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Woodlawn (2015) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama / Sport
Original Title: Woodlawn
Director: Andrew Erwin,Jon Erwin
Writers: Jon Erwin,Todd Gerelds
Released: 2015
Budget: $12,000,000
Duration: 2h 3min
Video type: Movie
When Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama is controversially desegregated in 1973, Tony Nathan, a gifted black high school football player, joins the school's predominantly white football team along with several other black players. The coach, Tandy Gerelds, tells the team to use their shared anger to unite them, but black and white players clash on and off the field. After a riot at the school, Gerelds consents to allowing traveling sports chaplain Hank Erwin to speak to the team as a "motivational speaker". Hank's speech moves nearly the entire team to accept Hank's invitation to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, and join together in prayer. Gerelds does not accept the invitation, and is unsure what to make of the event..


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Astin Sean Astin - Hank Erwin
Nic Bishop Nic Bishop - Tandy Gerelds
Caleb Castille Caleb Castille - Tony Nathan
Sherri Shepherd Sherri Shepherd - Momma Nathan
Jon Voight Jon Voight - Paul Bryant
Joy Brunson Joy Brunson - Johnnie
Lance E. Nichols Lance E. Nichols - Junior (as Lance Nichols)
DeVon Franklin DeVon Franklin - Preacher
C. Thomas Howell C. Thomas Howell - Shorty
Kevin Sizemore Kevin Sizemore - Jerry Stearns
Brett Rice Brett Rice - Whitehurst
Virginia Williams Virginia Williams - Debbie
Brando Eaton Brando Eaton - Morton
Richard Kohnke Richard Kohnke - Jeff Rutledge
Jet Jurgensmeyer Jet Jurgensmeyer - Todd

Sean Astin's character "Hank" is actually a composite of three people: Wales Goebel, a former house builder who began reaching out to area high schools; Hank Erwin, father to co-creators Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin, who was the team's chaplain for two years; and Mike Huckabee, whose experience at Explo 72 informed some of the dialogue.

The football scenes were filmed at: the Hueytown football field in Hueytown, Alabama; the Berry Middle School football field in Hoover, Alabama; and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Caleb's father Jeremiah played cornerback for the Denver Broncos, and he himself went to Alabama as well.

The group recitation of "The Lord's Prayer" is a compilation of audio clips submitted by churches from around the U.S. There were only approximately one thousand extras and there was a need for forty-two thousand voices. The 2015 Harvest Crusade in Anaheim, California, inspired by the movie, recorded over thirty thousand people reciting The Lord's Prayer, but was not the source for this movie's audio.

Legendary voice of Crimson Tide football announcer Eli Gold did some of the announcing for the high school games in the movie.

This movie marks the second time Jon Voight has portrayed a legendary college coach. In Spiel auf Sieg (2006), he portrayed Adolph Rupp.

Jon Voight plays the legendary Alabama Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant in the movie, which is actually his second portrayal of a football coach in films. He also portrayed the headstrong Coach Bud Kilmer in Varsity Blues (1999) , co-starring the late Paul Walker and James Van Der Beek.

A Woodlawn quarterback calls a play in the huddle using the name of Jon Gruden's iconic play: Spider Y 2 Banana, which was referenced by comedian Frank Caliendo in his dead-on Gruden parody.

Reviews: [25]

  • avatar


    (Please pardon lack of detail to keep spoilers modest.)

    Woodlawn tells an amazing, true story of black and white people embracing change and each other as they also embrace God, while working to transform haters of all types, using a football team as the delivery mechanism.

    Woodlawn High School of Birmingham, Alabama has been forced to integrate (mix white and black students), leading to anger on all sides (but for different reasons). The football team takes on some black players including Tony Nathan, an impressive runner. The lackluster team's hard-edged coach reluctantly allows a "religious nut" to speak to his team amidst the racial tension. The result? The team chooses to stand with one another in unity and love amidst the racial tension surrounding them. But in the jet-wash of this transformation come intense new attacks from all sides, within and without -- including indirectly from Governor George Wallace, a key inspiration for racism in Alabama at the time, who subsequently tried to cover it up by shamelessly using a black player. Will the team, and new potential star Tony, be able to keep together the commitment to "do something bigger than yourself?"

    This movie has some seriously good talent. Jon Voight and Sean Astin deliver like the professionals they are, and -- pleasant surprise -- the rest of the cast deliver as well. Further, there was interesting use of old footage from the time period, and the contemplative well- spokenness of the black community at the time is thought-provoking. Modern Christian films are improving as a lot, but not homogeneously, so you have to watch for one failed aspect (such as cinematography, writing, acting, or direction) dragging down otherwise good elements; however, during the the film and even after post-credits contemplation I was unable to come up with any material flaw.

    Personally, I found this story and the way the film tells it engrossing. Brokenness can be beautiful; truth can be touching. This country, so tragically in the midst of lies about racial animus, as well as about our individual identities, needs a fresh injection of healing truth and reality. This film is medicine for the soul, and its surprising viewpoint may inoculate viewers against those trying to divide this country along racial lines.

    Touchdown, Woodlawn!
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    This movie was excellent at setting the stage of what the country was dealing with in the early 70's. Some of the old footage brought back a flood of memories as kid. The quotes from the black community could have been from last week though, haunting how they felt so much like now. The despair, pain and frustration was tangible.

    Then Sean Astin's character, Hank, brings hope. It seemed that every place there was strife and animosity, he was in there bringing understanding and an opportunity to forgive.

    I love the fact it's a true story, hearing from the directors and producers on this at a pre-screening was really insightful. They did a ton of research to get the story from the people who were there. Tony Nathan was such a solid man, the actor did a splendid job portraying him. The footage was excellent, on the field with real players, you felt like you're in the action getting muddy. A little side note, the actor who played Tony was a real player in college from a long line of college and pros. So you see the actor doing the moves without CG or stunt doubles. I also love how the end credits provide the "rest of the story"
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    While there is a Woodlawn High School in my town of Baton Rouge, LA, this one is about a Woodlawn in Birmingham, AL, that seemed in danger of closing because of the racial incidents that happened when it was integrated in the early '70s. The coach employs a motivational speaker-played by Sean Astin-to help heal whatever issues the school football players had with each other and it seems to do the trick, especially when one of the black players-Tony Nathan-suddenly becomes very valuable to the team. I'll stop there and just say this is quite an inspirational true-life drama to watch in light of recent racial strife we seem to be going through right now. Oh, and I also liked Jon Voight's playing of legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, as well. So on that note, I recommend Woodlawn.
  • avatar

    black coffe

    This movie was like stepping back in time. My husband and I grew up in Alabama during this time frame and experienced pretty much everything in the film; segregation, desegregation, race wars and the Jesus Revolution. These events are not exaggerated! They actually happened not only at Woodlawn but in cities all over America. They happened in the schools and churches in our town...this is truth and we personally have never recovered from that time period...when God showed up. Must see story! Billy Graham came to our little town...David Wilkerson came too...This film accurately and poignantly portrays a vivid spiritual awakening that we could certainly use a heavy dose of right now in this country.
  • avatar


    Saw s screening of this a couple of months ago. The movie is pretty good even though i think there should have been a little more development in some of the characters. It would have came together a little better in the end. I would definitely recommend it though. This is a Christian move so of course there will be many haters just for this fact. Yes it is a little preachy but not so embarrassing as a lot of others. If this wasn't based on a true story, i would have given it a lower rating because it seemed to be a little too far fetched ( in a good way ). But i asked one of the persons at the screening who was involved with the picture if this really happened as it was shown and he said yes, it was. This isn't just a football movie. Its a lot more, so don't go in expecting just another Christian football movie. If you do want a good Christian football movie, see 'When the Game Stands Tall' So it is a great story that really happened. There are a few things that weren't explained fully that left me wanting more but nevertheless, i liked it. You wont be disappointed..
  • avatar


    A very hard film to review, a film clearly of the "faith" genre so well produced, acted, directed, cast that it literally pulls at its own leash and tries to cross over into the mainstream.

    Also lost in the shuffle is the fact that the "mystery" evangelist who appears out of nowhere and sparks the story fathered two sons who .. big coincidence here.. produced the movie.

    A wonderful performance by Voight who frankly we take too much for granted. Compare his work here to Ray Dovovan and you will wonder if you are looking at the same actor.

    A film is in many ways the ultimate recipe for a soufflé. Leave it in the oven a few minutes too long and it falls.

    The irony is that with a little more judicious editing, a little less preaching, the objective of a true crossover might have been achieved.
  • avatar


    WOODLAWN is a fact and faith based drama directed by Andrew and Jon Erwin. Jon helps co-write this narrative of a struggling high school coach Tandy Gerelds(Nic Nishop)as he tries with all his resources to bring a newly integrated football team together. Birmingham, Alabama in the early 1970's is suffering racial tension and strife weighing heavily on a football team yearning for a championship and a school just trying not to be dismantled for good.

    Coach Gerelds is asked by a motivating sports chaplain Hank(Sean Astin)for permission to talk to the entire team with a radical idea; a ten minute talk became a two hour session that had the majority of the team give themselves over to the word of Christ. Challenges are being met and racial tensions on the team tone down with the team actually becoming winners. One player in particular, running back Tony Nathan(Caleb Castille), becomes confident that God has a special plan for him. The team becomes explosive with Nathan's playing exploits which are noticed by Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant(Jon Voight).

    Christianity will play a major role in this story as the team begins to succeed and racial barriers are broken down; that in turn helps Gereld's struggle with the secular school board. Tony's star will shine brighter and brighter. To be exact, Nathan ended up playing for Coach Bryant at Alabama.

    Real nice hard hitting football action along with a decent soundtrack featuring "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan and "Jesus Is Just Alright" by the Doobie Brothers.

    Also in the cast: C. Thomas Howell, Richard Kohnke, Blake Burgess, Kelly Grayson, Harry Alexander, Joy Brunson and Stephen Chester Prince.

    NOTE: Tony Nathan would go from playing four years for the Tide to the NFL Miami Dolphins from 1979 to 1987. He would establish himself an allusive running back and pass receiver.
  • avatar


    Woodlawn is easily the best faith-based film I've ever seen (one not based on a bible story, that is). The film details the true story of the Woodlawn High School football team in 1973 Birmingham, Alabama, the year the school integrated, and how this team helped bring the whole school together by all of the players accepting Christ. This is a story that could have easily been ham-fisted, but the Erwin Brothers (the directors of the film) manage to keep the film from ever being too sappy or preachy. All of the preaching of the film comes naturally from the characters and who they are, which is a problem with most faith-based films. Characters will often transform into philosophical sages when the filmmakers feel it is time to preach, and I think that just comes across as cheesy and not authentic to non-believers and some believers. Luckily, Woodlawn avoids that pitfall in its script, which could have been a little stronger in some areas (in particular in character depth and their motivations), but unlike most faith-based films, the good outweighs the bad here. Featuring some truly moving moments and a slew of well-realized football sequences, Woodlawn is a faith- based film I actually want to recommend.

    I give Woodlawn an 8 out of 10!
  • avatar


    This was one of two football movies coming out at the same time. The other was My All American. Being football movies they do have a similar concept, but while My All American seems to be about an underdog overcoming his physical condition, In Woodlawn, the underdogs use faith to over come their challenges, the biggest one being off the field...Segregation.

    Based on a true story of a high school football team that fought segregation with the help of Christ. I'm not that big of a fan of faith based films, and this movie is faith base. It seemed too easy, even to the coach of the high school team, for these teenagers, who haven't even wrapped around their heads going to an non-segregated school, to somehow band together through the love of Jesus, but who am I to argue with the touching moments that occurred through those scenes (maybe that's how it happen?).

    For me, the best part of the movie was the football. The way the camera moves within the players on the football field was hands down spectacular. I don't think I've ever seen a football movie filmed in such a matter. I felt closer to the grid Iron than I ever did watching a film.

    Overall, it's an amazing story about how Jesus united blacks and whites in a place in Alabama on a football field. Go to watch the football, stay for the inspiring message.
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    As our country continues to see the lines of racial divide grow farther and farther apart this film is a breath of fresh air. With a well written screenplay and excellent acting Woodlawn lifts the spirit of its audience to embrace the truth that peace can be found for everyone through faith in the one true source of hope and love. We need more films like this to help shape our culture for the betterment of society.

    Take your family, take your friends, take your sports teams, and see this film. If we can emulate the change that took place in this town Alabama then maybe we can make a difference in our nation that has eternal weight.
  • avatar


    Based on a true story. Set in the 1970's during the most controversial times concerning racial discrimination in Alabama. A school sits on the brink of being closed down for the racial violence that erupts every day and then the integration of black football players on an all white team stirs tensions to a breaking point. When hatred ruled and division ran rampant love stepped in and not only changed the team, but united an entire community. It is rare that a Christian movie contains the script and the superior acting that Woodlawn holds. I was impressed and inspired. A mirror reflection into our current times and how God can change the hearts of an angry and hate controlled people. If you want to be inspired and encouraged, go see Woodlawn.
  • avatar


    The wife and I watched "Woodlawn" last night. We were surprised that we liked it so much. It's a combination of a sports movie, an anti-racism movie, and a pro-Jesus movie. In most cases, I don't much care for any of the three, because I don't like preachy movies and I don't care about sports itself. But this one really worked for me. It's based on true events. I found myself cheering out loud over a lousy touchdown (I never do that)! I found myself caring about the characters. It doesn't go over-the-top on the anti-racism message - so many movies have one or two token white guys who are decent, while the rest are vicious devils, just to make sure we don't miss the point, because after all we're too stupid to get it otherwise. The pro-Jesus message is there because it is necessary to the plot and the furthering thereof, so you don't feel like your church took you to see it in a van just to keep it from tanking at the box office. And the sports element is - well, OK, any football scenes in any movie are basically 'will he get the ball to the end zone or not?' because that's what sports is. It's a darned inspiring movie is what it is.
  • avatar

    Trash Obsession

    There are all kinds of movies out there dealing with race, hate, good, bad and evil . The story is what tells us what a movie is about. This movie is based on faith and hope and what could be wrong about that no matter what your beliefs are regarding religion With that said even the haters should at least put on the blinders and just enjoy the movie for what it is. I can say I am not the biggest religious person however I loved this movie based on its message. The characters could have been a bit more developed so we knew them more on a personal level but the acting was good. The football scenes on the field felt real. I think this movie has a message for the believers to live up to the message and a message to the nonbeliever that there are still true hearted people in this world of chaos
  • avatar


    The most emotionally driven sports film since 42 in 2013. With a very similar idea but with more of a spiritual message. For a film with many unknown people and little known companies this is very well made. But if it was Universal I would expect a little more as this film offers a lot of talk and some action and not much character development. This will probably be one of those films that will fly over everyone's head and may not get many viewers and money. But we'll see strange things happen. But for what it is I'm glad I saw it and was worth the 6$ price and a film I'd recommend after it comes out on Redbox. Here are the grades for the film. Directing: B Acting: B+ Music: B Story: B Overall: B
  • avatar


    I love sport movies and therefore i was looking forward to that movie, that i didn't hear anything about. Well, i don't wanna summarize too much, i just wanted to tell you, that you get the message pretty soon: Believe in Jesus and you can achieve anything. Well...nice to know, but do i need to get that message in every minute of that movie? What the fu** is the "jesusrevolution" that gets the fattest credit I've ever seen? Do i really need i character that says:"this city is a wonder, so much, i want to get baptized". I mean really? That direct in your face? For me this is bad writing.

    However, i'm Christian myself, but i really do hate that assimilation thing some religions do.

    The movie gets one point for the main character, one for some nice sport sequences (although they in fact repeat themselves over and over again) and a third point for being a sport movie.

    Anyone not living in the bible belt or having a radical Christian attitude should be warned, it is really a pathetic piece of propaganda.
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    As a Christian who is also involved in filmmaking and spent a bit of time working in Hollywood, I have often avoided watching Christian films for the same reasons mentioned by other reviewers--a film that becomes a platform for preaching or apologetics. Something which could be told verbally and where the film is used basically as a glorified chalkboard to teach with. When I watched this film, I had no such reservations. From the opening title on, it felt like a real movie. The acting, camera work, editing, etc. felt like the real thing. I enjoy good preaching, but when I watch a movie, I want good storytelling. I think these guys do a good job of understanding the difference.
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    Where do i start?... i've never been this disappointed to a movie before. I expected greatness and have waited a long time to see it, but the plot and simple the whole movie is garbage.

    I didn't feel the people in this movie,simple there was to much 'Jesus and oh lord' and to little football, which i wanted to see.

    This movie could've been on the same level as remember the titans, but it all fell hard to the ground.. sad!

    I stopped the movie with around 45 minutes left, because i really couldn't watch it anymore..

    I hope those religious people out there might enjoy it tho, but for my taste, there was to much praying..
  • avatar


    They really should have warnings on movies like these. I was hoping to watch a film that illustrated our civil rights achievements, but instead I ended up turning it off after it was only half finished... And I've never ever turned a movie off until the end until now.

    Sorry, but I don't need to be preached to about how some magic man in the sky and his fake son have contributed to everything good in the world... The reality is that MANY terrible atrocities have been committed under the guidance of religion and relatively few people use religion for the greater good.

    I'm sure this could've been a great film if it were to have been made without the dominating religious theme, but for the director I'm sure that was 100% of the reason they made the film.
  • avatar


    Released in 2015, "Woodlawn" is an inspirational sports film based on the true story of Tony Nathan, a running back who went on to play for the Miami Dolphins and played in two Super Bowls (XVII and XIX). The story focuses on his experiences at Woodlawn High School in 1973-1974 as Nathan and other black students desegregate the school under government mandate. Nic Bishop plays the coach, Sean Astin a motivational minister, Jon Voight Paul "Bear" Bryant, C. Thomas Howell a coach from a rival high school and Joy Brunson Tony's potential babe.

    The plot and tone are very similar to 2000's "Remember the Titans." They're also both based on true stories. The main difference is that "Woodlawn" is decidedly faith-based, albeit not as overt as movies like "God is Not Dead" (2014) and "War Room" (2015). The filmmakers are just telling the true story in which Christian faith was an essential part. If you can't stomach this element I suggest staying away.

    In any case, the story moves briskly and there's a lot of football action. The problem is that, like "Remember the Titans," the film doesn't focus on character development. I suppose this is so because they're both based on true events and the writers didn't want to stray from reality. Whatever the reason, it prevents the story from truly captivating the viewer, but it's worthwhile if you like inspirational sports flicks like "Remember the Titans" or movies that focus on the black experience in the South during the Civil Rights era, like 2011's "The Help."

    The film runs 123 minutes and was shot in Birmingham and Hueytown, Alabama.

    GRADE: B-
  • avatar


    I love historical sports dramas, especially the ones related to racial problems. I must admit I'm a sucker for motivational speeches and overcoming hardship or doing what others thought of as impossible. But this movie no matter if this really is how it went down is way too religious and uses way to much time on the religious aspect to my taste.

    I read the reviews on this page and was aware that it might have a little religious aspect. I thought that it was not a problem because most American sports movies have it and they are great anyway! So I was quite disappointed when I found myself halfway through the movie annoyed by this and I ended up skipping parts of the movie just so I get some the sports drama I initially wanted.

    Guess what I'm trying to say is... If you are not religious and not a great fan of spending two hours hearing about how great faith is and the wonders it can do. You should not watch this movie
  • avatar


    Just that a religious movie.

    A team that one day, only with a few words of an stranger that became like part of the team (so weird) got "converted", they started to be good people, devote people, they forgot racism, all for a speech of 5 minutes.

    And just like that they go from being one of the worst team to be one of the best.

    So just that, all so politically correct, a lot of clichés and the message believe in Jesus and you can do whatever yo want.

    I couldn't watch the entire movie
  • avatar


    If I wanted a sermon, I would go to church. This movie is light on sports, action, race relations, and the Tony Nathan story and heavy on the Jesus. As usual with preachy films, it is 45 minutes too long. And, as with "American Christianity", it has to ram Jesus down your gullet and never lets up and if you don't like the ramming, they scream persecution. Some mysterious goofball gets 5 minutes to preach to the kids and goes on for over an hour, just like the typical evangelical. Most of the kids convert, probably to shut him up. Then Jesus spreads like mold and everyone lives happy ever after. Save yourself 2 excruciating hours and clean your house instead. At least you will have accomplished something.
  • avatar


    Birmingham, Alabama in the 1970's is an infamous city with a lot of racial tension, violence and even targeted bombings. In the middle of all this turbulence, a struggling high school team finds the saviors it is looking for.

    Being an sports film enthusiast, I had high hopes for Woodlawn, especially after spotting Jon Voight (and to some extent Sean Astin) in the cast listing. Unfortunately, the focus in this movie is not on character development, story or action choreography, it lacks quality in all these areas. What it does focus on is religion. This results in a rather poor outcome .

    It is not uncommon in this particular genre to see references to a divine presence as a source of inspiration or comfort for athletes that try their best in harsh circumstances. In this particular case though, the presence of the Almighty is far too overwhelming.
  • avatar


    I had no idea what this movie was about. My wife picked it and all I thought was great another awful chick flick. This movie was great, but in order to make the most out of it I highly recommend watching it on DVD because at the end you can see the true story of Woodlawn and it helps to bring the whole movie together. I read where other people watched the movie and were disappointed because they felt some things were left unanswered. Well I did also but fortunately I let the credits run and up popped the screen for the bonus stuff. Don't watch just the True Story Of Woodlawn, watch all of the bonus stuff. It will be worth it.

    There will be haters because they just can't stand anything about God. Sorry haters, this movie was awesome. What makes it so much better than other movies of this same genre is that this one is based on a true story.
  • avatar


    I admit I'm not a big sports fan, but I've enjoyed movies like Remember the Titans and Radio. I also really enjoy historical dramas and I think that films in that genre that address racial/social issues and tensions are very relevant today.

    With that said, this movie uses scant amounts of historical/racial drama and sports as a flimsy backdrop for an overtly preachy story about how "faith in God will solve all your problems" The synopsis and reviews I read mentioned the religious aspect, but after viewing movie, I realized how much they had downplayed that aspect and that the entire message and plot of this movie is "God is great, you can play football in honor of him, and God will solve all problems and bring everyone together" Not only is that an absurd and naïve way to look at life and the world, but it just makes for a boring movie if you aren't that strongly inclined towards religion.