The Express (2008)
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.
A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.
- Based on the incredible true story, The Express follows the inspirational life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Following his draft by the NFL, tragedy struck the star athlete and he was never able to take the professional field. But his tale would forever change the face of professional sports.
Raised in poverty in the Southern Tier of New York State, Davis overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become an unstoppable running back for the Syracuse Orangemen. Under the guidance of coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid) - a hard-nosed surrogate father with an obsession for winning a national championship - Davis would develop from an impressive high-school athlete into a legend.
While everyone agreed Ernie Davis was a miracle player, few thought this quiet young man would become an icon for the burgeoning civil rights movement dividing America in the early 1960's. Refusing to play by the unspoken racist rules of the day, Davis broke through one barrier after another to alter the way fans looked at men of his color.
Though struck a terrible blow in the prime of his life, his spirit soared when most would crumble. Forcing his bull-headed coach to re-examine a life lived in color-based privilege, Davis would join the ranks of black pioneers who inspired a movement that smashed barriers on and off the playing field. (taken from universalpictures.com)