6.5/10
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The Program (1993)

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1:31 | Trailer
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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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 Program See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,821,931, 26 September 1993

Gross USA:

$23,032,565

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,032,565
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 movie was filmed at the University of South Carolina and features their Williams-Brice Stadium, as well as locations around Columbia. See more »

Goofs

When Joe and Camille jump over the cliff on the motorcycle, Camille's skirt billows up, revealing her buttocks. When the motorcycle lands, her skirt is tucked under the seat. See more »

Quotes

Darnell Jefferson: Darnell Jefferson, tailback.
Ray Griffen: Ray Griffen, *starting* tailback.
Darnell Jefferson: I know, that's why they recruited me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Soundtracks

If You Don't Know Me by Now
Written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
Performed by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (as Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes)
Courtesy of Sony Music
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Clichéd but still an OK genre film
16 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The college football team of the Timberwolves is made up of students from all over America and of all sorts of background. Joe Kane is the team's poster boy and is tipped to go all the way to the NFL; Darnell is a rookie from the tough streets looking for a break with the team and his tutor Autumn and the rest of the team are made up of steroid takers, trash takers and course flunkers. With all this raw aggressions and raw ability, Coach Winters must try and hold it all together despite his own problems.

It has been so many years since it came out that many viewers will have forgotten the fuss that made this film better known than it really deserved to be at the time. I won't go into it but I really fail to see (aside from the one impersonation) why a scene involving chicken with cars was cut yet a scene involving chicken with trains was left in – surely if one was unsuitable then the other should be so too? Now, over 10 years later the film remains more famous that it deserves on the back of some fortunate casting – it was the cast list that attracted to this film. The actual story is a fairly ho-hum sports movie with all the usual clichés about college sports as well as the usual semi-drama stories around the characters – overcoming bad backgrounds, party excesses, girl troubles and so on. As a basic sports movie it is enjoyable enough but it doesn't really do anything that makes it stand out from the genre.

The cast is the ongoing selling point of the film and the performances are OK considering that the material doesn't give them a great deal to do other than go through the genre motions. Caan plays a grizzly old coach who has to cover the player's indiscretions and he does it well enough. Berry looks OK but has little to do in a very male dominated film. Sheffer is supposed to be the lead role but he doesn't really have the ability and he is easily swallowed up by his support cast. Epps is good and minor female roles are also given to Swanson and Adams. Bryniarski overplays his steroid addict but still works and I thought Davis showed a gentle touch when he was given the chance to in minor scenes during the final game.

Overall, aside from the controversy that helped it getting a bigger audience at the time of release and the good list of names in the cast, this is actually just a competent film rather than a really good one. It has all the usual clichés that you expect from college sports films and it doesn't do anything special with them but it doesn't do them badly either. Entertaining as along as you know what to expect.


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