7.3/10
18,448
51 user 85 critic

The Express (2008)

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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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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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$9,589,875, 2 November 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dennis Quaid's character plays as a coach who used to coach Jim Brown. In Any Given Sunday (1999), Quaid stars as the veteran quarterback while the real Jim Brown plays as a defensive line coach. See more »

Goofs

Before the 1961 Heisman Award ceremony, stock footage of Broadway includes a movie marque with Stalag 17, released in 1953. Some Manhattan movie theaters regularly screen popular older films. See more »

Quotes

[First Line]
Ernie Davis: 21 straight lines five yards apart. That is a football field. But there are other lines you don'T see that run deeper and wider. All the way through the country, and aren't part of any game.
See more »

Connections

References The Moon Is Blue (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Alone Is When You Break My Heart
Written by Steve Weisberg
Performed by Suzy Williams
Courtesy of Stove Proeber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Disappointed
6 January 2009 | by jacobson98See all my reviews

I'm old enough to remember both Jim Brown and Ernie Davis and really looked forward to seeing this film. Even my wife wanted to see it because she went to high school in Elmira with Ernie. And the reviews said it was a cut above the typical sports movie. Alas, it wasn't.

Just about every sports cliché eventually appears. Further, the film is very slow and really doesn't show the development of Ernie. The movie has ambitions to be much more than a sports movie but doesn't realize any of them. You don't walk away knowing any more about what it was like to be black back in the 40's and 50's and what race relations were like. I suspect that this film will get to video very quickly.

I rated this a 4 -- it's two hours of my life wasted.


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