6.1/10
410
9 user 3 critic

Code Breakers (2005)

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0:30 | Trailer

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In 1951, a cheating scandal rocks West Point academy, as 83 cadets -- including the son of the school's football coach (Glenn) -- are implicated and ultimately dismissed.

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(teleplay), (book)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Brian Nolan (as Zachery Bryan)
... George Holbrook
... Straub
... Bob Blaik
... Desantis
... Trager
... Culpepper
... Commandant Paul D. Harkins
... Corely
... Asst. Coach Vince Lombardi
... Coach Earl 'Red' Blaik
... General MacArthur
... Major General Frederick A. Irving
... Mrs. Nolan
... Colonel Collins
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Storyline

In 1951, a cheating scandal rocks West Point academy, as 83 cadets -- including the son of the school's football coach (Glenn) -- are implicated and ultimately dismissed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At West Point, Honor Is A Code That Must Never Be Broken

Genres:

Drama | Family | Sport

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Details

Official Sites:

ESPN [United States]

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Release Date:

10 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Ehrenkodex  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on a True Story. See more »

Quotes

Brian Nolan: Tell the truth, but not too loud. Right, dad?
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Connections

References Twelve O'Clock High (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Duty, Honor, Country." What is the penalty for cheating?
10 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Duty, Honor, Country" is inscribed in granite over an archway at West Point. A personal moral code, duty, and honor is the foundation of the military and my learned profession. (I am proud to be a criminal defense lawyer, and I take "duty and honor" very seriously.) This story takes place in 1950-51 and wends its way through the infamous West Point football player cheating scandal that ultimately wiped out the West Point football team with 90 athletes dismissed.

The cadet that finally blows the whistle on it is played by Zack Bryan, who was the oldest son in "Home Improvement" (billed there as Zachery Ty Bryan), and he does an excellent job in his role, as do all the other young actors enlisted for this movie. Bryan's character, on the swim team, wrestles with ratting out his roommate who lets him in on the secret that the football team is passing around questions from the examinations. Those who take it first write down the questions for others. Bryan's character is wrestles with his conscience and comes forward. His own father, however, chastises him, but not for following the code. Instead, it is for not following the "chain of command" and going to the Commandant, knowing that going to the Honor Committee likely would be futile because the football team had ringers on the Committee. His own father tells him that his military career will be ruined for following the honor code. He stands up to his father.

Also excellent, and typically understated is Scott Glenn as the team coach, a West Point graduate himself, whose son is slated to be the next season's starting quarterback. He finds his own son involved, and he has to wrestle with that conundrum as well, knowing that his own son would be kicked out, too. He's the coach. His team is destroyed. This is only partly developed because this movie is not supposed to be about football.

The cadets involved connive and plot to "stonewall" (was that word even used in 1950?) the investigation (One says that a leader "never, ever admits that he was wrong. Any man who does is not fit to lead." Sound familiar?), but the first one in to be interviewed didn't know the plan, so he named names. He is Bryan's roommate. He's obviously mad at Bryan when he figures out the source, but he realizes, as others come to do, that he should be more mad at himself for screwing up. Bryan ends up with a guard at his door for protection. Other than the Commandant, the guard, under orders not to talk to him knocks on the door and tells him "You saved West Point." This is an important point almost lost in the movie.

I give this a 7 because of the young actors and the honest attempt at the important message. Glenn has been better, but they all do a reasonably good job. The problem with the script, maybe though, is that it was written for ESPN, and not for wider release to general audiences. So, it spends more time on football issue and teams, and I think not enough on dealing with the important moral issues until all hell breaks loose, and the plot moves more to the characters and their problems. More should have been spent on what it took to come forward and what Bryan's character endured.

But, moral values are so lacking in this society today, at every level and in every corner, I applaud ESPN for taking this on and the message it ultimately conveys. Lives were not all totally ruined, but they paid a dear price for compromising "honor."

Moral values can be taught anywhere. This is a start.

Finally, for HDTV, the picture was not always of the highest quality for HD.


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