6.5/10
8,593
37 user 14 critic

The Program (1993)

Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
Several players from different backgrounds try to cope with the pressures of playing football at a major university. Each deals with the pressure differently, some turn to drinking, others to drugs, and some to studying.

Director:

David S. Ward
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Due to NCAA sanctions, the Texas State University Fightin' Armadillos must form a football team from their actual student body, with no scholarships to help, to play their football schedule.

Director: Stan Dragoti
Stars: Scott Bakula, Hector Elizondo, Robert Loggia
Blue Chips (1994)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A college basketball coach is forced to break the rules in order to get the players he needs to stay competitive.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell, J.T. Walsh
Varsity Blues (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A back-up quarterback is chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured.

Director: Brian Robbins
Stars: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The Indians are now a World Series contender. But last year's hunger is now replaced with complacency, and bad decisions by the new owner threaten to tear the team apart.

Director: David S. Ward
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen
Major League (1989)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The new owner of the Cleveland Indians puts together a purposely horrible team so they'll lose and she can move the team. But when the plot is uncovered, they start winning just to spite her.

Director: David S. Ward
Stars: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During a pro football strike, the owners hire substitute players.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at the life-and-death struggles of modern-day gladiators and those who lead them.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz
Rudy (1993)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.

Director: David Anspaugh
Stars: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
The Program II (2015)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong's performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Ben Foster, Chris O'Dowd, Guillaume Canet
Bull Durham (1988)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
Tin Cup (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A washed up golf pro working at a driving range tries to qualify for the US Open in order to win the heart of his successful rival's girlfriend.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Kevin Costner, Rene Russo, Don Johnson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Sam Winters
Halle Berry ... Autumn Haley
Omar Epps ... Darnell Jefferson
Craig Sheffer ... Joe Kane
Kristy Swanson ... Camille Shafer
Abraham Benrubi ... Bud-Lite Kaminski
Duane Davis ... Alvin Mack
Jon Pennell Jon Pennell ... Bobby Collins (as Jon Maynard Pennell)
Joey Lauren Adams ... Louanne (as Joey Adams)
J.C. Quinn ... Joe's Father
Andrew Bryniarski ... Steve Lattimer
Leon Pridgen Leon Pridgen ... Ray Griffen (as J. Leon Pridgen II)
Michael Flippo Michael Flippo ... Coach Humes (as Mike Flippo)
Jeff Portell Jeff Portell ... Reporter #1
Ernest Dixon Ernest Dixon ... Coach Clayton
Edit

Storyline

A college football coach is told by his bosses that unless they do better this season it could be his last. To bolster the team he recruits a talented tail back. A female student is assigned to help him assimilate with college life and that includes doing his studies because he spent his whole life just playing football. And he finds himself attracted to her and she already has a boyfriend who is also on the team but he might be more concern about losing his position than losing her to him. And the coach has to deal with his other players' situations like the team's quarterback who deals with his father being distant by drinking and it eventually gets him in trouble. And one of the team's defensive players is obviously using steroids but passes the drug tests. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From Different Worlds They Come To Prove Themselves In The Gritty World Of College Football. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

24 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Program See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,821,931, 26 September 1993

Gross USA:

$23,032,565

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,032,565
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Andrew Bryniarski and Duane Davis played teammates in Necessary Roughness (1991). See more »

Goofs

During the Michigan game, several Michigan players are seen wearing jersey numbers that were retired by U of M decades before, including 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon's #98 and All-American end Ron Kramer's #87. See more »

Quotes

Alvin Mack: Let's open up a can of kick ass and kill 'em all, let the paramedics sort 'em out.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some scenes show college students lying in a street in the middle of car traffic as a way to prove their courage. A few weeks after the film's release, the studio recalled all copies and deleted this sequence from the picture in response to public outrage, because a few teenagers had been injured or killed imitating this deadly game. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Break My Back
Written by Alan Mirikitani
Performed by BB & The Screaming Buddah Heads
Courtesy of Windswept Pacific Entertainment Co.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Getting With The Program
17 July 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Program may very well be the best film on college football ever done in that it shows its not quite the way it was when Pat O'Brien was playing Knute Rockne or even when Knute Rockne himself was coaching at Notre Dame.

During the Nineties another classic film about professional football was done, Any Given Sunday. The main theme about Any Given Sunday was that sports was now more business than anything else. But pro football has always been a business. What The Program shows is just how much a business college football is, yet it maintains the fiction that this is amateur athletics.

As is so eloquently put, no one is going to pay for a ticket to see a chemistry exam. Football with its ticket revenue, its alumni contributions, it's TV and radio rights, it's memorabilia rights is a very big business. It brings in money for the colleges, hence the colleges have a vested interest in a winning team. And some will do quite a bit more than others.

James Caan does a fine job as the coach of mythical ESU who is a decent man caught up in the system. He operates his program straining the bounds of ethics. He knows full well that some of his kids are being greased right through college without an education, but football is his life and living and Caan operates the best he can.

His players are a cross section of young America. Craig Sheffer is the very talented quarterback from a white trash background trying hard to rise above it. Omar Epps is the inner city ghetto kid who sees football as his ticket out. Andrew Bryniarski is the defensive player that steroids gave us, something Caan pretends not to notice until it really smacks him in the face. By the way Bryniarski was also in Any Given Sunday.

My favorite in the entire film is Duane Davis who is another kid from the ghetto who both really loves the game, can barely read and write, and who also sees it as a way of rising from poverty. He's a nice kid, but a bad influence on Epps who he constantly tells that The Program will grease him through. Davis just lives for that National Football League contract.

I do love the way Davis psyches himself before a scrimmage. You have to see the film to appreciate. Sad to say his is the saddest of all the stories here. You have to be made of stone to not be moved by seeing him at home, leg in a cast, listening to the final championship game with his mother, knowing the future he foresaw for himself is blasted to smithereens.

Halle Berry and Kristy Swanson are there as love interests to both Epps and Sheffer respectively. There characters are quite a bit more than the usual air-headed cheerleaders cast in these parts.

Another good performance is John Maynard Pennell as Sheffer's second string backup. He romances and talks Caan's daughter into taking an exam for him. When she's caught both are expelled. Caan personally kicks him out of the university and then has to swallow his pride and a good deal more to bring Pennell back when Sheffer has to go into rehab. That's also a classic scene.

The Program is one of the finest, if not the finest film on college football ever done. I think more than sports fans will appreciate this finely crafted piece of cinema.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed