A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Director:

Gary Fleder
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Brown ... Ernie Davis
Dennis Quaid ... Ben Schwartzwalder
Darrin Dewitt Henson ... Jim Brown
Omar Benson Miller ... Jack Buckley
Nelsan Ellis ... Will Davis, Jr.
Charles S. Dutton ... Willie 'Pops' Davis
Justin Martin ... Young Ernie
Justin Jones Justin Jones ... Young Will
Nicole Beharie ... Sarah Ward
Aunjanue Ellis ... Marie Davis
Elizabeth Shivers ... Elizabeth Davis
Clancy Brown ... Roy Simmons
Danny McCarthy ... Bill Bell
Regina Hoyles ... Sister
Chelcie Ross ... Lew Andreas
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Storyline

This biopic focuses on the relationship of Ernie Davis (1939-1963), a gifted African-American athlete, and his coach from 1958 to 1962 at Syracuse University, Ben Schwartzwalder (1909-1993). Schwartzwalder recruits Davis with the help of All-American running back, Jim Brown. The civil rights movement is gaining steam; Davis experiences prejudice on campus, in town, and on the field, sometimes from teammates. How he handles it and how he challenges Schwartzwalder to stand up for his players provide a counterpoint to several great seasons that lead first to a national championship and then to the Heismann Trophy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He changed our country... one yard at a time.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and for brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rob Brown and Geoff Stults both played football in college. Brown played at Amherst College and Stults played at Whittier College. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Texas leads Syracuse 15-14 in the 1960 Cotton Bowl. In real life, the game was never that close in the second half. Syracuse was up 23-6 when Texas scored their second and last touchdown with 7:39 remaining in the game. Texas was not in a position to tie Syracuse even with a touchdown and 2-point conversion. See more »

Quotes

Texas Longhorn player: I'm gonna kick your black ass back to Africa boy!
Jack Buckley: Oh yeah? Too bad I'm from Philly.
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Soundtracks

Salty Papa Blues
Written by Leonard Feather, Lionel Hampton
Performed by Melanie Jackson
Courtesy of Stove Proeber Music
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User Reviews

 
" Only real Giants can tell you how good it feels to be so tall "
30 August 2009 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

When studios turn back the clock in movies, they expose the excessive baggage which accompanied our bigoted and ignorant past. Audiences living in the present decade can observe all of the social ills of those bygone eras. Social problems in America have all but been buried, yet irritatingly they surface when our society is reminded not every American has learned the lessons of the past. Thus it is with this superior movie called " The Express." The great Ernie Davis is played by Rob Brown as an adult and Justin Martin in his youth. Both actors do a incredible job. Dennis Quaid plays Ben Schwartzwalder, the inspirational coach who does an exceptional job. The icon Jim Brown is played by Darren Henson and Charles Dutton is William Davis Sr. Although the film traces the life of Ernie Davis, it only highlights the major events, tragedies and triumphs of the all star player at Saracues University. The movie is inspirational on many levels and touches the viewer with the most dramatic obstacles such as racism and segregation. Indeed a personal meeting with the late great John F. Kennedy is sure to evoke positive memories. Throughout the entire movie one is offered a blunt eye-view of our most brutal social affliction and one can only hope our great nation will one day make it obsolete. Easilly recommended to all audiences. ****


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Express: The Ernie Davis Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Berwyn, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,562,675, 12 October 2008

Gross USA:

$9,793,406

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,808,124
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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