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Something to Cheer About
Something to Cheer About
Actor: Hallie Bryant
Director: Betsy Blankenbaker
Genres: Sports, Documentary, African American Cinema
NR     2007     1hr 4min

The story of Basketball legend Oscar Robertson and the Crispus Attucks Tigers who became the first all-black high school basketball team to win a US state championship. The team seeded the talents of NBA MVP Oscar Robertso...  more »

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Movie Details

Actor: Hallie Bryant
Director: Betsy Blankenbaker
Genres: Sports, Documentary, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Basketball, Documentary, African American Cinema
Studio: Screen Media
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/26/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 4min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Superb documentary
Gregory D. Zimet | Indianapolis, IN USA | 04/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My wife and I just saw this movie at a local theatre last night. It was a unique experience on several levels. The movie was excellent and powerful, covering an historic series of events in Indiana that have been largely ignored. The Crispus Attucks High School basketball teams of the early and mid-fifties under the caring, tough, and inspirational leadership of their coach, overcame intense racism to win several state championship basketball titles. The footage of some of those basketball games (which include Oscar Robertson, Willie Merriweather, Hallie Bryant, and other great players) is amazing and the interviews with players, the coach (Ray Crowe), Isiah Thomas, among others are illuminating. At the end of the movie, the director of the film and several of the players came down to the front of the theatre to talk to the audience and answer questions. This was one of the most unique and enjoyable movie experiences I have ever had. My advice: see this movie and buy the DVD. With enough support, this great story may soon be made into a feature motion picture."
An aptly named documentary
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 09/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"You don't have to be an avid basketball fan to appreciate "Something to Cheer About," a beautiful and inspiring documentary about the Crispus Attucks Tigers, the first all-black high school team ever to win a state championship - and the team that changed the face of the game forever.

Crispus Attucks High School was an all-black institution that was itself conceived and born out of racism. It was established in Indianapolis in 1927 by the Ku Klux Klan as a means of keeping public schools in that city segregated along racial lines. It is gleefully ironic, then, that such a place would, a mere two or three decades later, have become one of the key focal points for the civil rights movement in the world of sports.

Director Betsy Blankenbaker has assembled a number of the key players from that period (mainly the early to mid 1950's) to reminisce about their experiences both as teammates and as pioneers in the cause of social justice. Of course, these boys didn't set out to change the world; they just wanted to play basketball. Yet, fate decreed a special place in history for them, and they were more than equal to the challenge.

Blankenbaker fills in the background with historical data, photos from the period, and grainy footage from actual Tigers games. These, together with the many thoughtful and reflective interviews given by the players and various supporters of the team, help to record a fascinating era that seems almost like ancient history to many of us living today, yet which took place only a brief half century ago. The movie shows how, in their own modest way, the Tigers became instrumental in breaking down racial barriers in the city, even if the progress itself was painfully gradual, halting, and slow-moving at times. Let`s face it, nothing succeeds like success, and the extraordinary playing of that all-black team went a long way towards opening minds and changing attitudes in that community.

The movie ends with a scene at an NBA halftime show in which a handful of the original, now-aged Tigers are brought onto the court and honored for their legacy both as players and as individuals whose actions changed their community and the game of basketball forever. It is a moment guaranteed to leave you with a tear in your eye and a lump in your throat. Something to cheer about, indeed."
A Lasting Legacy
Kim Carter | New Hampshire | 05/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not necessarily a sports fan, but something about the description of this movie piqued my interest. I was rewarded with a story that shines with understated pride. The blend of on-camera interviews, archival footage, and voice-over stills and headlines skillfully portrays a pivotal turning point in basketball's history, while simultaneously conveying focus, determination, and character despite the capriciousness of white privilege in the 1950s. Coach Crowe's belief in giving something back to the world was fully realized, not only in the sports world, but in the life-legacy he gave each of his players.
Quieter, undramatized, and of an earlier era, Something to Cheer About nonetheless brings to mind Remember the Titans. For me, hearing Coach Crowe and his players tell their own story, was powerful and immediate. I look forward to the DVD release so I can share it with my school community as well. It will be interesting to explore what's changed and what's the same."