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Running Time:
1 hour, 46 minutes

Rating: PG Parental Guidance Suggested.

Rating Explanation:
for racial issues including violence and epithets, and mild language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
The games are exciting, the acting is fine, and despite the racial equality message, it's actually an entertaining, if predictable movie.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Legacy of the Bear: Highlights of Coach Haskins' illustrious career; Surviving Practice: An inside look into Coach Haskins' training regiman; In Their Own Words - Remembering 1966: Extended interviews with players and colleagues of Coach Haskins; Alicia Keys music video - "Sweet Music"; Deleted scenes; Two audio commentaries - Director James Gartner & producer Jerry Bruckheimer; - Writers Chris Cleveland & Bettina Gilois

Glory Road
This is the true story of the little-known Texas Western basketball team’s NCAA championship in the mid-60's. What makes their victory over powerhouse Kentucky more than just a regular tale of an unlikely upset is the fact that this was the first time that a school fielded a mostly black team, which was quite controversial at a time when segregation was still rampant in many, if not most, American cities.

Disney has succesfully made this type of movie more than once in the last few years. They've tackled football (“Remember the Titans”), baseball (“The Rookie”), hockey (“The Miracle”), and even golf (“The Greatest Game Every Played”). This one’s been produced by Jerry Bruckheimer ("Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl") with his accustomed glitz, but all the technical expertise in the world doesn’t necessarily make for a great movie, and this one falls somewhat short in several ways. Besides taking some historical liberties, the film is little more than a succession of "great moments," resulting in a movie loaded with cliches.

The hero is coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas "Stealth"), who takes on the job at the El Paso college after winning a state championship coaching a girls’ highschool team. Haskins and his wife Mary (Emily Deschanel) have to live in the athletic dorm, and the university is straightforward about the fact that the coach’s main job will be to maintain discipline among the players. But Haskins is determined to produce a winning team so he and his assistants, Ross ("The Rainmaker") and Moe ("Jarhead) find seven talented black inner city boys, in Indiana, Detroit and New York City and bring them down to El Paso. In their new surroundings, the recruits feel as alien as the Texans feel about having them as teammates, but, after some initial competitive hostility, they are soon accepted. That doesn't mean the Dean and the university's chief benefactor, Wade Richardson ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman"), don't have their doubts, but when the team begins an uninterrupted winning streak, opinion starts to turn around.

Derek Luke ("Antoine Fisher") plays the showy team leader Bobby Joe Hill, Damaine Radcliff ("Step Up") is the heart of the team as Willie "Scoops" Cager, kept on the bench by a heart condition until a climatic "moment," newcomer Schin A.S. Kerr as Big Daddy D is the tough giant who contrasts with small but scrappy Willie Worsley (Samuel Jones III, TV's "ER"). Mehcad Brooks (TV's "Desperate Housewives") is Harry Flournoy, who's tied to the apron strings of his momma (Elizabeth Omilami "Ray"), and MTV v-jay Al Shearer is Nevil Shed, a man who has to overcome his own self doubts. Finally, late in the film Jon Voight ("National Treasure") shows up as the arrogant and enigmatic Kentucky Wildcats coach Adolph Rupp.

The film has been competently directed by first-timer James Gartner, with excellent action cinematography by John Toon and Jeffrey Kimball, although Trevor Rabin's music is little more than conventional. What makes this film historically important is that this is the story of a championship team than not only broke an unspoken barrier and transformed college basketball but that it arguably helped fuel the desegregation movement in the entire country. It's a conventional but entertaining movie with an important message.

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