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The determined Jim Ellis starts a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jim Ellis
...
...
Sue Davis
...
Bink
...
Puddin Head
...
Walt
...
Willie
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Hakim
...
Andre
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Jake (as Scott Reeves)
...
Reggie
...
Franklin (as Gary Sturgis)
...
Artrell (Willie's Father)
...
Ophelia (Andre's Mother)
...
Race Official (UOFB) (as Tony Bently)
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Storyline

The determined Jim Ellis starts a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Reach for it with everything you've got. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, language including some racial epithets, and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

P.D.R.  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,533,300 (USA) (23 March 2007)

Gross:

$1,373,400 (USA) (7 November 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The journal that the character of Puddin Head writes in is actor Brandon Fobbs's actual personal journal. See more »

Goofs

The thugs confront Jim in the pouring rain. The front passenger window of the 1973 Chrysler Imperial is wide open, yet the person sitting there does not get wet. See more »

Quotes

Jim Ellis: My life is way too short for me to spend my time around people who don't care about nothin'.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 24 March 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

STRAWBERRY LETTER 23
Written by Shuggie Otis
Performed by Brothers Johnson (as The Brothers Johnson)
Courtesy of A&M Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

Been there. Done that.
10 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"... marathon swimming is the most difficult physical, intellectual and emotional battleground I have encountered, and each time I win, each time I touch the other shore, I feel worthy of any other challenge life has to offer." Diana Nyad

Pride is a cliché from the first frame to the end. But I can't change the truth on which these stereotypes were built. In 1974 Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), a former swimmer now janitor, coaches a rag-tag, sand lot group of talented minorities from the Philadelphia Department of Recreation to state-wide championships in swimming by invoking PDR (pride, determination, resilience). Been there, done that in movies. Within the last year, several films were based on true stories told of coaches and players overcoming odds to become winners: Gridiron Gang, Glory Road, Coach Carter, and Invincible come to mind.

The difference from the usual fare is swimming, arguably not a strong sport for minorities. The real difference is Ellis, who slowly gains the trust of the lost young athletes at the local center. Ellis doesn't harangue like Bobby Knight or physically react like Woody Hayes; he just shows them how to swim precisely and focused while he also reinforces their need for education. Along the way, of course, is the hanging-about drug dealer/pimp with his alluring dollars and the nagging but attractive single mom, who reluctantly hooks up with Ellis.

All this usually formulaic film fiction-inspired-by-real events is made palatable by engaging actors and the spirit of this lovable coach, still working to this day, who never gave up on the students. Love and trust—sounds like an effective combo even for nations.

You've seen it all before, but you won't be bored because the truth about hard work and love is romantic and enduring.


47 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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