Real Swimming Movie: PRIDE

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    • #12186

      There has been lots of discussion about movies with REAL swimming and REAL swimming stories in it. There is one coming out in 2007 that is based on a TRUE story and features real swimmers in the movie.

      I’ve been hearing much about this movie for a while. A former assistant of mine, David Hildebrand, from Philadelphia, has been getting information on this movie from the source himself.

      The movie is called “Pride” (though the original title was supposed to be “PDR”). It details the early history of PDR, the Phila. Dept of Recreation swim team, founded by Jim Ellis. Coach Ellis started this film project YEARS ago, and no one paid attention. He finally found a producer, and kept much of the editorial rights of the movie. He demanded that he be consulted in the making of the movie, and that real swimmers be used in this movie. He has succeeded.

      For those of you who don’t know, PDR is one of the largest and most successful club teams in the northeast. It is also one of the very few majority-black swim teams in the nation. They have produced swimming stars for years, but they had to overcome lots to see this succcess. Among the hurdles faced in the early days were strong resistance to black swimmers competing, the lack of facilities, a negative perception of swimming among urban youths, and the fact that very few urban youth knew how to swim (due in a large part to facilities and urban myths). Over the years, PDR has been an incredible success. I really look forward to seeing this movie.

      As I said, this movie will feature real swimming and a telling of a historical time in swimming.

      I thought the following movie trailer will serve to pique interest and get our swimming community excited about a “real swimming movie.” We can finally put aside trash like “SwimFan” and enjoy something great.



    • #33455

      I swam in college with two guys from PDR and they had nothing but incredible things to say about the coach of the program. We might finally get to see a movie that actually depicts swimming properly (at least lets hope so!)

    • #33456

      As a minority swimmer myself, I am especially excited to hear about this movie. Hopefully it’ll build enough momentum to actually reach a theatre I can get to, I’d love to see how they dealt with the traditional challenges facing black swimmers. Also, it’d be amazing to see a swim meet with more than 1 black swimmer there, even if just in a movie lol

    • #33457
      Chris Knight

      I think it looks great, and I hope that it helps make swimming more fashionable to all kids, black, white and otherwise. Terence Howard doesn’t look like he has the greatest stroke in the world, but from the preview I think that this will definitely NOT be another Swimfan.

      I think I read a while back about Phelps and Beard having cameos in it. Probably not as themselves since it is set in the 70’s, but it would be cool if they were in it.

    • #33458

      I am really looking forward to this film. They showed a version of it at the Golden Goggle awards, and the guys on Deck Pass said that it was really good, so that is a good sign. It would be really nice if the swimming scenes are believable, and it looks like they will be.

    • #33459

      More info on the movie, from an email a friend sent to me (he swam at PDR).

      There has been more and more publicity for Terrance Howard’s “Pride” (called PDR until late November), but this recent article is one of the better ones if you’d like to read it.

      Part I:

      Part II:

      Just don’t be fooled by the apparent chummy-chum relationship USASwimming might seem to have with Jim. It’s not my place to give details, but there are certainly plenty to give.

      If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, this link will run it for you automatically:

      Hope you enjoy… the movie releases on Friday the 23rd of March.

      PS – The very, very last shot in the trailer is Atiba Wade, who’s quoted in the article. He was fastest 200IMer in America coming out of high school his senior year. Also, when you watch the movie in March, sit through the credits. Another former PDR swimmer, Biannca White, is now a (well-known) documentarist. One story she’s been following since 1998 is of her youngest sister, Brielle, one of the fastest sprint backstrokers, so after the credits is about one minute of a segment of her real PDR footage. (I don’t think I’m in it though…)

    • #33460
      Chris Knight
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