Pride (2007 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pride ver2.jpg
One-sheet theatrical poster for Pride
Directed bySunu Gonera
Screenplay byKevin Michael Smith
Michael Gozzard
J. Mills Goodloe
Story byKevin Michael Smith
Michael Gozzard
Produced byBrett Forbes
Paul Hall
Patrick Rizzotti
Adam Rosenfelt
John Sacchi
Terrence Howard
StarringTerrence Howard
Bernie Mac
Kimberly Elise
Tom Arnold
CinematographyMatthew F. Leonetti
Edited byBilly Fox
Music byAaron Zigman
Element Films
Fortress Features
LIFT Productions
Paul Hall Productions
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • March 23, 2007 (2007-03-23)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$7.1 million[1]

Pride is a 2007 American biographical film released by Lionsgate Entertainment on March 23, 2007. Loosely based upon the true story of Philadelphia swim coach James "Jim" Ellis, Pride stars Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, and Kimberly Elise. The film was directed by Sunu Gonera.

The film centers on Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) and grouchy but caring janitor Elston (Bernie Mac). The two have a short-lived rivalry before becoming good friends.


It is 1974 and life is not easy for a Black man to find employment, even college-educated Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard). While struggling to find anything better, Jim, a former competitive swimmer, is working on the decrepit Marcus Foster Recreation Center in a poor neighborhood of Philadelphia. His job is to prepare the foreclosure of the Center, causing friction with Elston (Bernie Mac), the janitor whose job may disappear. The Center includes a dilapidated swimming pool, which Ellis rehabilitates. One day, Jim invites a group of black teens in for a swim. Andre (Kevin Phillips), Hakim (Nate Parker), Reggie (Evan Ross), Puddin’ Head (Brandon Fobbs), and Walt (Alphonso McAuley) prove to be fairly capable swimmers and with a few pointers, could become great swimmers. In parallel, Jim develops a romantic interest in Hakim's sister and guardian (Kimberly Elise) who wants him to attend school before pool.

With some help from Elston, Jim decides to try to save the swimming pool by starting the city's first all African-American swim team, the "PDR team" for both Pride, Determination, Resilience and Philadelphia Department of Recreation. Once they are joined by Willie (Regine Nehy), a female swimmer more talented than any of the boys, the prospects of competing against much more experienced white teams begin to improve. However, Black swimmers are not welcome everywhere and the team has to fight overtly racist opposition and treachery, which is what Jim already experienced when he was competing 10 years ago. Throughout their struggles in and out of the swimming pool, Jim and Elston encourage and mentor the kids, helping them not only to become successful at swimming but also in their struggles against prejudice, crime, and poverty.



Critical response[edit]

Pride was met with mixed reviews from critics, with a 45% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 109 reviews, with an average score of 5.47/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Pride features a typically stellar performance from Terrence Howard, but ultimately falls victim to its over usage of sports movie clichés."[2] The New York Times critic Matt Zoller Seitz noted that the movie "illustrates the adaptability and limitations of the sports movie," but concluded that when the film's idealists glide through the water amidst the tunes of the time, "the heart still leaps."[3] Comedian Bill Burr spoofed and criticized the film as an example of the overabundance of films about white-on-black racism with continuously lower stakes.[4]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2008 ESPY Awards Best Sports Movie Pride Nominated
Image Awards Outstanding Performance In a Motion Picture Terrence Howard Nominated
MovieGuide Awards Best Film For Mature Audiences Michael Gozzard Won
Rome Film Fest Consiglio dei Bambini Prize Suna Gonera Won


  1. ^ "Pride (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
  2. ^ "Pride". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (2007-03-22). "Making Waves in a Tough Community". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]