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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
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4,882 ( 279)
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

Career team record at Syracuse: 11-0 in 1959, 7-2 in 1960, and 8-3 in 1961. See more »

Goofs

The speech stating "whichever bowl we accept, we will be National Champions if we win" was a moot point. The 1959 National Championship was awarded prior to the Bowl Games. The final regular season game against UCLA, which had just beat #4 USC, earned them the National Championship. The movie pays no attention to that game (which was broadcast on national TV) except to show the post-game celebration. See more »

Quotes

[watching Ernie practice against high school players]
Jim Brown: He's too fast for these kids.
Ben Schwartzwalder: He's too fast for anybody.
See more »

Connections

References Stalag 17 (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Salty Papa Blues
Written by Leonard Feather, Lionel Hampton
Performed by Melanie Jackson
Courtesy of Stove Proeber Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superb film that everyone should see...a great history lesson!
27 October 2008 | by pjmbdmSee all my reviews

My husband and I saw EXPRESS yesterday and truly enjoyed this movie. We love movies based on true stories and also enjoy sports so this was a winning combination! We found this movie to be truly captivating and beautifully told. The acting was superb.....everyone did a fantastic job of making it all very real. We didn't know anything about Ernie Davis and feel so privileged to know his story. Of course we knew Jim Brown, but Ernie never even had a chance to show his real talents to the world via the Cleveland Browns. What a gifted young man he was and all the difficulties he had to face made him even more special. As far as the people who don't appreciate WV being shown in that light, my husband was in the Army in 1960-1963, and whether it was WV, NC, SC, or any other state in that vicinity that is exactly how it was and he experienced that type of hate first hand. Thank you for bring us such a meaningful film. We hope it is a huge success.


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