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FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
USA: Universal Studios
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black, Garrett Hedlund, Derek Luke, Jay Hernandez, Lee Jackson, Lee Thompson Young, Tim McGraw, Grover Coulson, Connie Britton, Connie Cooper, Kasey Stevens, Ryanne Duzich, Amber Heard, Morgan Farris, Laine Kelly, Gavin Grazer, Turk Pipkin, Dr Carey Windler, Tommy G Kendrick, Brad Leland, Lillian Langford, Christian Kane, Buddy Hale, Ken Farmer, Marco Perella, Eloise Dejoria, Robert Weaver, Katherine Willis, Angie Bolling, Charles Sanders, Barry Sykes, Clay Kennedy, Lewis B Johnson, J D Hawkins, B T Stone, Wade L Johnston, Rick Herod, Paul Mitchell Wright, Julius Tennon, Dennis Hill, Timothy Walter, Robert Scott Smith, Kenneth Plunk, Josh Berry, Branson Washburn, David Johnson, John Hayden, Chris Palmer, Kyle Scott Jackson, C Anthony "Charles" Jackson, Kippy Brown, Cleveland "Chick" Harris, Billy Melvin Thomas, Kammerin Hunt, Roy Williams, Gary Mack Griffin, Randy Brinlee, Dan Rankin, Tim Crowley, Harvey L Jeffries, Tiki Davis, Everett Smith, Ty Law, Chris Dahlberg, Peter Harrell Jr, Kevin Page, Brady Coleman, Stephen Bishop, Bob Richardson, Mark Donaldson, Aisha Schliessler, Evan Bernard, Rutherford Cravens, Wayne Hanawalt, Brian Thornton, Sam Austin, Mark Nutter, Jeff Gibbs, Richard Dillard, Robert Flores, Terry Parks, Talon Smith, Taylor Sawyers, Bradley Lisman, Richard Nance
Director: Peter Berg
UK: 118 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports action
UK Certificate: 12A contains one use of strong language, moderate violence and sex
USA Release Date: 8 October 2004
UK Release Date: 13 May 2005 (Limited Release - London and Edinburgh)
As darkness descends over the flatlands of West Texas every Friday from September through December, a dazzling, disorienting glow, visible on the stark horizon for miles around, ignites the blackened sky. Looming over the landscape, Ratliff Stadium, the country's biggest high school football field, overflows with 20,000 spectators, their voices raised in the trademark chant: "MO-JO! MO-JO! MO-JO!"
The crowd's jubilation rises to fever pitch as the Permian Panthers, Odessa's "boys in black," take to the field like warriors in an ancient coliseum. Once a week during the fall, this town and its dreams are carried on the padded shoulders of these young gridiron heroes, illuminated beneath the autumnal glare of those Friday night lights that serve as a beacon of hope to the townsfolk of this dusty West Texas town.
Since their first season in 1959, the Panthers established themselves as the most successful football program not only in Texas, but in the entire country. Now, in the last days of summer of 1988, the Permian High School Panthers of Odessa, Texas begin the season with one thing on their minds—winning their fifth state championship in their 30-year history.
For their coach, Gary Gaines (Oscar® winner Billy Bob Thornton), it all comes down to his definition of perfection: "Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn't let them down. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever—because forever is about to happen. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, with love and joy in your heart? If you can do that, then you're perfect."
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is the true American story of a group of young athletes, their town and their dreams.
Produced by Imagine Entertainment's Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (8 MILE, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, APOLLO 13) for Universal Pictures, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is the big-screen adaptation of H G Bissinger's acclaimed book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream, his vivid account of this small West Texas town and its devotion to its high school football team. The story has been hailed by Sports Illustrated as one of the top five greatest sports stories of all time.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is directed by Peter Berg (THE RUNDOWN, VERY BAD THINGS) and stars Oscar® winner Billy Bob Thornton (SLING BLADE, THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE, BAD SANTA), who heads the film's dynamic cast as Gary Gaines, the school's dedicated coach under intense pressure by school officials and Odessa's townsfolk to capture Permian's fifth state championship after failing to do so his first two seasons as coach.
Grammy-winning recording artist Tim McGraw, in his first Hollywood starring role, joins the cast as Charlie Billingsley, the former all-state Panther player who attempts to help his son avoid the life mistakes he himself made...but struggles with how.