Several players from different backgrounds try to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. Each deals with the pressure differently, some turn to drinking, others to drugs, and some to studying.
A college football coach is told by his bosses that unless they do better this season it could be his last. To bolster the team he recruits a talented tail back. A female student is assigned to help him assimilate with college life and that includes doing his studies because he spent his whole life just playing football. And he finds himself attracted to her and she already has a boyfriend who is also on the team but he might be more concern about losing his position than losing her to him. And the coach has to deal with his other players' situations like the team's quarterback who deals with his father being distant by drinking and it eventually gets him in trouble. And one of the team's defensive players is obviously using steroids but passes the drug tests.Written by
Kristy Swanson dyed her hair from the normal blonde color she normally has. See more »
Kane discards the ice pack on his neck, just before going back into the game against Michigan. As he is shown leaving the bench area, he passes by Jefferson who is wearing jersey # 80. In the next shot/clip Kane is shown heading onto the field, the coach tells Jefferson to also go into the game and Jefferson is now wearing jersey # 20. See more »
Some scenes show college students lying in a street in the middle of car traffic as a way to prove their courage. A few weeks after the film's release, the studio recalled all copies and deleted this sequence from the picture in response to public outrage, because a few teenagers had been injured or killed imitating this deadly game. See more »
Underrated, Accurate Football Movie Starring the Godfather's James Caan
Trips Bunch. The Power I. The Cover 2. If you know what these terms mean, and understand their uses in football strategy, then you'll really enjoy watching David S. Ward's the Program. Ward also wrote and directed Major League, a great movie; however, with The Program, it is obvious how much his sports writing style has evolved.
The movie traces one season of college football for a once dominant, but now struggling Division 1 powerhouse, the fictional ESU Timeberwolves. James Caan is hilarious and well-cast as the Head Coach on the hot seat, and it's really great watching him deal with serious issues both on and off the field. Craig Shaeffer does a solid job at both his role and the QB position. His character is like a young, much more tortured Steve Young: he can throw the long ball, he can buy time with his feet, and he can do it all while battling inner demons. Omar Epps (the Wood) is simply perfectly cast as Darnell Jefferson, the prototype freshman Tailback fighting for his spot on the 1st team (plus the beautiful Halle Berry plays his love interest).
The movie is filled with hilariously awesome lines and performances, and is a classic among people who actually play football. While the editing work could be scrutinized among movie Nazis (the editing job when Kane and his girl are riding his motorcycle is questionable at times), the good far outweighs the bad. Namely, the in-helmet camera work really puts you on the field with them. Overall, David S. Ward does an excellent job of jumping from perspective to perspective, and it quickly builds into this chaotic, early 90s mosaic of Division 1 college football. And surprisingly, the issues explored in the film really resonate with the issues going on in today's sports (i.e. Steroids, Motorcycle death wishes).
Listen, if you haven't seen this movie, and you love football, and are of mild intelligence, then you are either really young or really lucky that you missed it because I wish i could watch it again for the first time. However, if you have no appreciation for the game of football, you're better off going elsewhere. Football idealists, be warned as well. This movie is the anti-Rudy. It's the story of one school's fight for a bowl bid, and fighting for that bid at all costs.
PS- My vote is very biased. I love to quote this movie with friends. I love to watch football on both Saturday and Sunday. I play fantasy football. I play Madden. I played Division 3 football in college. You have been warned.
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