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The Express (2008)

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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.
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Rob Brown as Young Ernie Davis
Dennis Quaid as Ben Schwartzwalder
Darrin Dewitt Henson as Jim Brown
Omar Benson Miller as Jack Buckley
Nelsan Ellis as Will Davis, Jr.
Charles S. Dutton as Willie 'Pops' Davis
Justin Martin as Young Ernie Davis
Justin Jones as Young Will
Nicole Beharie as Sarah Ward
Aunjanue Ellis as Marie Davis
Elizabeth Shivers as Elizabeth Davis
Clancy Brown as Roy Simmons Sr.
Danny McCarthy as Bill Bell
Regina Hoyles as Sister
Chelcie Ross as Lew Andreas
Full cast
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Comments
blj2002

More movies like the Express would be a great service to the movie going population. Seeing an uplifting and enlightening movie that was well cast and well acted and well directed is a refreshing and pleasant surprise. If you want to understand what it takes to be successful, if you want to understand the injustices of racial prejudice that existed in some of our lifetimes, if you want to appreciate what it takes to overcome the challenges that many people face on their way to becoming successful against a great deal of opposition, then see this movie. Take your children and encourage your teenagers to see this film about real life heros. I had neve even heard of Ernie Davis before seeing the preview of this movie.

ESR-VATO69

I knew going in that this wasnt soley a football movie, it was about the the trials&tribulations this man&many others like him went through in the 50's&60's during the civil rights movement.Football was secondary in telling this story.It wasnt to long ago that this happened&its still happening in america,its just that people are more discreet about it.There is a EXCELLENT interview on HBO with Bob Costas being joined by Henry Aaron&Willie Mays&they speak about many of these same things that were happening to black athletes.The cursing,the name calling,the death threats these men&their families recieved.It sounds unbelievable but to hear&see these men talk about their experience,strength&hope is amazing&powerful.

jimchudnow

Having performed in some scenes of this film (largely shot in the Chicago area), I was especially interested in seeing what they'd ?do? with the story of ERNIE DAVIS, the first African-American man to win the Heisman Trophy. I was impressed with the work done at framing his background & difficulties growing up and achieving football success in the often-racist America of the 1950?s & ?60?s. ROB BROWN does a first-rate job playing collegiate Ernie, DENNIS QUAID (who in person astutely spoke of how he feels the story hits you both in the ?gut? & in the ?heart?) gives a finely nuanced turn as the Syracuse coach, and the various supporting players (including OMAR BENSON MILLER as Ernie?s teammate & CHARLES S. DUTTON as his grandfather) add to the effectiveness of a story that?s both sad & uplifting at various points. The football scenes are very effectively filmed, the story ?WORKS?, and I thus found it a very successful commentary on human relationships, trials, tribulations and successes

MOVIES REVIEWER

I just attended the advance press screening of this UP-LIFTING well-crafted 140-minute movie based on Robert C. Gallagher's autobiography of Ernie Davis who was a Syracuse University football player and was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. The Express, by director Gary Fleder, transcended race and football - it was about the human spirit in the face of adversities and daunting challenges. The issues are clear-cut black and white - themes explored are teamwork/individual effort, success/failure, tenacity/courage/hope, racism, and believing/working for your dream(s). The cinematography by Kramer Morgenthau was gorgeous - visually-striking. Compelling FIRST-RATE performance by the ensemble - kudos to the principals, Dennis Quaid and Rob Brown. The Express breezed along at a nice pace - riveted the audience - made us all cheer and clapped many times - and it received a resounding ovation at the end. Recommendation: A MUST-SEE. And bring the kids!

Ray62

I normally don't like "based on true stories", but this one was worth my time. I love history and you will learn much about the time in which Mr. Davis had to live. I would recommend this movie for the whole family.

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