Syracuse University and Universal Pictures “The Express”


“The Express” movie premiere
Friday, September 12, 2008
7:30 PM

Syracuse University and Universal Pictures have announced the movie premiere of “The Express,” a film that chronicles the life and legacy of Ernie Davis, the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. Starring Rob Brown and Dennis Quaid, the premiere will take place at the Landmark Theatre, a grand movie palace frequented by Davis and his teammates during their days at SU. Quaid, Brown and other cast members and celebrities will arrive at a special “orange carpet” entry in classic convertible automobiles. Tickets to the premiere and gala after-party at the War Memorial cost $1,000.00. Visit

Based on a true story, “The Express” follows the extraordinary life of college football hero Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy. His fight for equality and respect forever changed the face of American sports, and his story continued to inspire new generations.
Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis hurdled social and economic obstacles to become one of the greatest running backs in college football history. Under the guidance of legendary Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid), he became a hero who superseded Jim Brown’s achievements and records that stand to this day.

Decorated veteran Schwartzwalder was a Southerner with a single vision of a national championship and hardened ideas about how the world worked. But though he and Davis had their differences, Schwartzwalder taught his star player everything he knew about football, just as Davis helped him learn the true meaning of victory.

As the growing civil rights movement divided the country in the ‘60’s, Davis became a symbol for achievement that transcended race. Refusing to flinch from others’ prejudices, he achieved all his goals – until he faced a challenge that would make most men crumble. He joined the ranks of black pioneers by teaching a generation tolerance, inspiring a movement that smashed barriers on and off the field.