6.4/10
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The Program (1993)

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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.

Director:

David S. Ward
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A behind-the-scenes look at the life-and-death struggles of modern-day gladiators and those who lead them.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Sam Winters
Halle Berry ... Autumn Haley
Omar Epps ... Darnell Jefferson
Craig Sheffer ... Joe Kane
Kristy Swanson ... Camille Shafer
Abraham Benrubi ... Bud-Lite Kaminski
Duane Davis ... Alvin Mack
Jon Pennell Jon Pennell ... Bobby Collins (as Jon Maynard Pennell)
Joey Lauren Adams ... Louanne (as Joey Adams)
J.C. Quinn ... Joe's Father
Andrew Bryniarski ... Steve Lattimer
Leon Pridgen Leon Pridgen ... Ray Griffen (as J. Leon Pridgen II)
Michael Flippo Michael Flippo ... Coach Humes (as Mike Flippo)
Jeff Portell Jeff Portell ... Reporter #1
Ernest Dixon Ernest Dixon ... Coach Clayton
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Storyline

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 rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Pressure surrounds them. Competition divides them. Talent unites them. A story of what it takes to survive... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

24 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Challenge - Die Herausforderung See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,004,026
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original release of the film contained a scene where several ESU players lay on the yellow dividing line of a busy local road as a test of their courage. When two young men were killed, and several others injured, by imitating the stunt, Buena Vista excised the scene from the film. No post-theatrical versions of the movie feature the sequence, leading many to speculate that the studio destroyed the actual camera negatives of the scene. However, the scene can be found on YouTube. See more »

Goofs

When Darnell and Autumn are arguing over why she didn't tell her father about him, Darnell turns around and the word "Why?" is heard in Darnell's voice, but his lips don't move. See more »

Quotes

Alvin Mack: Let's open up a can of kick ass and kill 'em all, let the paramedics sort 'em out.
See more »


Soundtracks

Welcome to the Jungle
Written by Slash, Axl Rose, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin' and Duff McKagan
Performed by Guns N' Roses
Courtesy of Geffen Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What has become of my friend, James Caan
7 April 2003 | by johnnynazarethSee all my reviews

If I had to sum up this picture in one line I guess I would say, "Nice try." The major problem that I see is that David Ward tries to throw as many football cliches into an hour and a half movie as he can and, for the most part, the actors fail to rise above the mediocre script.

The cast is a talented one and this film helped to propel the careers of some semi-stars and one super star, but in the end the cliches are too much to overcome. We have Caan (who I have, do, and always will love no matter what roles he chooses) playing the long-time head coach whose job seems to be in jeopardy. And there's Craig Sheffer playing Heisman hopeful Joe Kane. Sheffer was wonderful in Robert Redford's adaptation of Norm MacLean's "A River Runs through It," but here he can't escape the cliche of the out-of-control star quarterback with father-son issues and a need to live life dangerously.

We also catch glimpses of the pumped up steroid user, the illiterate student athlete, the promising young freshman (Omar Epps), and the incumbent whose position he is trying to win.

Halle Berry, Kristy Swanson, and Joey Lauren Adams add some sex appeal to the film, but those early '90s wardrobes are hideous.

In my opinion this movie tries to show too much of everything, and in doing so, fails to show enough of anything. More of the plot should have been dedicated to the characters of Caan, Sheffer, or Epps in order to establish a better connection with the audience.

The football sequences are well done--I don't think any football movie has anything on this film here--but the characters aren't given enough time to develop.

Some things that annoy me about this movie: --Omar Epp's taunting as he is returning punts. It's so cheesy. --The terribly dated musical score. It's absolutely dreadful to listen to and almost ruins the entire movie.

4/10


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