Pride is about an African-American swim coach, Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), who rebuilds a swimming pool in a Philadelphia Recreation center and starts an all-black swim team. Overall the acting is a average and sometimes corny, but hey that's what happens when you hire Tom Arnold and Bernie Mac to try to be serious actors. Terrence Howard does a pretty good job as Jim Ellis, but he does cry a bit much.
The movie does not provide an accurate portrayal of swimming, however. No team with 5 swimmers can win a state meet as team because 5 people can't accumulate enough points even if they were to win every race they swam in. In a swim meet, there is a limit to how many events one person can swim in. Usually its 2 relays and 2 individual events. You get more points if you win an event but you still get points if you finish in like the top 8. If one swimmer from a school gets 1st place, and two swimmers from another school get 2nd and 3rd, then the school that had the 2nd and 3rd place swimmers, gets more points. A big team with a lot of swimmers will beat a small team, even if the small team has good swimmers, so the idea of PDR's small swim team beating a big swim team is not realistic.
I'm not sure how they did it in the 1970's but I doubt they used a gun to start a race. Also, not once did I see any times announced and that's what swimming is all about. Swimming is mainly an individual sport, with the exception of relays. They just put all the individual's points together from a school and make that team points. You swim to make your times better, and if the movie had times in it, then it would have been more authentic.
I did not live in the 1970's, so I don't know if girls swam against guys, but from my experience with swimming I found the idea that Willie (the black girl swimmer) beating all the guys in butterfly is unrealistic. The idea of a girl beating guys is not totally far-fetched. (Hey I know girls that are faster than me in certain events) But in the movie the last meet is supposed to be a state meet or a national meet or something like that, so the guys there are really fast and no girl, even if she is the fastest girl, can beat the fastest guys.
One part that was completely stupid, was in the 1st meet between Main Line and PDR when the white guy swimmer, kicked Hakim in the face during the 50 yard freestyle. Do you have any idea how difficult that would be? Go and try it. Get in a pool with lanes and tell your buddy to swim in the lane next to you and try and kick him after you do a flip turn. First off, to be able to reach the person next to you, both of you would have to swimming really close to the lane line, and most swimmers, when they are racing swim in the middle to avoid running into the lane lines. The part that makes it really hard is the fact that they did it after a flip turn. (For those of you who aren't swimmers that's when you swim into the wall do a somersault, push off the wall, and go back the other way) After a flip turn you are somewhat disoriented and I don't think you would be able to reach over and kick the guy swimming next to you.
The movie is inspiring, but it could have been a lot better if they had a more experienced director.
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