The real-life story of how Coach Jim White saw the potential for long distance runners in the students of McFarland’s agricultural “picker” community is the fulcrum point of this feel-good movie. It led to many college scholarships and state championships for real life kids, but it never would have happened had the high school’s principal said no. That moment is captured in this ‘clip’ from Disney’s “McFarland, USA.”
The principal is a perfectly cast Valente Rodriguez. Since he’s left off the IMDB credits, I want to make sure he gets his due here.
Disney’s “McFarland, USA” comes to theaters February 20, 2015!
Full plot synopsis below:
Inspired by the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school.
Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic.
With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.
Disney’s “McFarland, USA” stars Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor, Martha Higareda, Michael Aguero, Sergio Avelar, Hector Duran, Rafael Martinez, Johnny Ortiz, Carlos Pratts, Ramiro Rodriguez, Danny Mora,Valente Rodriguez, Vanessa Martinez and Chris Ellis and is directed by Niki Caro with screenplay by Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois and Grant Thompson, and story by Cleveland & Gilois.