Based on true events, PRIDE is the inspiring story of Jim Ellis, a charismatic schoolteacher in the 1970s who changed lives forever when he founded an African-American swim team in one of Philadelphia?s roughest neighborho... more »ods.« less
Sharon F. from HIALEAH, FL Reviewed on 8/31/2016...
This was an awesome movie about an awesome teacher. We need to clone him and have at least 6 in every school! Made me laugh...made me cry.
Hazel S. from CARRIERE, MS Reviewed on 10/26/2010...
Teaching Pride through Swimming
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 06/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) loves to swim. During the 60's, he joined his schools swim team, which created problems. Jim is African American, and the white competitors in North Carolina weren't happy to be competing against him.
10 years later, Jim has landed in Philadelphia. Despite his credential to teach math, the only job he can get is cleaning out the recreation center in the poor part of town. It's scheduled to be torn down soon. The only person inside the building is maintenance man Elston (Bernie Mac). The closest anyone else comes to it is playing basketball outside.
That changes one day when the basketball hoops are taken down in the march toward tearing down the center. As five of the guys stand there fuming about the loss of the hoops, Jim invites them in to use the pool.
Slowly, Jim gains their trust and begins to teach them the fundamentals of swimming. They gain enough skill to ask to go to a meet, hoping to meet women. But do five men and one woman really have the skills to compete against all male teams who have been training for years?
Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way first. This is an underdog sports movie featuring kids from a bad neighborhood. Picturing every cliche that normally brings to mind? Yep, they're here.
But, is this movie worth seeing? Absolutely.
As is always needed for a film like this to succeed, you need to become attached to the characters. Jim is a sympathetic character from the start, and the youth he's working with grow on you quickly as well. The result is a movie that truly does inspire.
To top is off, the acting is great. Terrence Howard is absolutely believable as Jim. His drive to reach the kids comes through in every scene. I'm not usually a Bernie Mac fan, but he did a great job as well with a part that is mostly series with a few comic bits thrown in. And the kids were all great.
I do have a couple complaints. The minor one is the needless slowing down of the climax. The two swimmers in the final race are slowed way down to build suspense. And I do mean way down. It was beyond laughable.
My bigger complaint was the language. Considering the PG rating, I was surprised by the handful of "s" words that littered the film. Not as surprising were the few racial epithets used. Unfortunately, they fit the time period and setting of the film.
This film isn't highly original, but it is inspiring. And if that's what you want to watch, you could do much worse then this great film."
WORTH SEEING BUT, HAS BEEN DONE BETTER BEFORE!
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 02/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a pretty good movie but, it has a "been there done that" feel to it. The actors do a good job with what they have to work with and the movie captures the time period without making it look too ridiulous. Swimming as a sport to watch, is like watching paint dry so, that doesn't help the film either. It's worth a look if you see it on cable, as the based on a true story film does inspire you...a little."
Pride, Determination, Resilience
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 06/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"PRIDE does not open any new doors in the genre of film biopics of teachers who raise the status of downtrodden students to the point of genuine appreciation of self worth. The story has been told countless times with different characters, both male and female, different races (African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, etc), and different areas of the United States. But despite the recurring similarity of heart-on-the-sleeve stories such as this, PRIDE stands solidly on its own merits, in part due to the well developed and written screenplay by Kevin Michael Smith, Michael Gozzard, J. Mills Goodloe, and Norman Vance Jr. based on the life and contributions to society of Jim Ellis, in part due to the sensitive direction of Sunu Gonera, and in part due to the fine cast. The idea behind the story may not be new, but PRIDE is a fine example of the genre.
Opening in the 1960s we meet Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) as a superior swimmer unable to use his gifts because of his race. Jump 10 years forward and Ellis has finished college as a math major and seeks to teach in Philadelphia, only to face racism again. Desperate for work he accepts a 'closing down' job at a condemned Philadelphia Recreation Center tended by downtrodden Elston (Bernie Mac) who resents Ellis' intrusion into his domain. Ellis restores the center's swimming pool and gradually initiates a swim team for troubled teens, young boys and a girl who are new to swimming and even newer to the thought that they can become someone important and rise out of their slum surroundings and influence of drug lords. With time Ellis teaches the team not only how to swim like champions, but also how to gain faith in themselves through PDR (Pride, Determination, Resilience), eventually winning a championship as a team of African Americans in a city still plagued by racism.
The cast is excellent: Terrence Howard once again proves he can create a character of complete credibility, completely immersing himself in a role with all of the subtle facilities of fine acting; Bernie Mac at last is given a serious role and rises to the level of Howard in skill; Kimberly Elise and Tom Arnold provide fine cameo roles. But one of the treasures of this film is the cast of young actors who seem so natural that they deserve special plaudits: Brandon Fobbs, Alphonso McAuley, Regine Nehy, Nate Parker, Kevin Phillips, and Evan Ross. Clint Eastwood's son Scott Reeves plays a pivotal role as a racist swimmer.
So despite the overexposure of stories such as this, PRIDE stands out as one of the best. It is a beautifully filmed and well-developed homage to a very worthy man and coach: PDR. Grady Harp, June 07"
Shamontiel L. Vaughn | Chicago | 04/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My mother was so stubborn about me seeing this movie. From the looks of it, all I saw was another sports movie where the coach teaches some young, troubled kids how to find something productive to do with their time. But when I sat down to watch it, I understood why she wanted me to see this movie so much. What an excellent movie! Not only did it deal with sports and troubled kids, it dealt with male guidance, race issues, segregation, and the strength of young men trying to fight against seeking into dangerous backgrounds to be productive parts of society. Every single person in this movie deserved the part that he or she played. Terrence Howard was outstanding as usual. Bernie Mac was about as charismatic as always. I loved all of the young swimmers' parts, especially the stubborn and quickest one and Diana Ross' son too. The dialogue, the pace, and the plot kept me interested throughout the entire movie. I talked to the screen on more than a few occasions."
Spectacular lesson in determination
Professor | GA | 09/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I showed Pride to my high school students, a first viewing for most of us. Actors, directing, movie set--action, drama, healing--a heady combination in the portrayal based on a true story that caused chill bumps, laughter, and tears among us all. I highly recommend it to young adults--and older ones as well."