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Pride

Hope floats, and so does Terrance Howard
By TOM MEEK  |  March 21, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Pride.

Predictable and rickety, yet heartfelt, Pride dips into the rage of civil rights as a team of inner-city African-American teens from Philadelphia circa 1974 jumps into the white world of swimming. (It was former LA Dodgers general manager Al Campanis who suggested blacks weren’t buoyant enough to swim, just as they didn’t have the qualities to manage a baseball team.) The movie is based on the real-life travails of Jim Ellis, who coaches the misfit lot after experiencing a dose of racism himself. Terrence Howard (Crash) plays Ellis with smoldering resolve and guarded optimism; Bernie Mac hangs in his wake as the curmudgeonly custodian of the recreation center about to be shuttered, and Tom Arnold does laps as the bigoted swim coach from the lily-white Main Line Academy. The premise of the underdog fighting against stacked odds doesn’t figure to break new ground, and director Sunu Gonera doesn’t try to. He does, however, evoke the power of hope and the sting of racism.
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