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Pride (Full Screen Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The year is 1973, and Jim Ellis, a college-educated African-American, can't find a job. Driven by his love of competitive swimming, Jim converts an abandoned recreational pool hall in a Philadelphia slum with the help of Elston, a local janitor. But when city officials mark the new Philadelphia Department of Recreation for demolition, Jim fights back - by starting the city's first African-American swim team. Recruiting troubled teens from the streets, Jim struggles to transform a motley team of novices into capable swimmers - all in time for the upcoming state championships. But as racism, violence and an unsympathetic city official threaten to tear the team apart, Jim must do everything he can to convince his swimmers that victory, both in and out of the pool, is within their reach.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Q7ZNZ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,820 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2007
Format: DVD
Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) loves to swim. During the 60's, he joined his schools swim team, which created problems. Jim is African American, and the white competitors in North Carolina weren't happy to be competing against him.

10 years later, Jim has landed in Philadelphia. Despite his credential to teach math, the only job he can get is cleaning out the recreation center in the poor part of town. It's scheduled to be torn down soon. The only person inside the building is maintenance man Elston (Bernie Mac). The closest anyone else comes to it is playing basketball outside.

That changes one day when the basketball hoops are taken down in the march toward tearing down the center. As five of the guys stand there fuming about the loss of the hoops, Jim invites them in to use the pool.

Slowly, Jim gains their trust and begins to teach them the fundamentals of swimming. They gain enough skill to ask to go to a meet, hoping to meet women. But do five men and one woman really have the skills to compete against all male teams who have been training for years?

Okay, let's get the obvious out of the way first. This is an underdog sports movie featuring kids from a bad neighborhood. Picturing every cliche that normally brings to mind? Yep, they're here.

But, is this movie worth seeing? Absolutely.

As is always needed for a film like this to succeed, you need to become attached to the characters. Jim is a sympathetic character from the start, and the youth he's working with grow on you quickly as well. The result is a movie that truly does inspire.

To top is off, the acting is great. Terrence Howard is absolutely believable as Jim. His drive to reach the kids comes through in every scene.
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Format: DVD
PRIDE does not open any new doors in the genre of film biopics of teachers who raise the status of downtrodden students to the point of genuine appreciation of self worth. The story has been told countless times with different characters, both male and female, different races (African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, etc), and different areas of the United States. But despite the recurring similarity of heart-on-the-sleeve stories such as this, PRIDE stands solidly on its own merits, in part due to the well developed and written screenplay by Kevin Michael Smith, Michael Gozzard, J. Mills Goodloe, and Norman Vance Jr. based on the life and contributions to society of Jim Ellis, in part due to the sensitive direction of Sunu Gonera, and in part due to the fine cast. The idea behind the story may not be new, but PRIDE is a fine example of the genre.

Opening in the 1960s we meet Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) as a superior swimmer unable to use his gifts because of his race. Jump 10 years forward and Ellis has finished college as a math major and seeks to teach in Philadelphia, only to face racism again. Desperate for work he accepts a 'closing down' job at a condemned Philadelphia Recreation Center tended by downtrodden Elston (Bernie Mac) who resents Ellis' intrusion into his domain. Ellis restores the center's swimming pool and gradually initiates a swim team for troubled teens, young boys and a girl who are new to swimming and even newer to the thought that they can become someone important and rise out of their slum surroundings and influence of drug lords.
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Format: DVD
I showed Pride to my high school students, a first viewing for most of us. Actors, directing, movie set--action, drama, healing--a heady combination in the portrayal based on a true story that caused chill bumps, laughter, and tears among us all. I highly recommend it to young adults--and older ones as well.
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I know what you are going to say: "The same concept has been done over and over". And you are right, there are a lot of movies out there based on a group of teenagers facing difficult challenges and finding solace and a way to move forward in life in a sport or an art. The plot of the movie, except for a couple of unexpected turns, is pretty predictable too. But I still think that this is a film worth watching, because the story is presented with the needed level of emotion, and the acting is really good compared to other sport movies out there.

The film is based on the true story of Jim Ellis and his swim team, which he built from scratch after landing in the Philadelphia Department of Recreation as a cleanup worker. Previously, Ellis had been a victim of racial discrimination and had problems with the law as a result. Now, he has to face some of the same problems when he starts coaching a group of kids that are in danger of losing their way in life. With his love and commitment, Ellis finds a way to make these teenagers understand that working as a team and giving it their all is enough to reap the well-deserved benefits.

Terence Howard and Bernie Mac are both excellent in their respective roles, and the cast of kids does not disappoint. The technical aspects relating to the swimming are a little off, but that was expected. You can definitely tell that most of the actors on Ellis' team are not real swimmers, while the kids on the opposing teams are. This of course is possible because the acting needed from the opponents is fairly limited.

I was a competitive swimmer for several years, so I can understand how my interest for the sport may influence my evaluation of this movie, but I still think that most people will have a good time watching it. The only group to which I would not recommend this film is to those that are not interested in swimming and that are looking for a "new story", since they will not find that here.
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