Frequently Asked Questions

When was the film released?

The movie went into general release on December 22, 2006.

Who starred in the film?

Matthew McConaughey as Coach Jack Lengyel
Matthew Fox  as Red Dawson
Anthony Mackie  as Nate Ruffin
Kate Mara as Annie
January Jones as Carol Dawson
Ian McShane as Paul Griffin
David Strathairn as Donald Dedmon

Who was the director?


Who was the producer?

Basil Iwanyk

Who wrote the script?

Jamie LindenOne of the members of my family was on the team plane. How can I be certain
that this film was accurate and portrayed my family member in a good light?

Marshall University is committed to an accurate portrayal of the events associated
with this tragedy. The university worked diligently with Warner Bros. to fulfill
this commitment. Consultants, historians, archivists and other professionals provided
guidance to the film company on this project. While a certain level of
literary license was exercised, we believe Warner Bros. remained true to the story.

Did Marshall have any control over the final cut of the film?

Although Marshall University was involved throughout the film’s development, the final cuts of the motion picture were the prerogative of Warner Bros.

The plane crash happened more than 35 years ago. Why was the film done in 2006?

This is a question that was posed to Warner Bros. and its production company,
Thunder Road Pictures. Mary Viola, associate producer, answered in this way:
“Rarely does a story move us to be better people, stronger people. What the
town of Huntington did following the 1970 plane crash is one of these inspirational
stories. I read about the tragedy a few years ago and felt compelled to tell the rest
of the world what this small community had accomplished.”

What was the film’s budget?

Many consider this a mid-range motion picture in the tens of millions of dollars.
However, the budget is proprietary information of Warner Bros.

What was the involvement of the W.Va. Film Office in this production?

The West Virginia Film Office provided extensive logistical support to the
production company and advice to Marshall University.

What was the involvement of the W.Va. Governor in this production?

Governor Joe Manchin III was instrumental in negotiations with the highest levels
at Warner Bros. His leadership provided the avenue by which three weeks of shooting could take place in West Virginia.

Why was Atlanta selected as the other filming location?

Warner Bros. has extensive property in Atlanta and took advantage of sound
studios and other existing resources in the city.

How long was Marshall University involved in the project?

Marshall University has been approached many times over the years concerning
the production of a film about the 1970 tragedy and recovery. Typically, such
proposals were declined due to concerns about the quality of production and
accuracy of the story being told. During the summer of 2005, Warner Bros.
approached the university with a quality script idea and the resources to
produce a worthy film.

Could this movie have been made without Marshall’s permission?

Yes. This chapter in the university’s history is documented fact. Any film company
would not have had to include the university in its planning. Marshall University was
pleased with the approach by Warner Bros. in bringing the university into the process.