At the NFL Draft, General Manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.
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
The scene where Ernie Davis is introduced on the field during a Cleveland Brown's home pre-season game was filmed at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The uniquely styled rooftop lights and press box are visible behind Rob Brown. See more »
When Floyd Little chose to go to Syracuse, he was being recruited by Army, not Notre Dame. See more »
Texas Longhorn player:
I'm gonna kick your black ass back to Africa boy!
Oh yeah? Too bad I'm from Philly.
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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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