In 1965, the coach of the high school girl basketball team Don Haskins is invited by the Texas Western Miners to be their coach. Despite the lack of budget, Haskins sees the chance to dispute the NCAA and moves with his wife and children to the college dormitory. He recruits seven talented and rejected black players to play with five Caucasian players and formed a legendary team that won the 1966 national championship against the powerful Kentucky. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
During the National Championship game against Kentucky, the 3-point shooting rule is not present. This is historically accurate. The first time the NCAA experimented with the shot was 1945. The 3-point shot became popular during the 1967-68 American Basketball Association season. It was not used by the NCAA until 1986. The NBA adopted the shot during the 1979-80 season. See more »
In their inaugural game versus Eastern New Mexico, Texas Western actually won by a score of 89-38. The movie shows a struggling team that barely wins its first game. See more »
During the credits, an inset shows several of the actual people involved (Don Haskins, David Lattin, Pat Riley, Orsten Artis, Willie Worsley, Harry Flournoy, and Nevil Shed) commenting about the championship game and its implications. Video of that game is also shown. See more »
In 1966, a coach of a girl's basketball team comes to Texas Western College and recruits seven black players to lead them to the top.
Right from the trailers and the posters, you probably know how "Glory Road" is gonna go: an underdog NCAA basketball team must face great odds to win the championship. It's a sports movie based from true events (read: based) with a Hollywood tag plastered over its forehead that features reluctant heroes overcoming their problems and giving it all for the game. Nonetheless, the movie achieves more than that.
While this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Disney movie plot is typical (remember the Titans?), the underlying socio-political theme effectively presents the ills of racism - a problem with no easy way out of (ask Paul Haggis). The key characters of the game are dealing with discrimination and the only way they can get back is to win. Of course, a little research told me that some of the details about the real events were changed for cinematic purposes. It's completely fine by me as long as the end product justifies the means. And boy it does. The performances are also good. Josh Lucas gives a terrific performance as Don Haskins, the head coach of the team that featured the first all-black starting lineup in US NCAA history.
"Glory Road" is a formulaic yet an enjoyable film. It's a movie that gives itself away as soon as one character says "I want to play, Coach!" Still it has charm and excitement that comes from seeing it for what it is. It's predictable, yeah, but it's not much different from seeing a replay of a game where your favorite team won.
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