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Marshall University - Ashes to Glory (2006)

 NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Marshall University - Ashes to Glory + Return of the Thundering Herd - The Story that Inspired "We Are Marshall" + We Are Marshall (Widescreen Edition)
Price for all three: $25.92

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: November 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IB0DEE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,908 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • "The Making of Ashes of Glory"
  • A Look at the 1970s Team
  • Two featurettes: "Huntington in the 1970s" and "Young Thundering Herd"

Editorial Reviews

Stitched together and released as a none-too-subtle tie-in to Hollywood's inspirational football drama and Matthew McConaughey star vehicle We Are Marshall, this documentary is a fitting complement that gives a more real treatment of one of the most devastating tragedies in college sports history. In the fall of 1970 a chartered plane carrying almost all of the Thundering Herd football team from West Virginia's Marshall University crashed, killing all on board including most of Marshall's athletic department staff as well as several prominent townsfolk and other supporters. Only a few team members that had remained home were left to carry collective grief as well as their own personal tumult. Marshall University: Ashes to Glory, which was produced for the local public TV station to commemorate the catastrophe's 30th anniversary in 2000 was broadcast on a number of other PBS stations and won a regional Emmy. While the documentary in no way breaks new stlylistic ground, it really doesn't need to, considering what a powerful emotional wallop the material packs on its own (even though the overly syrupy background score lays on the poignancy a bit thick). The film is mostly a pastiche of contemporary talking-head interviews of people who had close ties to the town and the team (including one prominent surviving Thundering Herd member) cut together with recently discovered archival footage from the 1970 and 1971 team history, along with lots of artfully, even manipulative scanned-and-scrolled still photographs. There's near equal emphasis on the pre-disaster team, the post-disaster effort at getting back to a sense of normalcy (the school and the town almost shut the football program down), and the long slog to recovery piloted by the new coach, Jack Lengyel, who was recruited in part to lead the healing process. The bonus features consist mostly of extra archive and interview footage, as well as an extraneous "making-of" featurette. Those with knowledge or memory of the tragic event may be interested in Marshall University: Ashes to Glory on its own. But fans of the Hollywood-izedbWe Are Marshall will find it a unique companion testament to something that brought real inspiration to many who were made stronger for their collective heartbreak. --Ted Fry

Product Description

In one of the greatest and most inspiring comeback stories of all time, MARSHALL UNIVERSITY: ASHES TO GLORY chronicles how a grief-stricken football team rose from unfathomable ruin and despair to achieve one of the most remarkable and triumphant victories in the history of sports. It was the fall of 1970 when a chartered plane carrying Marshall University's Thundering Herd football team, coaches, and leading supporters across West Virginia crashed, leaving no survivors. In the face of crushing heartbreak, a young coach named Jack Lengyel took over the devastated program. Honoring the memories of those who died, Lengyel and the five players who were not on the doomed flight found the strength and courage to patch together a ragtag team that would overcome the odds and triumph despite catastrophe. Featuring recently found footage of the era and exclusive interviews with those close to the tragedy, ASHES TO GLORY captures the gut-wrenching emotion that afflicted an entire nation, and heralds the heroic comeback that brought Marshall back to life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best sports documentaries ever November 9, 2006
By Richard
This is a thrilling, moving story of the tragic plane crash that wiped out the Marshall football team in the early 1970's, and the courageous, uplifting recovery by the families, the team, the university and the whole city. Interviews with people who were there and rare footage of the team and others make this one of the most interesting (and authentic) sports documentaries I have ever seen.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashes to Glory -the real Marshall trajedy story. February 25, 2007
I, being a former member of the Marshall football team (1967), a 1971 graduate of MU, and had known several of the players who died in the 1970 crash, this documentary tells of the true situation of Marshall Univ. before and after the trajic plane crash. The recent movie, WE ARE MARSAHLL, told the storyline, but not exactly the truth. After seeing that movie, I ran to Amazon to get this documentary that I had seen several years earlier on TV. I am really glad I did. It brought back for me the deserving honor to the team members, the coachs, the supporters, and others who died on that cold, rainy, night in Novemeber 1970. A night I'll never forget.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Former Huntingtonian Remembers December 20, 2007
Watching this documentary brought back many memories of that ill-fated night. My mother was a librarian at the James E. Morrow Library. I saw the way it changed her, for she knew all but six people on that plane. I attended many funerals during the weeks after. I watched as the team, university, and the town recovered. This documentary portrays the real images and feelings of the time. I know because I witnessed it first hand. I am grateful to Deborah Novak, a Marshall graduate, for telling the story that should have been told long before. A much better presentaion than the Hollywood version!! The story of Marshall University Football, its tragedy and triumphs, is THE life lesson that sports teaches us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent inspiring story March 8, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having seen the movie We Are Marshall I wanted to dive deeper into the tragic story of the plane crash and the teams (as well as the towns) recovery. The interviews were great and the non-Hollywood story was just incredible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marshall University, Ashes to Glory February 29, 2008
This video was very informative. I enjoyed it very much. It explained a great deal about the actual event.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD January 7, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was a pilot for Southern Airways and knew the Crew very well - when I see how many lives it affected it hurts - enjoyed the DVD
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done... April 13, 2010
I don't care much for sports in general, much less college football, but the game of football is merely a backdrop here, the main story being tragedy, grieving & remembrance, & honoring those lost by carrying on with dignity, grace, & determination. It wasn't just teammates who were lost, it was colleagues, fathers and mothers, friends, "boosters", and the aircrew themselves. Would this DVD contain a Cinderella ending that could only be written by Hollywood...(?). It also didn't escape this reviewer's notice that the production quality is 100% top shelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are... December 23, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
As a Marshall alum, the telling of the story is very important to me. It's important to the entire school, no matter when you went there. It's our story and proof that the term "We are Marshall" is more than a chant. It's who we are. Strong, resilient, and fighters. Survivors.
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