Film shows basketball team overcoming racism to reach the top
It's your childhood blanket that you just can't throw away. It's having your favorite lunch every day of the year. It's reading your favorite book for the fiftieth time. What do all these things have in common with "Glory Road"? Repetition. "Glory Road" is the same sports story you've seen at least 100 times, but then you rewind and watch again.
"Glory Road," directed by James Gartner, is an empowering film based on a true story. Coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas) is a basketball coach for a high school girls' basketball team. When he's asked to pack his things and move his family to El Paso, Texas, to coach Division I basketball for the Texas Western Miners, he cannot refuse.
The only problem is that the team doesn't have any money to recruit any players. So, just before the basketball season, Haskins finds a way to recruit some of the most talented players the NCAA has ever seen. He recruits seven black players, causing controversy among all. The Texas Western Miners must overcome the racial divide between the team, which eventually becomes the least of their problems as they travel cross-country to other less accepting areas. Being the first Division I basketball team to start five black players, the Miners must pull their team together to face what will be the most challenging yet most rewarding season they will ever play.
You've heard this story before. It's the powerful sports story that deals with key racial issues of 60's, and it has everyone cheering at the end. It's a tired story but it's true. "Glory Road" is no different.
The film is extremely powerful. It addresses racial issues and unites the black and white players on the Texas Western basketball team. It shows the team's sense of dignity and pride.
It is also exciting to watch. As the horrible team moves up to the number four spot in the nation, it's pretty easy to predict the outcome of the movie. But it's still fun to watch it happen, nonetheless.
The film also has lots of comedic scenes. It's definitely not a comedy film, but it had enough people laughing in the theatre to be one. In one of the first scenes of the movie, Haskins is teaching his two small sons how to play basketball in the front yard. He passes the ball to his youngest son, and when it hits him square in the face, he runs in crying to his mother. "It was dad!" says the older brother. And when Haskins jokingly calls him a tattletale, the boy goes "I ain't getting in trouble less I did something!"
The movie also addresses serious issues about racism and bigotry. Although "Glory Road" is similar to films such as "Remember the Titans," "Glory Road" takes a deeper look at racism and hatred. Although the teammates don't immediately click, they quickly learn to get along in order to face the disapproval of the entire nation together.
The team is far from perfect. Throughout the film, the boys face other issues that are unrelated to race. Haskins expects perfection, and when the team feels like they can't meet his expectations, they resent his way of coaching and turn it into a problem that is drawn out longer than it needs to be.
"Glory Road" is an inspiring movie with a powerful and timeless message: racism cannot and will not be tolerated. With talented actors and a talented director, the film teaches that lesson through its powerful scenes and "glorious" ending—one that makes audiences grin from ear to ear, no matter how many times they have heard the story.
"Glory Road" (106 minutes) is rated PG for racial issues including violence and epithets, and momentary language.
Devon Madison. Devon Madison has a famous brother and sister. What went wrong? No one will know. More »