Glory Road

Director: James Gartner

I’ve always had a soft spot for underdog stories—that inspiring All-American genre of characters overcoming tremendous obstacles in order to reach their goals. Of course, I’m an even greater sucker when these entertaining tales are true. Usually, on film, the quintessential underdog in American cinema is a sports-related figure and over the past few years Walt Disney Studios has perfected the art of telling true stories of unlikely victories in a highly engaging way. Last year, they released two spectacular stories of heart, hard work and dedication—Invincible and Glory Road. Glory Road finds the likable Sweet Home Alabama star Josh Lucas as Don Haskins who leaves his position coaching high school girl’s basketball in order to coach division one ball at the small university, Texas Western. Set in the turbulent era of the 1960’s, Haskins makes the unprecedented decision to recruit several African-American players from around the country and actually give them significant playing time, which was virtually unheard of in the decade. The film culminates with one of the biggest upsets in sports history and an equally important event in the victory of the civil rights movement as an all-black starting lineup of Texas Western Miners challenged the favored University of Kentucky (including soon-to-be-legendary Pat Riley and a turn by Jon Voight as Coach Rupp) in order to win the championship.

A truly inspiring sports film in the spirit of Hoosiers—the film is an excellent one to introduce to middle school aged students learning about the 1960’s civil rights era. In addition, Glory Road won the Heartland Award certifying it as a “Truly Moving Picture.” Filled with so many wonderful musical selections that I felt compelled to include several below, the film also inspired musician Alicia Keys to such an extent that she contributed a few memorable tracks to the film including the title song.

Featured in Glory Road

“Glory Road” by Alicia Keys & Trevor Rabin
Alicia Keys & Trevor Rabin - Glory Road - Glory Road

“Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder - Glory Road - Uptight (Everything's Alright)

“Shake It Up Baby (Twist and Shout)” by The Isley Brothers
The Isley Brothers - Glory Road - Shake It Up Baby (Twist and Shout)

“I Will Make the Darkness Light” by Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys - Glory Road - I Will Make the Darkness Light

“Down in the Boondocks” by Billy Joe Royal
Billy Joe Royal - Glory Road - Down In the Boondocks

“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” by Otis Redding
Otis Redding - Glory Road - I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)

“Dancing In The Street” by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Glory Road - Dancing In the Street

“Rave On” by Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly - Buddy Holly - Rave On

“I Can’t Get Next To You” by The Temptations
The Temptations - The Temptations: The Ultimate Collection - I Can't Get Next to You (Single Version)

“My Guy” by Mary Wells
Mary Wells - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Best of Mary Wells - My Guy

“You’re A Wonderful One” by Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye - The Very Best of Marvin Gaye - You're a Wonderful One

“Get Ready” by The Temptations
The Temptations - The Temptations: The Ultimate Collection - Get Ready

“Baby Love” by The Supremes
The Supremes - The No. 1's - Baby Love

“Green Onions” by Booker T. & The MGs
Booker T. & The MG's - The Best of Booker T & The MGs - Green Onions

“Can You Do It” by The Contours

The Contours - Glory Road - Can You Do It

“People Get Ready” by Alicia Keys & Lyfe Jennings
Alicia Keys & Lyfe Jennings - Glory Road - People Get Ready

“Ain’t That Peculiar” by Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye - Glory Road - Ain't That Peculiar

“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond - Sweet Caroline - Glory Road

Download the Film
Glory Road