MATTHEW FOX portrays Red Dawson, the defensive coordinator for the ill-fated 1970 football team who, as assistant coach, helps to rebuild Marshall University’s football program in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ inspirational drama, “We Are Marshall,” distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Photo by Frank Masi
Based on true events, “We Are Marshall” tells the inspiring story of how a small town in West Virginia struggled to cope with a devastating loss and restore their community after one of the worst disasters in the history of American sports.
On the evening of Saturday, November 14, 1970, a chartered jet carrying Marshall University’s football team, coaches and fans, was on its way home from a hard-fought game in North Carolina.
Less than a minute before its scheduled landing at Tri-State Airport, the plane crashed in the Appalachian Mountains, killing everyone aboard: 37 players, eight coaches and university staff, the flight crew, and 25 prominent Huntington citizens who had made the trip as they always did to cheer their “Thundering Herd.”
In the aftermath of this stunning tragedy, university president Dedmon (DAVID STRATHAIRN) prepared to suspend the school’s football program for the seasonperhaps indefinitely. Assistant coach Red Dawson (MATTHEW FOX), who narrowly missed the ill-fated flight, couldn’t face going back onto the field.
But in Huntington, Marshall football has always been more than a sport: it’s a way of life. And this town would rally to save it.
After some initial setbacks, they found hope and strength in the leadership of outsider Jack Lengyel (MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY), a young coach determined to rebuild Marshall’s football program and, in the process, help to heal the community.
Less than a year later, on September 18, 1971, Marshall University’s brand new Thundering Herd was poised to stage one of the greatest comebacks in collegiate sports. A raw, youthful and inexperienced squad, patched together under the guidance of Lengyel and Dawson, they would defy overwhelming odds just to march onto the gridiron for the school’s first game since the accident.
That season, it didn’t matter whether Marshall won or lost. It didn’t even matter how they played the game. All that mattered was that they played.
“We Are Marshall” is directed by McG (the “Charlie’s Angels” films), from a screenplay by Jamie Linden, story by Cory Helms & Jamie Linden. It is produced by Basil Iwanyk (“Firewall”) and McG, with Brent O’Connor (“Scooby Doo 2”), Jeanne Allgood, Thomas Tull (“Superman Returns”) and Scott Mednick (“Superman Returns”) serving as executive producers.
The creative behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Shane Hurlbut (“Drumline”), production designer Tom Meyer (“A Lot Like Love”), and editors Priscilla Nedd Friendly (“Stuart Little 2”) and Gregg London. Music is by Emmy Award winner Christophe Beck (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). Costumes designed by Danny Glicker (“Transamerica”).
The film was rated “PG” by the MPAA for “emotional thematic material, a crash scene and mild language.”
For more information or art, please visit www.wearemarshall-themovie.com
2006 Film Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.