7.3/10
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50 user 86 critic

The Express (2008)

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 »

Photos

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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

During Ernie Davis' Cleveland Browns physical, the doctor feels Davis' neck and asks if has been feeling well. Swollen lymph glands in the neck are a symptom of leukemia, they also can mean the body is just fighting infection. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Ernie Davis is introduced with the Browns before their preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, wearing his Cleveland Browns uniform. In real life, owner Art Modell wanted Ernie introduced in his uniform, but Coach Paul Brown wouldn't allow it because Ernie wasn't officially on Cleveland's roster. According to John Brown, his former Syracuse and Browns teammate and best friend, "That night, he had on his skinny tie, tweed jacket, and nice shirt." 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.
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Soundtracks

Shake, Rattle And Roll
Written by Charles F. Calhoun
Performed by Big Joe Turner
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Inspiring Sports Movie
12 October 2008 | by LDQ409See all my reviews

The Express was one of the best sports movies I have seen. It tells the story of Ernie Davis, who was the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy and his relationship with his coach, Ben Schwarzwalder.

It is set in the late 50's where there was still a great deal of prejudice against African Americans, even in the northern states where segregation was not overt. Ernie's optimism and willingness to be the best football player he can be, not just the best African American football player was portrayed perfectly by Rob Brown. He was inspiring and you couldn't help rooting for him to succeed.

Ben was a crusty, set in his ways coach, who couldn't see beyond winning the game. Ernie helped him see that a football team is made up of individuals who have to pull together to achieve their goals. Dennis Quaid is an excellent actor, who can say so much with just a smile or a raised eyebrow. He is so natural, it is as if he isn't acting at all. Dennis & Rob have a very good chemistry, and they made every scene believable.

The Express was similar to the Rookie, another great film that Dennis Quaid starred in. Both films had just the right amount of drama, set off with little bits of comedy to relieve the tension.

At the showing I attended, the audience was very moved by the film because when it was over, there was much applause, something you don't hear much in movies these days.

You don't have to be a football fan to love this movie. I highly recommend it.


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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
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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