I love how people are always looking for some underlying reason to tellthe story other than expressing history and an American hero. Thismovie has been in the works far longer than the Obama campaign and itis insulting to think it is created to sway people to vote for a blackpresident based on white guilt.
Those of you who are interested in the Ernie Davis Story should watchit and enjoy it if you like it and if you're a fan but those of you whofeel you and the rest of white American are too stupid to make you'reown political decisions without being manipulated with guilt intochoosing a candidate should of course not watch ANY media until theelection is over.
Truly an outstanding biography of Ernie Davis, who at the height ofbrilliant career, with so much to offer the Cleveland Browns, wasstruck down with leukemia. The latter ultimately killed him at age 23.
His was a life of viewing and experiencing racial prejudice from hisearly youth and while playing, especially in southern towns. Thepicture excellently depicts American society circa 1949 through the'60s.
As his beloved coach at Syracuse University, Dennis Quaid gives arestrained, brilliant performance. This is by far Quaid's best work inmotion pictures.
Rob Brown, as Davis, fully captures the man and mood of the times. It'swonderful to see how Brown matured during his college years, and waseven strong through such adversity at the end.
This is a remarkable film which should not be missed.
As his grandfather, Charles S. Dutton, is excellent in a supportingrole. Grandpa knew the importance of football, but was wise enough topush his grandson for an education as well.
In fact, I'm not a football fan, nor even a sports fan at that---thisextraordinary movie would have slipped by me except for severalreasons: One of them, my friend of some 30 years or so, Coralee Burchwrote a manuscript on the life of the protagonist in this story, reallife college football great Ernie Davis. The years that she struggledunsuccessfully to pitch her script are still quite vivid in myrecollection because for her it was a heartfelt labor of love. ErnieDavis, the first dark skinned winner of the coveted Heisman Trophy wasto her a real life hero and she related to me more than once how he wasnot just a great athlete but beloved by everyone that ever met him,such was the greatness of his spirit
all of that despite the crushingbigotry that Davis faced coming of age in the mid-20th Century Americaand the brutal treatment and abuse heaped upon him from childhood.
The second reason is the actor chosen to play Ernie Davis, Rob Brown. Ifirst discovered Brown in his first film Finding Forrester (2000). Hewas selected to play the lead opposite Sean Connery in this small,beautiful gem of a film at age 16 and without any training as an actoryet held his own superbly against Connery. The minute that I saw thetrailer for The Express and recognized Rob Brown I decided I would seethe film, even before I realized it was the story about Ernie Davis.
A curious coincidence as well, Ernie's greatest hero was Jim Brown, whoplayed at Syracuse before Ernie and who went on to the Cleveland Brownsonce again followed by Ernie. Some of you will know the name Jim Brownbecause he has been an actor in Hollywood for decades. When I was inHigh School in Hicksville in the track team I recall quite vividly oneday watching Jim Brown run a long distance race on the track leavingeveryone behind as if they were jogging at a track meet with his HighSchool, Manhasset.
Although Jim was instrumental in inspiring Ernie, as it turned outErnie had an even better football record than Jim in college and mighthave also matched or bettered Jim in the NFL where Jim is todayconsidered a legendary player. It was not meant to be, however, ErnieDavis died at age 23 of Leukemia just after being drafted by theCleveland Browns.
To this writing I've read more than two dozen criticals on this filmand although most critics liked the film not one grasped the meaning ofthe story. It was not a film about sports or football but about thetriumph of the human spirit.
"The Express" tells the story of Ernie Davis, the firstAfrican-American winner of football's Heisman Trophy.
This could have been known as a factual, historically truthful movie IFthe makers had not taken unnecessary racial shot at West VirginiaUniversity while producing the film.
The movie includes a scene in which Mountaineer fans hurl racial slursand trash at Davis and his Syracuse University teammates during a 1959game in Morgantown.
West Virginia was never mentioned in the original Charles Levittscript, nor did WVU play Syracuse during this historical time frame.Thus the film falsely depicts the West Virginia and WVU.
Levitt says the script he gave Universal Pictures did not mention WV orWest Virginia University. He had said that the scene was supposed todepict a 1958 game at Tar Heels Stadium in North Carolina - a choicethat also displayed artistic license.
"It is a sad fact of my business that when a screenwriter turns ascript over to a studio, the studio and the filmmakers own it," wroteLeavitt. "They can do anything they want with it - even rewrite partsof it without consulting me and without my knowledge or consent."
The Express is a touching, inspiring, and captivating film that shouldbe seen by everyone. Whether you're black or white, a sports fan ornot, The Express is undoubtedly enjoyable by all audiences. Rob Brownprovides a powerful performance as the football star Ernie Davis. Allof Brown's acting is believable. Not once did I feel like I waswatching just another cheesy sports movie. The racial issues give TheExpress its certain depth and meaningfulness. Ernie Davis is able torise above all these racial barriers and discrimination and become anunexpected superhero. Ernie Davis is proof that nothing is impossible.A person's skin color is no reason to feel hindered a