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When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Carole Dawson
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Christian Kanupke ...
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Kevin Atkins ...
Mark Patton ...
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is like football: it knocks you down, then expects you to get back up...and play till the whistle blows. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Marshall University Football Project  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,582,508 (USA) (22 December 2006)

Gross:

$43,532,294 (USA) (2 March 2007)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the release of "We Are Marshall," Marshall University returned to East Carolina University. All players were given the option of travel. After Marshall lost the game 33-20, Marshall returned to Pitt Greenville Airport. The plane was delayed with mechanical problems. Several players were superstitious and opted to take the team bus instead of traveling on the plane. See more »

Goofs

During the first half of the Xavier game, a defender recovers a fumble and returns it for a long gain. Until 1990, a defensive player could not advance a recovered fumble. See more »

Quotes

Annie Cantrell: [voice over] Those were not welcome days. We buried sons, brothers, mothers, fathers, fiancés. Clocks ticked, but time did not pass. The sun rose and the sun set, but the shadows remained. When once there was sound, now there was silence. What once was whole, now was shattered.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, not even a title. See more »

Connections

Features NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Sons of Marshall
Performed by The Marshall University Marching Thunder
Courtesy of Marshall University
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Truly Moving Picture
24 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film on November 21st, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

This film is based on a true and tragic story. On November 14th, 1970, the Marshall University football team, football coaches, athletic staff, key alumni, and friends were flying home to Huntington, West Virginia after an away game against East Carolina. Their plane crashed killing all seventy five (75) aboard.

How do a University and a small town of 50,000 people respond to a massive tragedy that affected so many students and town residents? This movie is about their struggle to come to grips with that tragedy.

Without bitter rancor and with humility, some felt the University should start up a new football team and persevere through a long rebuilding process to honor the dead. Others, again without rancor and with humility, believed that starting up a football team would be too painful a reminder of the tragedy.

It was decided to start a new football team immediately and play the next season in 1971. This movie is primarily about the difficulties of the development of the team.

Matthew McConaughey plays the new Head Coach brilliantly and believably. He is a combination of country bumpkin enthusiastic huckster and a wise man. And he does it simply because he believes – "Maybe I can help." He displays courage and perseverance and makes sacrifices with a career move that could throw him out of his beloved profession, head football coaching, forever.

The town and University have to quickly break the Vince Lombardi-like notion that you play the game of football for one reason only – to win. They learn how you play the game matters, and even simply showing up is a kind of victory too.

This is a compelling story well told and very moving.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.


179 of 220 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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