My life in movies: Bruce Pearl

June 11, 2014

The movie or movie character you can relate to ...
"Saving Private Ryan. My relationship with God is such that I know I can't be good enough to earn it, but I'm still going to try. At the end of that movie when he asked his family `tell me I was a good man; tell me I earned this,' he thought back to when Tom Hanks told Private Ryan `earn this.' That all those guys went over there to save him and let him go back to his family and all he said was `be a good man, have a good life,' and he was just emotional about did I earn this life they gave me? So I try to live my life that way as best I can, did I earn it?

The first movie that made you cry ...
"I think I can remember Brian's Song. When Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers with the Chicago Bears, when he died of cancer; that was probably the first movie that I can remember."

Is there a movie that you can watch over and over again?
"Gladiator! It just doesn't get old. How you could go from general to a slave, and once a leader of men, always a leader of men. ...Also the Godfather."

The movie you had to show to your children ...
"Schindler's List; we can't ever let the world forget what happened in this generation, that 9 million were murdered and 6 million were Jewish and they were murdered because of their faith."

The movie that inspires you ...
"Remember the Titans, that gets me fired up. I love the way that team came together and overcame prejudice and adversity."

The movie you're embarassed to love ...
"I do love Mrs. Doubtfire. I can quote all the lines: `hello, dearies...stew, more like a thick soup...Yes, you know what they say about a man who needs a big car!'

The movie that changed your life ...
"What comes to my mind is The Help and 42. When I was out of coaching, those were movies about the fight for opportunity. Being a basketball coach for the last 33 years...there is so much more opportunity now in our country, freedom of religion, race, that this generation enjoys so much more opportunity because of the efforts and the sacrifices of the past generation. Those ladies that were housekeepers in Mississippi laid a foundation for a different kind of opportunity that we today enjoy. Jackie Robinson breaking down those barriers, too. So those movies inspire me, because I carry that torch of coaching on a campus, to provide educational opportunities to everyone. Not everyone from the inner cities or rural America has the same educational preparation; they're not as prepared, and yet they still deserve an opportunity for a college education. Those movies remind me of the sacrifices that were made before us so that we now can enjoy the freedoms that we do."