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The Express (2008)

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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Will Davis, Jr.
...
...
Young Ernie
...
Young Will
...
...
...
Elizabeth Davis
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...
Bill Bell
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Sister
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Lew Andreas
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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:

|

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 USA:

$4,562,675, 12 October 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$9,589,875, 2 November 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Career team record at Syracuse: 11-0 in 1959, 7-2 in 1960, and 8-3 in 1961. See more »

Goofs

Before the 1961 Heisman Award ceremony, stock footage of Broadway includes a movie marque with Stalag 17, released in 1953. Some Manhattan movie theaters regularly screen popular older films. See more »

Quotes

Ben Schwartzwalder: I won't tell him he'll be the next Ernie Davis, because there'll never be another Ernie Davis.
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.186 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Down The Field
Written by Ralph Murphy, 15, Harold Lewis (as C. Harold Lewis), 15
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Ernie Davis's Story
2 June 2009 | by See all my reviews

'The Express', though based on Ernie Davis's life, is given a very Hollywood treatment. The story is uplifting and even inspiring to some, especially how Davis chooses to fight racism, not with violence, but with American football. Yet, the film itself is sugarcoated and has the deja-vu feel. For example, it is easy to predict which team will win (as is the case with most sports film). However, the last 20 minutes were handled well. Those scenes could have easily been melodramatic but the director chooses to play it down here. The background score is very intrusive at times. I thought the issue of racism was well tackled. This isn't 'just another movie about racism' because the conflicts are well depicted and dealt with (like one would think it would be in the 50s). Dennis Quaid definitely moves a step forward from his usual average acting. It's impressive to see him get under the skin of the character rather than play the usual formula. Rob Brown does a fine job and holds his own. Overall, 'The Express' tells an important story about a man who made a difference in American history even though his name is not known to everyone.


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