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February 11, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

The Program

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Mercury Records
genre
Pop
We gave it a B-

Roughed up by the critics in its theatrical release, this college-football flick holds its own in the video league. Despite its team-overcomes-adversity-to-triumph-at-the-last-minute formula, The Program does manage to tackle real issues like grade-fixing and steroid use. So it’s unfortunate that the movie is best known for what’s not in it: A scene in which players prove their nerve by lying in the middle of a highway was cut shortly after the film’s initial release, as a result of several copycat deaths. James Caan is underused as the crusty coach who needs a championship season, but he is supported by good turns from the highly angst-ridden quarterback (Craig Sheffer) and the straight-from-the-streets rookie running back (Omar Epps). B-

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