Glory Road

Coach Don Haskins vision and goal was to be the very best at what he did. It was not until after winning a National Championship that he realized what he had done. Haskins was not a civil rights activist but by reaching his goal, he had revolutionized the game of basketball and the way the nation viewed black players.

The Story
In 1966 there was not a single team in College Basketball that played a starting lineup comprised of all black players. Coach Don Haskins looked past color and saw skill, determination, and character. He wanted to win a National Championship, and made a team capable of just that. Considered one of the greatest sports upsets of all time, the 1966 Texas Western Miners defeated the Kentucky Wildcats. The championship game featured the Texas Western all black starting lineup that shook the sporting world as well as the nation.

The Acting
Josh Lucas lived up to the challenge in playing the very charismatic Don Haskins. He was supported well by Derek Luke, who you may remember from Friday Night Lights. The cast of boys that was recruited to play the team was a fun bunch to watch. The highlight for me was to see Jon Voight play the legendary Kentucky head coach Adolph Rupp. I can only imagine the amount of makeup it took to achieve Voight’s (Mr. Magoo) look.

Behind the Scenes
Glory Road is a very fast paced, colorful, vibrant film. This film is the type most have come to expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production. The filming itself was nothing exceptional, nor was the sound. If you have ever seen Miracle, this film may feel familiar.

The Final Cut
This is the perfect example of the great American sports clich©. Glory Road is a scrappy underdog sports flick that keeps you on the edge of your seat regardless of the fact that you know the outcome. It is a feel good experience that any family or sports fan would appreciate, but probably soon forget. I think that first time Director James Gartner, could have focused more on the social impact that this event had on the country, rather than just the sporting world.

The Upside:
The resurrection of a sports story that this generation should hear.
The Downside:
The strong civil rights impact that this story had, was underappreciated in this film.
On the Side:
Miami Heat coach Pat Riley was an advisor to Jon Voight in playing the legendary Adolph Rupp, due to the fact that Riley played on the Kentucky team that lost to the 1966 Texas Western Miners.

Making the Grade:
The Story: B+
The Acting: B
Behind the Scenes: C
Overall: B

Tags: Glory Road, Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Don Haskins, Jon Voight, Jerry Bruckheimer