7.3/10
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47 user 85 critic

The Express (2008)

A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

This biopic focuses on the relationship of Ernie Davis (1939-1963), a gifted African-American athlete, and his coach from 1958 to 1962 at Syracuse University, Ben Schwartzwalder (1909-1993). Schwartzwalder recruits Davis with the help of All-American running back, Jim Brown. The civil rights movement is gaining steam; Davis experiences prejudice on campus, in town, and on the field, sometimes from teammates. How he handles it and how he challenges Schwartzwalder to stand up for his players provide a counterpoint to several great seasons that lead first to a national championship and then to the Heismann Trophy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He changed our country... one yard at a time.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Express: The Ernie Davis Story  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,562,675 (USA) (10 October 2008)

Gross:

$9,589,875 (USA) (31 October 2008)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this film, Nicole Beharie plays the girlfriend of the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. In 42 (2013), she plays the wife of the first African American to play Major League Baseball. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, the team is told outside the Cotton Bowl that the hotel where the banquet is held will not allow the team's black players to attend, and the team decides to skip the banquet and go for barbecue. In real life, the entire team, including the black players, attended the banquet awards ceremonies. Once the awards were over, the team was informed that the three black players could not stay for the dinner or dancing. The team stood up and left the banquet before dinner began. Afterward, two different establishments hosted them for dinner. See more »

Quotes

[watching Ernie practice against high school players]
Jim Brown: He's too fast for these kids.
Ben Schwartzwalder: He's too fast for anybody.
See more »

Connections

References Wings of the Hawk (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake, Rattle And Roll
Written by Charles F. Calhoun
Performed by Big Joe Turner
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
" Only real Giants can tell you how good it feels to be so tall "
30 August 2009 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

When studios turn back the clock in movies, they expose the excessive baggage which accompanied our bigoted and ignorant past. Audiences living in the present decade can observe all of the social ills of those bygone eras. Social problems in America have all but been buried, yet irritatingly they surface when our society is reminded not every American has learned the lessons of the past. Thus it is with this superior movie called " The Express." The great Ernie Davis is played by Rob Brown as an adult and Justin Martin in his youth. Both actors do a incredible job. Dennis Quaid plays Ben Schwartzwalder, the inspirational coach who does an exceptional job. The icon Jim Brown is played by Darren Henson and Charles Dutton is William Davis Sr. Although the film traces the life of Ernie Davis, it only highlights the major events, tragedies and triumphs of the all star player at Saracues University. The movie is inspirational on many levels and touches the viewer with the most dramatic obstacles such as racism and segregation. Indeed a personal meeting with the late great John F. Kennedy is sure to evoke positive memories. Throughout the entire movie one is offered a blunt eye-view of our most brutal social affliction and one can only hope our great nation will one day make it obsolete. Easilly recommended to all audiences. ****


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