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We Are Marshall (2006)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  22 December 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 44,087 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 175 user | 94 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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.



(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carole Dawson
Christian Kanupke ...
Kevin Atkins ...
Mark Patton ...


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


In a moment, everything can change...anyone can inspire you...and anything is possible. See more »


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Marshall University Football Project  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


In 1971, the logo on WVU's football helmets was a small w with a large looping v and a small u, not a basic black WVU. See more »


President Dedmon: Jack, I may not know football, but I have dealt with the NCAA. They like their rules, and the biggest one is freshmen are not allowed to play intercollegiate athletics.
Jack Lengyel: That's why you're gonna get them to make an exception.
President Dedmon: How am I supposed to...
Jack Lengyel: [interrupts] ... Explain it to them. We would like to field a team. We don't have enough players to do that. They can help us get more players, faster. Simple as that.
President Dedmon: Simple as that.
Jack Lengyel: It's the only way we'll be even halfway competitive in recruiting.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Features The Newlywed Game (1966) See more »


Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Written by Stephen Stills
Performed by Crosby Stills & Nash (as Crosby, Stills & Nash)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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.

177 of 218 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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