SYNOPSIS: “The Express” follows the inspirational life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Following his draft by the NFL, tragedy struck the star athlete and he was never able to take the professional field. But his tale would forever change the face of professional sports.
Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become an unstoppable running back for the Syracuse Orangemen. Under the guidance of coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid)-a hard-nosed surrogate father with an obsession for winning a national championship-Davis would develop from an impressive high-school athlete into a legend. While everyone agreed Ernie Davis was a miracle player, few thought this quiet young man would become an icon for the burgeoning civil rights movement dividing America in the early 1960s.
Refusing to play by the unspoken racist rules of the day, Davis broke through one barrier after another to alter the way fans looked at men of his color. Though leukemia struck the player a terrible blow in the prime of his life, his spirit soared when most would crumble. Forcing his bull-headed coach to re-examine a life lived in color-based privilege, Davis would join the ranks of black pioneers who inspired a movement that smashed barriers on and off the playing field.
OVERVIEW: Witness the journey of how one determined player and his dedicated coach changed the game of football forever. Starring Dennis Quaid and based on the inspirational true story of an American hero who beat the odds to become the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, “The Express” will have you cheering over and over again.
- DELETED SCENES WITH OPTIONAL COMMENTARY BY DIRECTOR GARY FLEDER
MAKING OF “THE EXPRESS”: Director Gary Fleder, 2nd Unit Director Alan Graf, Production Designer Nelson Coates Cinematographer Kramer Morganthau along with cast Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown and Charles Dutton discuss how they created the look of this film set in 1959.
- MAKING HISTORY: THE STORY OF ERNIE DAVIS: Director Gary Fleder, actors Rob Brown, Charles Dutton, and football hall of fame legend Jim Brown discuss the impact of Ernie Davis’s life on and off the field during the civil rights movement in the late 1950’s.
- INSIDE THE PLAYBOOK: SHOOTING THE FOOTBALL GAMES: Through graphics and audio
commentary, Director Gary Fleder and 2nd Unit Director Alan Graf will break down three plays from the film from a variety of different angles that they shot to show the progression from start to finished film.
- FROM HOLLYWOOD TO SYRACUSE: THE LEGACY OF ERNIE DAVIS
- FEATURE COMMENTARY With Director Gary Fleder
BONUS FEATURES (EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAYTM):
- BD-LIVE FEATURES: Access the BD-Live Center through your internet-connected player for even more great content and features!
o MY SCENES SHARING: Bookmark your favorite scenes then share with your friends.
o DOWNLOAD CENTER: Access additional content, the latest trailers, and so much more!
- 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1959 SYRACUSE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Utilizing rare archival footage and through interviews with players, coaches and fans, discover how Ernie Davis and his team won Syracuse University their only football national championship in 1959.