The studio that brought you REMEMBER THE TITANS now delivers another winner with this exciting and inspirational true story of the team that changed college basketball -- and the nation -- forever! Josh Lucas (SWEET HOME A... more »LABAMA) stars as future Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins of tiny Texas Western University, who bucks convention by simply starting the best players he can find: history's first all-African American lineup. In a turbulent time of social and political change, their unlikely success sends shock waves through the sport that follow the underdog Miners all the way to an epic showdown with all-white, #1 ranked Kentucky for the National Championship!« less
Evelyn Y. from ABILENE, TX Reviewed on 12/3/2013...
Really enjoyed this movie! It is another movie that helps the races understand and move toward healing relationships with each other. Will watch again and again with others to spread the message this movie imparts to the viewer. Thanks!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
BEFORE UTEP, THERE WAS TEXAS WESTERN....!! 2006 ESPY Winner
RBSProds | Deep in the heart of Texas | 01/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Five MOMENTOUS Stars!! A Great Movie!! "Glory Road" tells the true story, with much dramatic license along the way, of one of sport's greatest moments. A moment that changed the face and color of college basketball and rippled across all sports. It's the story of a little known college basketball coach, Don Haskins, and how he came to be the coach of little known Texas Western College in El Paso, Texas. It's also the story of the black players who would be recruited from all around the USA to eventually wind up playing in one of the greatest moments in college basketball: David "Daddy D" Lattin, Nevil Shed, Willie Cager, Orsten Artis, "Wee" Willie Worsley, Harry Flournoy, and of course the late floor general, Bobby Joe Hill. And the other team members played their vital roles also: Jerry Armstrong, Louis Baudoin, Dick Meyers, Togo Railey and David Palacio. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer does a wonderful job of bringing back the singular moment of the all-white Kentucky team under Adolph Rupp (Jon Voigt is a hoot in this role) and Haskin's all-black starting five meeting in the NCAA basketball national championship final game spotlight during some tough racial times for the USA. In fact, Haskins had played this combination of players many times before during the season to little local fanfare, so it was no big deal to him. He just wanted to win. Josh Lucas is great as Don "The Bear" Haskins in this excellent James Gartner-directed movie. It's said that Lucas, in preparing for this role, was driven out into the desert by Haskins in his truck and they just sat and talked (and drank) for many hours discussing how Haskins did it and the way he did it. (This has turned into quite a good friendship since then.) The movie pre-screenings, with all of the living original players on hand, in El Paso are greatly appreciated by all of us who lived through those incredible times and are still here.
In light of today's social freedoms, the movie does a great job of depicting the tough racial times of the 1960's and the events that put Haskins, the team, and TWC on the athletic map forever. Not to mention the huge pot of money that TWC got from participating in the tournament. Shortly after these events, the University of Texas education system made TWC a full partner by the redesignation of the "University of Texas-El Paso" and a boatload of construction/faculty money flowed from Austin to El Paso. I was there and it was a grand moment to be remembered. A great must-see movie not just for the sports but also for the social impact of those times. Hats off again to Jerry Bruckheimer for personally carrying the banner on the national-level TV and radio shows promoting this movie. Five "Slam-Dunking" Stars.
(Notes: *"Glory Road" won the "ESPY" Award as the Best Sports Movie of 2006. *The Texas Western College NCAA Championship team was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.)"
Great Portrayal of The "Greatest Upset in College Basketball
Kalie A. Gipson | 07/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Glory Road" tells the story of the Texas Western Miners, a college basketball team who won the NCAA Championship in 1966. But this wasn't just an ordinary championship, no, for the starting line-up in the championship game was all Black players, a thing that was unheard of in '66. Or better yet, even a black player being recruited by a college team was out of the ordinary. However, the 36 year old coach Don Haskins recruited seven Black players for his Texas Western team (when the season begins, he starts three of those players). The team was barely even thought of in the college world before then, then with the help of the seven black players, they went on to win the championship.
The movie opens with a girls basketball game, and you see that Don Haskins coaches girl's basketball. Later on, he is asked to coach Division 1 basketball, for the Texas Western team (with one drawback; he would have to live in the dorm room with his wife and kids). Then, he sets out to recruit players that would help the team win. When he recruits all Black players, it's obvious that most people (even the Black players themselves) thought Haskins was crazy. Among the players he recruited were Bobby Jo Hill (played exceptionally by Derek Luke), Willie Cager, David Lattin, and Harry Flournoy. His practices for the team were intense and his rules were strict. This would all pay off in the end though, with the Miners winning the championship over Adolf Rupp's Kentucky Wildcats (with Pat Riley, who is a character in the movie, it's weird to hear his name called while he's playing, knowing he's a game-winning coach with plenty of rings).
The movie does depict the racism at the time as well. It wasn't an easy ride for the coach or the Black players on the team. In the first game, the fans clapped for the two starting white players, but the whole arena was quiet when the Black players were announced. The team had racial slurs written in their hotel room during their game. One player was even beat up in a bathroom. Haskins was harassed as well. The racism almost tore the team apart, but with the coach's help they stayed together and changed the course of basketball.
All around, the acting was great. Josh Lucas did a great job as Coach Haskins, completely becoming his character. Derek Luke did great as Bobby Jo Hill. Jon Voight played Kentucky coach Adolf Rupp, but you wouldn't really know unless you read the credits. Nonetheless he did a great job. Mehcad Brooks, Sam Jones III, Schin A.S. Kerr and Damaine Radcliff (who played Flournoy, Worsley, Lattin, and Cager, respectively) all did excellent in their roles. The actors practically become the players. The cast couldn't have been better.
Overall, Disney has released another superb movie about sports underdogs winning it all (I enjoyed Remember The Titans as well). If you like that movie, there's no way you'll dislike this. It is a well-cast, well-directed movie that will satisfy any basketball fan, and will keep everyone watching. It's been said that it follows the cliches of all other similar movies, but don't we always watch them anyway? The film triumphantly shows how one coach changed the game (and face) of basketball completely. One quote from the film is "You're acting like negroes are gonna be the future of basketball!" and I couldn't help but laugh when that line was said. The importance and significance of that season and the tribulations of the team is wonderfully shown. Don't pass this up."
Light touch on the story of "the greatest game ever played".
L. Quido | Tampa, FL United States | 01/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was fortunate, during my viewing of "Glory Road" to be sharing an almost empty movie theater one afternoon with a famous pro football coach and his family of young boys. I say that because I might have made light of the film that I saw, contrasting it to more serious and worthy sports films (Does the film "Hoosiers" come to mind? Does it seriously challenge the way you think about sports films? Well, it should. It is the sports film by which all others should be measured), and finding it wanting.
But, aware of their presence, I was able to watch the film and think about my reactions as though I was with those boys and might need to explain and point out the contrast between what they saw on the screen, and today's basketball...and why. Thanks to Pat Riley (who played in the pivotal title game depicted on the court) Jerry Bruckheimer found this gem of a story written by sportswriter Dan Wetzel, with Don Haskins, the coach of the film. Arguably, Jerry is an awfully commercial filmmaker, and I much prefer his television outings. But there's no doubt he succeeded in bringing this story of darker days in the NCAA, when outspoken and not spoken of prejudice prevented the fine black players of the game from taking the court. Oh, and if they did take the court, they were allowed there precisely in groups of 1 at a time (like Jo Jo White, the great player depicted on the Kansas' team). And without him, this film may have never happened.
Haskins, desparate to make his mark and to teach his basketball to a team of quality players, found himself buried deep in west Texas, in what is now UTEP, but was then 1966 Texas Miners College...recruits 7 black players, and proceeds to win a national championship.
This film keeps the theme of racial bigotry firmly at front and center, and softens it for Disney with a little about Don's family, not enough about the worthy young men, both black and white, who played that year for Don, and their experiences on the back roads of the south and at the "genteel" (and just as hard to take)national championship.
Josh Lucas will hopefully be given better films, based on his strong performance in Glory Road, and it was a fine, fine ensemble performance by the young men who make up his team. Although there was no "Dennis Hopper" role (like Hoosiers!) in the film, a great caricature performance of Adolph Rupp is given by Jon Voight in a cameo.
The film inspires, the film is rewarding -- it is a little too shallow in its presentation, cinematography and character development, but it is truly an enjoyable movie experience. And isn't that what we should all be shooting for?"
Isaac | Raleigh, NC | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the powerful "Hoosiers" to last year's excellent "Coach Carter," we have witnessed a number of basketball films in which a coach takes command of a team of underdogs, nourishes their skills through a rough season, and takes them all the way to the Big Game. In short, you have seen "Glory Road" before, even if you haven't purchased a ticket yet.
You are familiar with all of the cliches: the coach, and the players, face hardships on and off the courts, moments of in-game suspense are established by slow-motion, and the ending is so foreseen that you can bet your life on what will happen. But somewhere between the first scene and the end credits, I forgot that I had seen this done before, and I left the theater inspired.
"Glory Road" tells the story of Texas Western University's 1966 championship victory over the intimidating Kentuky Wildcats and the journey they took to get there. The newly hired coach, Don Haskins (Josh Lucas), takes a bold step in hiring a number of black players, all of whom, he believes, are undiscovered talent waiting to be put in the spotlight. It was this move that began to breakdown the racial barriers not just in the NCAA, but in the United States, and the segregation issues that existed in that time are heavily studied in a number of the film's sequences.
First, there is the matter of the players already playing for Texas Western, who must accept the presence of their new teammates. Then there is the matter of school officials, who, naturally, find Haskins' methods of recruiting unorthodox. Finally, there are the opinions of the media, who will find it insane that that Haskins would recruit talented black players and, eventually, start five black players in the national championship game.
But the aspects of the players is not what makes "Glory Road" an excellent film. What makes this an excellent film is that we get to know the players, their struggles, and their personal histories; the well coreographed game scenes that accurately portray what actually happened during the games are more like extra goodies. Chief among the new players are Bobby Joe Hill (Derek Luke) and Willie Scoops Cager (Damaine Radcliff), who introduce a new style of basketball that would later become an influence to the modern principles of the sport. Their style conflicts with the style that Haskins believes in, and in one memorable scene, when his team his down, he orders Hill to play the game his way and they arise victorious.
Another key character is Kentuky head coach Adolph Rupp, an inspired and firey performance by John Voight. He knows that Texas Western is making history as they progress through the season and into the championship game, which he why refers to them as "a special team" during one of his timeouts. Given the historical context of his first name in relationship to racism, you would think that "Glory Road" establishes him as a villain, but it doesn't. The film just sits back and observes the arrogance of Rupp and other individuals during that time who were rooting for Kentuky just because Haskins had black players on his team. The film doesn't pick sides. It presents both of them, so graphically in one scene that it pushes the barriers of the PG rating. It's not being biased in favor of the black players. It paints an honest portrait of what happened.
The performances are excellent, with Josh Lucas playing Coach Haskins in a role that should be talked about for a while. However, the film's spirit doesn't totally lie in the powerful depiction of it's characters, but in what happens after the events of the story, and most of it's awesomeness comes out of what we know now. If there wasn't a Coach Haskins who recruited a Bobby Joe Hill, then there would have probably never been a Michael Jordan, a Lebron James, or an Allen Iverson. "Glory Road" is inevitably a valuable history lesson, which we are still learning in our society today, and like "Crash," it establishes the lesson by showing victimization and antagonization.
I suppose that's what sets "Glory Road" apart from most other sports films: the race relationship is just as important as the game. Making ends meet through a checklist of sports cliches, director James Gartner and screenwriters Christopher Cleveland and Bettina Gilois deserve much respect for what they have accomplished. But the film makes a very haunting point in its context. Although its amazing how far we have come in the past forty years in race relations, we still have a long way to go. - Isaac
Rated PG; 106 minutes; Directed James Gartner "
A Very Familiar Road
Chris Roberts | Astoria, NY | 08/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am recommending this film because it is a good film. But I especially recommend this film to any of you out there who have never seen "Remember the Titans," "Coach Carter," "Miracle," or "Friday Night Lights" because this is essentially the same movie. "Glory Road" is a very well done parade of sports movie clichés. The gold standard for this genre remains "Remember the Titans," as that film made you feel the racial pressure that the characters experienced, and Josh Lucas is no Denzel Washington.
This film, like all Disney films, has a lot to preach. Above all they want you to work hard and stay in line because if you do then one day you too can experience true glory. The problem I have with this lesson is that to accomplish it the film has to make you believe that the coach can do wrong. So when he busts out his Gestapo tactics we're supposed to eat it up because we know that in the end they win the national championship. We, here in America, pride ourselves on being anti-tyranny, but this film, and all those mentioned above, have coaches that definitely slant towards the tyrannical. Yet Haskins (Josh Lucas) is portrayed as a hero simply because he gets the job done. Being a Detroit Lions fan I've seen these tactics fail miserably, and yet when Marty Mornhinwig got the boot nobody hypothesized that it might be because of his hyper-aggressive style. One lesson that I found to be spot on was that these kids did not need the approval of Texans or racist boosters.
I am a sports fan because I love the unpredictability of it, but sports movies are pretty much anti-climatic by nature. However, I still enjoyed watching the staged drama of this film. Lucas was looking for a star vehicle and at least got a box office victory out of it. More importantly he nails the role and was a lot of fun to watch. I was also glad to see Tatyana Ali get work, although she is quickly reduced to nothing more than a cheerleader. Director James Gartner keeps the filmmaking simple, only occasionally sliding into the fancy. The story basically tells itself and he does nothing to steer it off course. I do question the realism of a few of the scenes. I was especially concerned about the idea that the one game they lost was only because of on court racism. It seems all too simplistic and overly to the point. Also, when Haskins kicks the white kids out of the championship game (just because they're white) they seemed to roll over for him too easily, but I guess that is one upside to running a dictatorship.
In the end this film is about racism, using sports as a backdrop. I know the point is to show how far we've come, but I can't help but think that films like this pick at scabs. We all know that being racist is bad and bad for business, so why tell us again? It is, however, to the films credit that they portray Haskins as an overachiever who was dealt a bad hand, as opposed to a civil rights crusader. Yes, he broke down racial walls, but he was really in it for that national championship. ***1/2 "