The events in this dramatic true story took place in November 1970. In a tragic air disaster: seventy-five people are killed – including entire Marshall University football team, and their popular no-nonsense coach, Rick Trolley (Robert Patrick.)
Pressurised by families and friends of the crash victims who opt to wallow in their own self-pity, like old man Paul Griffen Ian McShane), whose son was aboard the ’plane: the University President, Donald Dedmon (David Strathairn) at first opts to cancel the football programme. But such is the heart of the Marshall university students and the townspeople of Huntington alike, that he soon appoints a new coach in young Jack Lengyl (Matthew McConaughy) who, capably aided by his deputy, Red Dawson (Matthew Fox), is given the task of putting together a whole new football team! Because of the average age of the players, who are mainly freshmen: they opt to call themselves, “The Young Thundering Herd.”
Not dissimilar to Facing the Giants in several respects: the actual plane crash is most effectively done…because we don’t actually get to see it! Rather, our imagination is left to cope with the situation. (Alfred Hitchcock used a similar tack in his horror classic, Psycho.)
An inspiring true story set in Huntington, West Virginia, a small town steeped in the rich tradition of college football. For decades, players, coaches, fans and families have come together to cheer on Marshall University’s Thundering Herd. On a fateful night in 1970, while travelling back to Huntington after a game in North Carolina, 75 members of Marshall’s football team and coaching team were killed in a plane crash. The grieving families found hope and strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel, a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall’s football program and in the process helped heal a community.
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