When Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama is controversially desegregated in 1973, Tony Nathan, a gifted black high school football player, joins the school's predominantly white football team along with several other black players. The coach, Tandy Gerelds, tells the team to use their shared anger to unite them, but black and white players clash on and off the field. After a riot at the school, Gerelds consents to allowing traveling sports chaplain Hank Erwin to speak to the team as a "motivational speaker". Hank's speech moves nearly the entire team to accept Hank's invitation to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, and join together in prayer. Gerelds does not accept the invitation, and is unsure what to make of the event..
A Woodlawn quarterback calls a play in the huddle using the name of Jon Gruden's iconic play: Spider Y 2 Banana, which was referenced by comedian Frank Caliendo in his dead-on Gruden parody. See more »
During the game between Woodlawn and Banks where it is pouring with rain, the Woodlawn sideline players and coaches are seen to be wet. However, the Banks sideline players and coaches are dry with dry hair and clothing. The rain can be seen falling in front of them. See more »
There's something special about you. I can see it. You have a gift. And you have to decide what you want to do with it.
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The wife and I watched "Woodlawn" last night. We were surprised that we liked it so much. It's a combination of a sports movie, an anti-racism movie, and a pro-Jesus movie. In most cases, I don't much care for any of the three, because I don't like preachy movies and I don't care about sports itself. But this one really worked for me. It's based on true events. I found myself cheering out loud over a lousy touchdown (I never do that)! I found myself caring about the characters. It doesn't go over-the-top on the anti-racism message - so many movies have one or two token white guys who are decent, while the rest are vicious devils, just to make sure we don't miss the point, because after all we're too stupid to get it otherwise. The pro-Jesus message is there because it is necessary to the plot and the furthering thereof, so you don't feel like your church took you to see it in a van just to keep it from tanking at the box office. And the sports element is - well, OK, any football scenes in any movie are basically 'will he get the ball to the end zone or not?' because that's what sports is. It's a darned inspiring movie is what it is.
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