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 & families have come together to cheer on Marshall University's 'Thundering Herd.' For this team & this community, Marshall football is more than just a sport, it's a way of life. But on a fateful night in 1970, while traveling back to Huntington after a game in North Carolina, 75 members of Marshall's football team & coaching staff were killed in a plane crash. As those left behind struggled to cope with the devastating loss of their loved ones, the grieving families found hope & strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel, a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall's football program &, in the process, help to heal a community.

  • 2 hr 7 minPGHDSD
  • Dec 22, 2006
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • David StrathairnActor

    David Russell Strathairn was born on January 26, 1949 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Mary Frances (Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He has two siblings, Tom and Anne. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and one sixteenth Chinese (the latter three from his paternal grandmother). Strathairn attended Williams College, where he demonstrated great interest in the theatre, and first befriended John Sayles, with whom he would later frequently collaborate. Strathairn graduated college and traveled to Florida to visit with his grandfather, but the grandfather passed away while Strathairn was en route. Strathairn, finding himself freshly-arrived and without friends in Florida, decided instead to join the Ringling Brothers Clown College and subsequently worked as a clown for six months in a traveling circus. Relocating to New York State, he spent several years hitchhiking across America to work in local theaters during the summers. During one of these summers Strathairn reunited with Sayles, and this eventually resulted in his role in the highly regarded Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979), Sayles' directorial debut. Thereafter Strathairn developed an extensive resume of supporting roles, which became increasingly substantial as his stature in the industry grew; notable films include Lovesick (1983), Silkwood (1983), L.A. Confidential (1997), and A Map of the World (1999). Sayles frequently casts Strathairn, whose performances can be seen in Sayles' The Brother from Another Planet (1984), Matewan (1987), Eight Men Out (1988), City of Hope (1991), and Passion Fish (1992). Perhaps most notable of his collaborations with Sayles is his superb performance co-starring with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in Limbo (1999). After a string of successful supporting roles in the early 2000s, Strathairn found himself thrust into the role of leading man with his performance as Edward R. Murrow in George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005) Taking on the role of the iconic newsman in the black-and-white drama, Strathairn garnered numerous award mentions including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Following the success of that film, Strathairn traveled easily between low-budget independent films - The Notorious Bettie Page (2005), The Sensation of Sight (2006), My Blueberry Nights (2007), and Howl (2010) among them - and big-budget Hollywood productions, including We Are Marshall (2006), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), both The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and The Bourne Legacy (2012), and Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln (2012), in which he plays Secretary of State William Seward. Strathairn has also worked extensively in television, and first became familiar to television viewers as the title character's boss in the series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987). In addition to narration work for many PBS shows, Strathairn has appeared in the TV series Big Apple (2001), The Sopranos (1999), Monk (2002), and headed the cast of the science-fiction series Alphas (2011). His work in television films has brought him an Emmy Award for Temple Grandin (2010) and an Emmy nominations for Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012). Strathairn married nurse Logan Goodman in 1980, and the couple have two children.
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  • MATTHEW FOXActor

    Matthew Chandler Fox was born in Abington, Pennsylvania. His mother, Loretta B. (Eagono), was a schoolteacher, and his father, Francis G. Fox, was a consultant for an oil company, who raised longhorn cattle and horses and grew barley for Coors beer. He has Italian (from his maternal grandfather), English, and Irish ancestry. Matthew entered the Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts for a post-grad year after high school, and then matriculated at Columbia University where he played football and majored in Economics with the intent to end up on Wall Street. However, his girlfriend's mother was a modeling agent who convinced him to try some modeling which led to a couple of TV commercials. Soon after he was sold on acting. He made his debut on an episode of _"Wings"(1990)_ in 1992. From 1994 to 2000 he played the role of Charlie Salinger in Party of Five (1994) alongside Neve Campbell and Scott Wolf. From 2004 to 2010 he starred on the popular TV-Show Lost (2004). During this time he appeared in movies such as We Are Marshall (2006), Vantage Point (2008) and Speed Racer (2008). He has been married to his wife Margherita since 1992 and they 2 children together, a daughter and a son.
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  • Matthew McConaugheyActor

    American actor and producer Matthew David McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas. His mother, Mary Kathleen (McCabe), is a substitute school teacher originally from New Jersey. His father, James Donald McConaughey, was a Mississippi-born gas station owner who ran an oil pipe supply business. He is of Irish, Scottish, English, German, and Swedish descent. Matthew grew up in Longview, Texas, where he graduated from the local High School (1988). Showing little interest in his father's oil business, which his two brothers later joined, Matthew was longing for a change of scenery, and spent a year in Australia, washing dishes and shoveling chicken manure. Back to the States, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, originally wishing to be a lawyer. But, when he discovered an inspirational Og Mandino book "The Greatest Salesman in the World" before one of his final exams, he suddenly knew he had to change his major from law to film. He began his acting career in 1991, appearing in student films and commercials in Texas and directed short films as Chicano Chariots (1992). Once, in his hotel bar in Austin, he met the casting director and producer Don Phillips, who introduced him to director Richard Linklater for his next project. At first, Linklater thought Matthew was too handsome to play the role of a guy chasing high school girls in his coming-of-age drama Dazed and Confused (1993), but cast him after Matthew grew out his hair and mustache. His character was initially in three scenes but the role grew to more than 300 lines as Linklater encouraged him to do some improvisations. In 1995, he starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995), playing a mad bloodthirsty sadistic killer, opposite Renée Zellweger. Shortly thereafter, moving to L.A., Matthew became a sensation with his performances in two high-profile 1996 films Lone Star (1996), where he portrayed killing suspected sheriff and in the film adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill (1996), where he played an idealistic young lawyer opposite Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. The actor was soon being hailed as one of the industry's hottest young leading man inspiring comparisons to actor Paul Newman. His following performances were Robert Zemeckis' Contact (1997) with Jodie Foster (the film was finished just before the death of the great astronomer and popularizer of space science Carl Sagan) and Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997), a fact-based 1839 story about the rebellious African slaves. In 1998, he teamed again with Richard Linklater as one of the bank-robbing brothers in The Newton Boys (1998), set in Matthew's birthplace, Uvalde, Texas. During this time, he also wrote, directed and starred in the 20-minute short The Rebel (1998). In 1999, he starred in the comedy Edtv (1999), about the rise of reality television, and in 2000, he headlined Jonathan Mostow's U-571 (2000), portraying officer Lt. Tyler, in a WW II story of the daring mission of American submariners trying to capture the Enigma cipher machine. In the 2000s, he became known for starring in romantic comedies, such as The Wedding Planner (2001), opposite Jennifer Lopez, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), in which he co-starred with Kate Hudson. He played Denton Van Zan, an American warrior and dragons hunter in the futuristic thriller Reign of Fire (2002), where he co-starred with Christian Bale. In 2006, he starred in the romantic comedy Failure to Launch (2006), and later as head coach Jack Lengyel in We Are Marshall (2006), along with Matthew Fox. In 2008, he played treasure hunter Benjamin "Finn" Finnegan in Fool's Gold (2008), again with Kate Hudson. After playing Connor Mead in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), co-starring with Jennifer Garner, McConaughey took a two year hiatus to open different opportunities in his career. Since 2010, he has moved away from romantic comedies. That change came in 2011, in his first movie after that pause, when he portrayed criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), that operates mostly from the back seat of his Lincoln car. After this performance that was considered one of his best until then, Matthew played other iconic characters as district attorney Danny Buck Davidson in Bernie (2011), the wild private detective "Killer" Joe Cooper in Killer Joe (2011), Mud in Mud (2012), reporter Ward Jensen in The Paperboy (2012), male stripper club owner Dallas in Magic Mike (2012), starring Channing Tatum. McConaughey's career certainly reached it's prime, when he played HIV carrier Ron Woodroof in the biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club (2013), shot in less than a month. For his portrayal of Ron, Matthew won the Best Actor in the 86th Academy Awards, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, among other awards and nominations. The same year, he also appeared in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). In 2014, he starred in HBO's True Detective (2014), as detective Rustin Cohle, whose job is to investigate with his partner Martin Hart, played by Woody Harrelson, a gruesome murder that happened in his little town in Louisiana. The series was highly acclaimed by critics winning 4 of the 7 categories it was nominated at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards; he also won a Critics' Choice Award for the role. Also in 2014, Matthew starred in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi film Interstellar (2014), playing Cooper, a former NASA pilot.
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  • Ian McShaneActor

    A natural at portraying complex anti-heroes and charming heavies, IAN McSHANE is the classically trained, award-winning actor who has grabbed attention and acclaim from audiences and critics around the world with his unforgettable gallery of scoundrels, kings, mobsters and thugs. And, now, a god as well! McShane just completed his second season (as star and executive producer) on the hit Starz series, "American Gods," the TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel. As Mr. Wednesday, a shifty, silver-tongued conman, he masks his true identity - that of the Norse god of war, Odin, who's assembling a team of elders to bring down the new false idols. A series McShane calls "like nothing else I've seen on television." It's a comment that also befits McShane's critically-acclaimed role of the charismatic, menacing and lawless 19th century brothel-and-bar keep, Al Swearengen, in the profound and profane HBO western series "Deadwood," which ran for just 36 episodes over three seasons from 2004-06. For his work on the series' second season, McShane won the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Drama (in addition to Emmy and Screen Actors Guild nominations as Outstanding Lead Dramatic Actor). He also received the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama for his work in the show's debut season (with a second nomination in 2005). It is a role and performance the New York Times dubbed "one of the most interesting villains on television." And, a recent online poll called Swearengen a more compelling onscreen gangster over the likes of Tony Soprano and Michael Corleone. After a twelve-year hiatus from portraying maybe his most iconic character ("it was the most satisfyingly creative three years of my professional career" he says), McShane recently reprised the unforgettable rogue when HBO resurrected the 1870s western in a two-hour telefilm, "Deadwood: The Movie," nominated for the Outstanding Television Movie Emmy. At an age when many successful thespians turn to cameo appearances and character parts, McShane's busy career (which dates back to 1962) also includes three very different starring roles on the big screen in the coming months. He was seen alongside David Harbour in Neil Marshall's reimagined comic book epic, "Hellboy." McShane also co-starred with Gary Carr in the Dan Pritzker drama, "Bolden," the biopic of musician Buddy Bolden, the father of jazz and a key figure in the development of ragtime music (McShane portrays Bolden's nemesis, Judge Perry). And, he reprised his role (reuniting with Keanu Reeves) as Winston, the suave and charming owner of the assassins-only Tribeca hotel in the latest installment of director Chad Stahelski's action trilogy, "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum," which opened to enormous box office success. Years before his triumphant role in "Deadwood," McShane had compiled a long and diverse career on both British and American television. He produced and starred in the acclaimed series "Lovejoy" for the BBC (and A&E in the U.S.), directing several episodes during the show's lengthy run. The popular Sunday night drama (which attracted 18 million viewers weekly during its run from 1990-94) saw McShane in the title role of an irresistible, roguish Suffolk antiques dealer. He would reunite with the BBC by producing and starring in the darker and more serious drama, Madson. He collected a second Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries for his portrayal of the scheming Waleran Bigod in Starz's Emmy-nominated "Pillars of the Earth." The production, which originated on the U.K.'s Channel 4, was based on Ken Follett's bestselling historic novel about the building of a 12th-century cathedral during the time known as "the Anarchy" after King Henry I had lost his only son in the White Ship disaster of 1120. It's a character McShane says "would fit into the Vatican." He is also well-known to TV audiences for his roles in FX's "American Horror Story," Showtime's "Ray Donovan" and, more recently, Amazon's "Dr. Thorne" and HBO's juggernaut, "Game of Thrones" ("I loved the character and did it because my three grandkids, big fans of the show, wouldn't have forgiven me if I hadn't"). And, he first worked with "American Gods" producer Michael Green on the short-lived NBC drama, "Kings," a show (inspired by The Book Of Samuel) he calls "far too revolutionary for network television." Other notable small screen roles include his appearance in David Wolper's landmark miniseries "Roots" (as the British cockfighting aficionado), "Whose Life Is it Anyway?," Heathcliff in the 1967 miniseries "Wuthering Heights" and Harold Pinter's Emmy-winning "The Caretaker." McShane has also played a variety of real-life subjects like Sejanus in the miniseries "A.D.," the title role of Masterpiece Theater's "Disraeli: Portrait of A Romantic" and Judas in NBC's "Jesus of Nazareth" (directed by Franco Zeffirelli). McShane, who shows no signs of slowing down in a career now entrenched in its sixth decade ("acting is the only business where the older you get, the parts and the pay get better"), began his career during Britain's New Wave Cinema of the early 1960s. He landed his first lead role in the 1962 English feature "The Wild and the Willing," which also starred another acting upstart and fellow Brit - McShane's lifelong friend, the late John Hurt. McShane later revealed that he had ditched class at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to audition for the role. Since that 1962 motion picture debut, McShane has enjoyed a fabulous run of character roles such as the sinister Cockney mobster, Teddy Bass, opposite Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast"; the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, alongside Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"; and Richard Burton's bi-sexual partner, Wolfie, in the 1971 heist film, "Villain." He gave Hayley Mills her first onscreen kiss as a smoldering gypsy in 1965's "Sky West and Crooked," was part of the stellar ensemble cast (James Mason, James Coburn, Dyan Cannon) in the Stephen Sondheim-Anthony Perkins scripted big screen mystery, "The Last of Sheila," and played a retired sheriff with a violent past opposite Patrick Wilson in the gritty drama, "The Hollow Point." Other film credits include Guy Hamilton's all-star WWII epic, "The Battle of Britain," the romantic comedy "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium," "Pottersville," "Hercules," "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Jawbone" (reuniting with fellow Brit Ray Winstone in both), "Jack the Giant Slayer," Woody Allen's "Scoop," Rodrigo Garcia's indie drama "Nine Lives" (Gotham Award nominee for Best Ensemble Performance) and the darkly perverse crime drama, "44 Inch Chest," a film in which McShane not only starred, but also produced. While also making his professional theatre debut in 1962 ("Infanticide in the House of Fred August," Arts Theatre, London), McShane appeared onstage in the original 1965 production of Joe Orton's "Loot." Two years later, he starred alongside Ian McKellen and Judi Dench in the hit stage play, "The Promise," a production which transferred to Broadway in 1967 (with Eileen Atkins replacing Dench). He would return to Broadway one more time forty years later (2008), starring in the 40th anniversary staging of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," for which he shared a Drama Desk Award as Best Cast Ensemble. McShane also returned to the West End boards in 2000, charming audiences as the seductive, sex-obsessed Darryl Van Horne while making his musical stage debut in Cameron Mackintosh's "The Witches of Eastwick," an adaptation of the 1987 film. At the esteemed Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, he appeared in Harold Pinter's "Betrayal," and John Osborne's "Inadmissible Evidence," earning a pair of Los Angeles Drama Critics' Awards for Lead Performance in the process. He also starred in the world premiere of Larry Atlas' "Yield of the Long Bond." In addition to his work in front of the camera, McShane is also well-known for his voiceover work, with his low, distinctive baritone on display in a variety of projects. He voiced the eccentric magician, Mr. Bobinsky, in Henry Selick's award nominated "Coraline" (scripted by "American Gods" author Neil Gaiman), lent a sinister air to Tai Lung, the snow leopard adept at martial arts, in "Kung Fu Panda" (Annie Award nominee), and created the notorious Captain Hook in "Shrek the Third." He also narrated Grace Jones' 1985 album, Slave to the Rhythm, succumbing to producer Trevor Horn's request to take the job because, per Horn," Orson Welles was dead, and I needed a voice." The album sold over a million copies worldwide. In the virtual reality domain, he recently lent his voice to the award- winning VR animated short "Age of Sail" in the role of the elderly sailor, William Avery, adrift alone in the North Atlantic. After almost sixty years entertaining audiences across the performance spectrum, McShane admits he did not set out for a career in the footlights while growing up in Manchester, England (he was actually born in Blackburn). It was by unexpected circumstances after McShane broke his leg playing soccer that he ended up performing in the school play production of Cyrano De Bergerac where he met his life-long friend and teacher, Leslie Ryder. Before he knew it, he auditioned for the Royal Academy of Arts where he was accepted and then left a term early to appear in the film, "The Wild and The Willing". McShane never looked back.
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  • January JonesActor

    January Jones was born on January 5, 1978 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is the daughter of Karen Sue (née Cox), a sporting goods store manager, and Marvin Roger Jones, a gym teacher and fitness director. She is of Czech, Danish, English, Welsh, and German ancestry. She was named after the character January Wayne in Jacqueline Susann's potboiler novel turned film, Once Is Not Enough (1975). She has two sisters, Jacey Jones and Jina Jones]. Her family moved to the small town of Hecla, South Dakota, with a population of just some 400 souls in 1979, when she was one year old; they moved back to Sioux Falls in 1986. After graduating from Roosevelt High School, she moved to New York City to become a model. Despite her stature (5'6", which is short for a fashion model), she got modeling gigs, including Abercrombie & Fitch ads. However, modeling was just a means to an end, to get out of South Dakota and avoid going to college. She got her first taste of acting from TV commercials and found that she had flair for it, even though she did not act in high school and had no training. January appeared in a couple of television pilots and a cable television series before making her big screen debut in All the Rage (1999), an indie that never got a real release. She followed it up with a small role in the teen thriller The Glass House (2001). Her actual debut in the sense of attracting attention was in the near silent role of the beauty who entices Jane Fonda's son, Troy Garity, in the Bruce Willis-Cate Blanchett-Billy Bob Thornton comedy Bandits (2001). It was not a career-making part. At the time the movie was released, she was ending a three-year relationship with Ashton Kutcher. Small roles followed, including a "don't blink or you won't see me" part in the Adam Sandler-Jack Nicholson comedy Anger Management (2003). She gained some career traction with a good role in another comedy, American Wedding (2003), a sequel to American Pie (1999). Until she landed the part on Mad Men (2007), which made its debut on AMC in 2007, her career was steady but undistinguished. "I choose roles that are not me", January has said. The role of Betty Draper has garnered her two Golden Globe nominations and an Emmy nomination as Best Actress. Her cool, Grace Kelly-ish blonde ice queen looks -- counterpointed by her soul burning in her bright blue eyes -- have established her as a retro icon of the 21st Century.
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  • BRIAN GERAGHTYActor