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Glory Road (film)

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Title: Glory Road (film)  
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Subject: Josh Lucas, Sam Jones III, Alphonso McAuley, 1965–66 Texas Western Miners basketball team, Tatyana Ali
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Glory Road (film)

Glory Road
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Gartner
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by Chris Cleveland
Bettina Gilois
Gregory Allen Howard
Based on Glory Road by Don Haskins and Daniel Wetzel
Starring Josh Lucas
Derek Luke
Jon Voight
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography Jeffrey L. Kimball
John Toon
Edited by Jason Hellmann
John Wright
Walt Disney Pictures
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Texas Western Productions
Glory Road Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates January 13, 2006 (2006-01-13)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $42,938,449[1]

Glory Road is a 2006 American drama sports film directed by James Gartner, based on a true story surrounding the events leading to the 1966 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Don Haskins portrayed by Josh Lucas, head coach of Texas Western College, coached a team with an all-black starting lineup, a first in NCAA history. Glory Road explores racism, discrimination, and student athletics. Supporting actors Jon Voight and Derek Luke also star in principal roles.

The film was a co-production between the motion picture studios of Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Texas Western Productions, and Glory Road Productions. It was commercially distributed by Buena Vista Pictures theatrically and by the Buena Vista Home Entertainment division for the video rental market. It premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on January 13, 2006, grossing $42,938,449 in box office business. Glory Road was nominated for a number of awards including the Humanitas Prize; the film won the 2006 ESPY Award for Best Sports Movie.

The film presently holds a 55% score on Rotten Tomatoes and a rating of "mixed or average" from Metacritic.[2][3] On January 10, 2006, the original motion picture soundtrack was released by the Hollywood Records music label. The soundtrack was composed and orchestrated by musician Trevor Rabin. With its initial foray into the home media marketplace; the film's widescreen DVD edition, featuring theatrical trailers, extended interviews with players and colleagues of coach Haskins, and deleted scenes among other highlights, was released in the U.S. on June 6, 2006.


Newly appointed men's basketball coach Don Haskins (Lucas) from Texas Western College in Wildcats squad firmly believes that his opponent stands no chance. On the eve of the decisive game, Haskins decides to experiment with a bold strategy, informing his team that he intends to start an all-black lineup in the game, and also only using the two other black players in the rotation.

In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, Texas Western faces mounting problems with forward and team captain Harry Flournoy (Brooks) leaving the game with an injury, and their center David Lattin (Kerr) in foul trouble. In a close game, the Miners narrowly lead at halftime, but finally manage to beat Kentucky 72–65 with some impressive steals, rebounding and passing techniques in the second half. The film ends with the players exiting the plane that brought them back to El Paso to the greeting of a raucous crowd.


Supporting actor Mehcad Brooks, who portrayed African-American college basketball player Harry Flournoy.



Former UTEP head coach Don Haskins

Glory Road was inspired by a true story, as described by Texas Western's head coach Don Haskins in his autobiography of the same title, a national bestseller released in 2005 by Hyperion Books. The book details Haskins' early life as a player (including a one-on-one game against a black friend that opened his eyes) and women's basketball coach. Like the film, it then focuses on the 1966 Texas Western men's basketball team and the aftermath of the championship. It was reprinted five times in its first four months of release and was selected as an "Editor's Choice" by the New York Times Book Review. Additionally, Glory Road is the name of a street on the UTEP campus near the Sun Bowl which was renamed to commemorate the 1966 NCAA championship.

Later asked about his decision to start five black players, Haskins downplayed the significance of his decision. "I really didn't think about starting five black guys. I just wanted to put my five best guys on the court. I just wanted to win the game."[4] Though credited with setting in motion the desegregation of college basketball teams in the South, he wrote in his book "I certainly did not expect to be some racial pioneer or change the world."[5]

Dunking was banned in the NCAA from 1967 to 1976, not least due to the success of the Texas Western team and a UCLA player named Lew Alcindor (better known later as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) then entering the league.

Next to the closing credits, scenes from interviews with some of the real-life players from the team are shown, including one player from the opposing University of Kentucky team beaten by Texas Western in the NCAA finals, NBA head coach Pat Riley. The real life Don Haskins was cast as an extra in the film as a gas station attendant, and David Lattin was cast as an extra as a military bartender.

The players on the 1966 team were David Lattin, Bobby Joe Hill, Willie Cager, Willie Worsley, Jerry Armstrong, Orsten Artis, Nevil Shed, Harry Flournoy, Togo Railey, Louis Baudoin, Dick Myers,and David Palacio. The team was nominated in its entirety for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and was inducted on September 7, 2007, ten years after coach Don Haskins had already been enshrined.

The movie skipped a crucial game that Texas-Western had played. On March 18, 1966, the Miners defeated Utah 85-78 in the Final Four to advance to the national championship game the following night. In the movie the team played against Kansas in the regional final and the following game was the national championship, which is incorrect.


Several scenes in this movie were filmed at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), which was formerly Texas Western College, and El Paso High School in El Paso, Texas. Other scenes were filmed at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, Jesuit High School and Douglas High School, formerly F. T. Nicholls High School, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Chalmette High School in Chalmette, Louisiana. The IHOP scene was filmed in the old Airline Motors Diner on Airline Highway just west of New Orleans. The school shown for the girl's basketball game in Fort Worth, Texas at the beginning of the film is actually the front of El Paso High School in El Paso as shown by the engraving on the top of the columns. The lunchroom basketball trash can scene was filmed at Booker T. Washington High School, the first high school built in New Orleans for African-Americans. Towards the beginning of the film for the shot of Texas Western College, the Wells Fargo Plaza and the Chase Bank Building in downtown El Paso can be seen in the top left corner. The Wells Fargo Plaza was not completed until 1971, and the Chase Bank Building was still the Texas Commerce Bank building until the early 1990s. In addition, Ralph Strangis (the Dallas Stars play-by-play announcer) had a small speaking role as a courtside broadcaster. Ben Affleck was the original choice for the role of coach Don Haskins, but had to drop out of the filming due to prior commitments. NBA point guard Kirk Hinrich was offered a role in the film, but chose not to participate "because of time constraints".[6]

During the scene of the Texas Western-Seattle University basketball game broadcast the announcers inadvertently used the call letters WTSM which is a FM radio sports station from Tallahassee Florida instead of KTSM-AM which is a radio station in El Paso Texas.


Kentucky Wildcat fans and other Rupp supporters said the film at least implicitly portrayed University of Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp as a racist, with such lines as Bobby Joe Hill's that Rupp would not have recruited him. Like other teams in the Southeastern Conference, Kentucky was indeed all-white, but they were the first (and for about a decade only) SEC team to regularly play (inter-conference) opponents with black players (starting in the 1950s) and in fact, took the place of Alabama (1956) Mississippi State (1959. 1961) in the NCAA Tournament after their respective state legislatures and/or university leadership refused the invites because they may play against integrated squads.[1] Starting in 1964 Rupp had recruited Kentuckians Wes Unseld and Butch Beard along with eight other black players who received formal scholarship offers before Tom Payne in 1969 became UK's first black player.[2] But while doing so he told them about the racial difficulties they could expect in playing in the SEC (just as Branch Rickey did regarding Jackie Robinson) and Unseld and Beard went to Louisville instead. Rupp's critics insist that Rupp should've been more aggressive in his attempts to integrate his team.

In the game between East Texas State University and Texas Western, East Texas State fans are shown throwing popcorn and drinks, and yelling racial epithets. In a later scene, racial slurs are shown painted onto the hotel rooms of the black Texas Western players. After verification that the events never took place, Texas A&M University–Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) asked for an apology from Disney and the makers of the film.[7] Disney did not directly apologize, rather, it explained that the movie was not a documentary and that it had been necessary to consolidate events given the time limitations of the film, and that Disney did not intentionally set out to misrepresent any group and was sorry for any misunderstanding.[8] The President of Texas A&M–Commerce said that, given the way the school was shown in the film, it was hard to believe that Disney could plausibly argue that the portrayal of the school was unintentional.[8] The scene even prompted the Texas state senate to consider a bill which would allow financial assistance from the state to be withheld for films that portray the state negatively.[9]


On January 10, 2006, the soundtrack was released on the Hollywood Records label. The film score was orchestrated by musician Trevor Rabin and features music composed by various artists.

Glory Road Original Soundtrack
Film score by Various Artists
Released January 10, 2006
Length 32:43
Label Hollywood
Glory Road Original Soundtrack
No. Title Length
1. "People Get Ready"   2:43
2. "Ain't That Peculiar"   3:00
3. "Uptight (Everything's Alright)"   2:54
4. "Dancing in the Street"   2:40
5. "I'm on my way to Canaan"   3:23
6. "Can You Do It"   2:20
7. "Shake It Up Baby (aka Twist And Shout)"   2:30
8. "Down in the Boondocks"   2:36
9. "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)"   3:13
10. "Ain't That Good News"   2:40
11. "I Will Make The Darkness Light"   2:25
12. "Glory Road"   4:19
Total length:


Home media

Following its release in theaters, the Region 1 widescreen Pan and scan edition of the motion picture was released on DVD in the United States on June 6, 2006.[10] A Special Edition widescreen format DVD and a PlayStation Portable of the film were also released on June 6, 2006.

A restored widescreen high definition Blu-ray was released on October 17, 2006. Special features include backstage reature film: audio commentary with producer Jerry Bruckheimer & director James Gartner; Audio commentary with screenwriters Chris Cleveland and Bettina Gilois; "Surviving Practice" – inside a typical grueling Haskins practice with former NBA star Tim Hardaway and seamless menus.[11]


Critical response

Among mainstream critics in the U.S., the film received generally mixed to positive reviews.[12] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 55% of 150 sampled critics gave the film a positive review, with an average score of 5.9 out of 10.[13] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average out of 100 to critics' reviews, Glory Road received a score of 58 based on 33 reviews.[12]

The film won the 2006 ESPY Award for Best Sports Movie.[14] Furthermore in 2006, Glory Road was nominated for the Humanitas Prize.[15] In 2007, the film garnered nominations for Best Screenplay, Adapted or Original and Best Original or Adapted Song from the Black Reel Awards.[16]

Box office

The film became a box office number-one in the U.S. grossing $16,927,589 on its opening weekend, yet was only released straight to DVD or just shown on TV in some countries that have no connection to college basketball. The film grossed a total of $42,938,449 worldwide.[1]

See also



  1. ^ a b "Glory Road (2006)".  
  2. ^ "Glory Road".  
  3. ^ "Glory Road (2006)".  
  4. ^ Limón, Iliana. "Ex-Miners coach Don Haskins wasn't playing the hero during a racially charged 1966 championship, but Hollywood doesn't seem to mind." Albuquerque Tribune. 11 January 2006.
  5. ^ Haskins, Don with Dan Wetzel. Glory Road. New York:Hyperion, 2006. ISBN 1-4013-0791-4.
  6. ^ Sam Smith. "Skiles lauds Chandler's play; Coach calls game 7-footer's best yet". Chicago Tribune. November 21, 2005. Sports, pg. 5
  7. ^ Texas A&M-Commerce Wants Apology For Glory Road Movie Portrayal., Published 2006-02-10. Accessed 2007-05-15.
  8. ^ a b Underdue Murph heads enrollment/marketing. Texas A&M University Commerce. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  9. ^ Fikac, Peggy. "Senators want film funds to hinge on portrayal of state." Houston Chronicle. Published 2007-05-15. Accessed 2007-05-15.
  10. ^ "Glory Road (2006) - DVD Widescreen".  
  11. ^ "Glory Road Blu-Ray".  
  12. ^ a b Glory Road. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  13. ^ Glory Road (2006). Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  14. ^ 2006 ESPY Awards Winners. Variety. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  15. ^ Past Winners. HumanitasPrize.Org. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
  16. ^ Winners. Black Reel Awards. Retrieved 2013-02-11.


  • Haskins, Don with Dan Wetzel. Glory Road. New York:Hyperion, 2006. ISBN 1-4013-0791-4.

External links

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