded like Coach Adolph Rupp. See more »
In the game against #4 Iowa, Texas Western won by 18 points, 86-68, rather than by 1 point on a last second shot as depicted in the movie. See more »
Coach Don Haskins:
You got a real talent, son, why throw it away?
Bobby Joe Hill:
I'll tell you why. Ever since I was a kid I've only loved one thing. That was playing ball. Do you understand what that's like, having that ball in your hand... It's like, It's like making sweet music with your game, only thing is you don't wanna hear the song.
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During the credits, an inset shows several of the actual people involved (Don Haskins, David Lattin, Pat Riley, Orsten Artis, Willie Worsley, Harry Flournoy, and Nevil Shed) commenting about the championship game and its implications. Video of that game is also shown. See more »
"Glory Road" tells the true story of Don Haskins, the basketball coach for Western Texas College, who in the mid 1960's, broke the color barrier in the NCAA by being the first to feature a majority of black players on his team. The movie chronicles the obstacles he and his players faced, as well as their ultimate triumph when the team won the national championship in 1966.
"Glory Road" worships at the altar of just about every underdog-sports-movie cliché one can imagine, yet the viewer can't help getting caught up in its story anyway. The scenes in the first half of the movie definitely have a familiar ring to them, as we see the coach first alienating his players with his hardnosed tactics, then winning them over by building comradeship and showing them how much they can accomplish when they work together as a team rather than as individuals. However, as with "Remember the Titans," "Glory Road" is more interested in examining the social background of its time period than in merely telling yet another sports-oriented David and Goliath tale. The second half of the film concentrates more on the overt racism the team members face and the surprising courage they and their coach demonstrate in confronting it (could this really be set a mere 40 years ago?). The young actors are uniformly excellent, but it is Josh Lucas as Coach Haskins who delivers the powerhouse performance here. And director James Gartner manages to keep the film moving at a fast clip, never allowing it to get bogged down in message-mongering or overt preachiness.
Almost in spite of itself, "Glory Road" turns into a genuinely inspiring story about courage and determination in the face of societal pressure and incalculable odds. And that's pretty much what sports stories, familiar though they might be, are really all about.
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