We are Marshall on DVD

We are Marshall on DVD.  This movie is a story about grief and recovery, set around the events following the plane crash in 1970 that took the lives of 75 members of the Marshall University football team and the Huntington, WV community.  The school must hire a new coach (Matthew McConaughey) to rebuild the program from scratch.  McConaughey’s performance is unspectacular.  However, the supporting roles are exceptional: Matthew Fox (Lost) as the lone returning member of the coaching staff, Anthony Mackie as the team captain trying to convince the school not to shut down the sport, David Strathairn as the university president trying to lead his institution through this crisis, and Ian McShane as the father struggling with the emotions of losing his son in the crash.  This is definitely a tear-jerker along the lines of Remember the Titans and Brian’s Song.  The filmmakers took some liberties with the facts, especially those surrounding the hiring of the new head coach, but the action scenes are not too fanciful and the inside look at what it takes to build a program from the ground up is fascinating.  Although many scenes were shot in Huntington, conveying the emotion of this small, steel-mill town, one major disappointment is the lack of a documentary featurette.  For those interested in learning more about the real-life events, the official Marshall University athletics web site has two short films: one on the making of the movie and one a tribute to the 1970 team and the Special Collections Department of the Marshall Library has a memorial section.


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