Hometown Legend (Warner Home Video) is a sly film that spends much of its time feeling like another muscle-headed tribute to the ersatz religion of high school football. (And it suggests with a wink that if you haven't experienced football in Alabama, you've been deprived of the genuine article.)

Based on a story by Jerry Jenkins and produced by his son Dallas, Hometown Legend shows the courage of questioning whether a football team is the best measure of a high school's worth. Buster Schuler (Terry O'Quinn) at first comes across as the kind of coach who quickly drives away all but the most devoted players. He dismisses "snitch" players for revealing who started a fight against another team (after entrapping them by asking), he dumps others for not joining the fight because he considers them cowards, and he shows a seemingly unwavering commitment to brute force.

But through the influence of his assistant coach, Cal Sawyer (Kirk Woller), Schuler finds a style that empowers his players through encouragement rather than intimidation.

Hometown Legend is a niche film for Jerry Jenkins fans who know that the Left Behind series reflects only a small part of his writing interests. Its showdown football game is enough to drive even a committed non-athlete to shed some appreciative tears.

Douglas LeBlanc edits The CT Review.

Related Elsewhere:

The official site for Hometown Legend has more information on the production, cast, and story.

The book and video are available at Christianbook.com.

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Directed By
Henry Alex Rubin, Dana Adam Shapiro
Run Time
1 hour 28 minutes
Joe Soares, Keith Cavill, Mark Zupan
Theatre Release
August 05, 2005
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