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The Express

Release Date: October 10, 2008


Movie of the Day for Wednesday, July 9, 2008
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Even football players have to deal with the embarrassment of having two Daddies.

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65/196 Max Braden The movie is typical underdog sports drama, but I always like seeing coaching putting together plays.

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Based on the life of the greatest college football players that you've never heard of, The Express is an Ernie Davis biopic, slated for release this October.

Davis was a running back for Syracuse University, where he led them to their only national championship in their history. He was also the Heisman Trophy winner in 1961 (the first African-American to win the award), and the first pick in that year's NFL Draft.

The reason he may still be a mystery to most people is he never played a down in the NFL. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 1962 and died less than a year later. The Cleveland Browns (who traded for his rights from the Washington Redskins, who originally drafted him) retired his #45 jersey.

The film version of Davis will be played by Rob Brown (Finding Forrester, Coach Carter). The film also stars Dennis Quaid as Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder and Charles S. Dutton (who would not shock us if he played an inspirational janitor, like he did in Rudy). Gary Fleder (Don't Say A Word, Runaway Jury) directs from a screenplay by Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) adapted from the book Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, The Story of a Heisman Trophy Winner by Robert C. Gallagher.

Football movies, both fictional and based-on-real-life have performed well in the last few years, and with Davis' inspirational story (racism will clearly rear its ugly head at various parts) culminating in a feel good moment (but ultimately tragic ending), The Express is one of the fall releases to watch as a sleeper hit. (Tim Briody/BOP)


Vital statistics for The Express
Main Cast Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown, Omar Benson Miller
Supporting Cast Clancy Brown, Charles S. Dutton
Director Gary Fleder
Screenwriter Charles Leavitt
Distributor Universal
Rating PG-13
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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