Synopsis: The determined Jim Ellis starts a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.
Genre: Drama, Family, Sport
Director(s): Sunu Gonera
Production: Lionsgate
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min


Yeah, Coach?

They're threatening to cancel the meet.

Seems somebody saw you get off the bus.

It's the same old story. They...


Damn it, Jimmy. I'm sorry, man.

They put me in a hell of a bind.

No, no, no. It's cool. It's cool.

-Son, where are you going?

-You gonna ask them to change their mind?

My daddy always used to tell me,

"It's a lot easier to ask for forgiveness

than permission."

You ready?

-We're swimming?

-Yeah, we're swimming.

I'm so ready.

-Okay, while you're seeing to things...

-Yeah? see to it that that bus keeps running

'cause I know how you white folks get

when y'all lose.

-And they about to lose bad.

-You are a handful.

Swimmers, step up.


Come on, Jimmy.

Just stay calm.

Look, if they don't want us to swim here,

that's fine, we'll go home.

We're a team.

-Hell, I've worked so hard.

-I know but...

-I've worked so hard to get here.

-I know, Jimmy.

-Come here, boy.

-What? I'm gonna get arrested now?

Start moving towards your bus

and calm your black ass down.

I'm not taking my black ass anywhere.

Why don't you shut your white ass up

and let me exercise my first amendment?

-'Cause this is wrong.

-Jimmy, Jimmy.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

Hey, kid, get off of him!


Get off that boy!

Don't fight them, Jimmy!

I got my rights!

I got my own rights.


Mr. Binkowski, I really think

I could prove myself to be a great asset

to your...


-...program here.




-Jim, actually.

Jim? Yeah.

-Do you golf?


If you look at my resume, you'll see

that I've got a B.S. in Mathematics

and I also swam for Cheyney for four years.


Yeah, can I be perfectly frank with you?

-That would make my day.

-Okay, good.

Well, here at Main Line, obviously,

we have a certain level of excellence

that we strive for.

-It's all around you.

-Yeah, well,

see, that's one of the things

that attracted me to this institution.

Because I really think...

I just don't think a person like yourself

could communicate properly

with our students.

I'm sorry.

-I'll keep you on file.




Forty-five! Number 45!

Number 87!

How you doing?

Here's my number and resume.

And the form you asked for.

-A degree in Mathematics?


I'm a graduate of Cheyney State.

You know, it took me a little

longer than most but...

-Yeah, well.

-...I finished.

You skipped a spot there.

You ever been arrested?

If you look right here, I've marked no.

Mr. Ellis, you've been bouncing around

quite a bit.

What finally brought you to Philly?

I had a teaching

position opportunity at Main Line Academy.

You? Up at Main Line?

Hey, that's funny.

I guess we don't have enough work

for you college boys.

Look, mister,

just give me whatever you got right now.

I'm not looking for a career,

I'm just trying to find a job.

Well, here's one more suited for you

down at the PDR.

What's PDR?

It stands for

Philadelphia Department of Recreation.

They probably got a job down at

Foster Recreation Center

right here in Nicetown.

The city is gonna tear down

that building in a couple of months

and they need someone to go down there,

wrap things up.

The salary won't make you rich

but it's decent.

Now, you be down there tomorrow at 9:.00,

you got yourself a job.

Hakim, come on, man.

-I'm right here.

-Hey, Hakim.

-See me now?


Now you see me. Now you don't.

Let's go, let's go, let's go.

I'm open still.

You got a man open.

You got a man open. He's open.

What the hell are you yelling about?

You terrible, man. You suck.

-What is that? Is this wrestling?

-Go, get the ball.

-Get the ball?

-Hey, pops.

-Hey, pops.

-Go, get the ball.

Hey, pops, pass the ball right here.

-Right here.

-Hey, mister, pass the ball.

No, no, no, not there.

Come here, right here.

-Don't pass it to him.

-Don't give it to him.


-Why you give it to him, man?

Hey, what's wrong with you, man?

You throw like my sister, anyway.

Say, man, your iron broke at home?

Them threads,

he's sort of wrinkled there, brother.

Yo, my man, I didn't know Converse

made church shoes, for real.

What is that?

Hey, hey, hey, brother, yo,

the church is across the street.

Yo, man, hey!

What, we not friends no more?

It's like that, brother?

No problem, it's all right, man.

We just playing.

Hey, brother, wait. You work for the city?


-For your mom.

Reggie's got the ball, man.

-Reggie's got the ball, man.

-Get the ball, man.

Yo, man. Hey. Hey, wait.

-ls he retarded?


-Stop playing.


Why we got to hang out

with this fool, anyway?

-Shoot, Reg. Go ahead, man.

-Shoot it in. Shoot it in.

-Oh, sh*t!

-He broke the radio.

-Franklin's radio.


That's right. My name's Hewitt.

I didn't do it.

Who broke my sh*t?

I wasn't even...

I didn't mean to. I was...

What do you propose to do about that?


What is wrong with this little n*gger, man?

The cat got his tongue?

-I'm waiting, little man.

-Franklin, man. Cool it, brother. Just...

Just leave him alone.

-He didn't mean it. It was an air ball.


Don't tell me you ditched me

to run around with this little dope.

-Hey, come on, Reg.

-It's like that, huh?

-Just stay home.

-Well, somebody gonna pay for this.

We ain't done yet, Dre-T.

We ain't never done.

That little shadow of yours owes me.

Look, it's not important.

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