In November, 1970, virtually the entire football team and coaches of Marshall University (Huntington, W.V.) die in a plane crash. That spring, led by Nate Ruffin, a player who was ill and missed the fatal flight, students rally to convince the board of governors to play the 1971 season. The college president, Don Dedman, must find a coach, who then must find players. They petition the NCAA to allow freshmen to play, and coach Jack Lengyel motivates and leads young players at the same time that he reexamines the Lombardi creed that winning is the only thing. The father and the fiancée of a player who died find strength to move on. Can Marshall win even one game in 1971? Written by
The film Nate is watching in the cinema when he receives the news of the crash is 'Kelly's Heroes' - a film about a man leading a loosely, on-the-spot assembled team to victory, somewhat parallel to the main story of this film. See more »
When Jack Lengyel and Paul Griffen are seated at Boone's, and Lengyel eats a piece of pie, a minivan passes on the street behind them. Minivans did not exist in 1971. See more »
I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening of 'We Are Marshall' for audience research purposes therefore being part of the first audience in Britain to see the film.
We were given a brief plot description when offered the tickets which didn't interest me to be honest (I was more interested in seeing a free film!) So when I went to see it I didn't know what to expect, just that apparently it is supposed to be very good and quite emotional.
I was pleased to see that it managed to live up to that, as coming out of the cinema I felt it managed to stand by what I heard in being a very good film, in fact I would go so far as to say brilliant. Staying behind for a quick discussion about the film for research purposes, two people (including myself) rated the film as 'excellent', four rated it 'very good' and two (somewhat miserable and stubborn) people rated it 'good'.
In my opinion, the film manages to portray the death of the football team in a tasteful and respectful way, showing the emotions of the characters in the way the town cared for the team. However, shortly after the plane crash I felt that the film stumbled into a very slow and boring corner. Luckily about twenty minutes later, the film manages to pick up very well. I found the remaining hour of the film very enjoyable and emotional, with a few humorous lines from Matthew McConaughey.
I was also very pleased to see how well Matthew Fox managed starring in a feature film. Being only fifteen, my only knowledge of Fox is Jack form 'Lost'. I feel that he managed to play the character of Red very well - very quickly in the film, the role of Jack was soon forgotten.
The ending to the film is done very well and manages to keep you in suspense, despite a quite predictable result. I was also quite surprised how little knowledge of the game football is needed. Being English, I can't say I have ever seen a game of 'American' Football, let alone understand the rules - I found myself thoroughly enjoying the action packed games despite knowing nothing of the sport.
All in all, in my opinion this is a very, very good film which I strongly recommend. As said, I found a part of the film rather dull but felt 'We Are Marshall' delivered a second half so good, I soon forgot about it.
Go see this film!
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