Grambling's White Tiger (1981) Bruce Jenner, Dennis Haysbert, Bill Overton, Deborah Pratt, Byron Stewart, Ray Vitte, LeVar Burton, Harry Belafonte Movie Review

Grambling's White Tiger (1981)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Bruce Jenner and LeVar Burton in Grambling's White Tiger (1981)

Remember the Tigers

Times are a changing at Grambling College, a historically African American college, as Coach Eddie Robinson (Harry Belafonte) has recruited Jim Gregory (Bruce Jenner) as not only is he a talented young football player but the arrival of a white student has opened up avenues for increased finding for the college. Unsurprisingly several of the existing Grambling State Tigers are not happy and see the arrival of Jim being little more than a white guy taking a place which belongs to an African American player. But never the less Jim arrives and despite having to deal with some attitude and the stares as he is the only white student at the college his laid back, easy going nature helps him win friends and to experience some of the intolerances his new friends still contend with.

I think anyone who stumbled across a synopsis for "Grambling's White Tiger" is likely to imagine how this movie is going to play out as we have Jim Gregory being the first white guy in a historically African American College. As such there are various stages to the movie as first we deal with the initial resentment with some of the team unable to move beyond their anger over Jim's recruitment for most of the story. We see how Jim despite making friends due to his easy going nature has doubts as he thinks he may never get anywhere on the team. And we also see how Jim has to deal with various racial issues from a shop keeper who won't give him credit because he goes to Grambling to romantic issues when it comes to a relationship with a music student whose parents disapproved of her dating a white guy. Basically, despite being based on a true story there is some thing generic and obvious about the drama in the movie right down to coming up with a triumphant ending.

Harry Belafonte in Grambling's White Tiger (1981)

Of course watching "Grambling's White Tiger" now, over 35 years after it was made, there have not only been similar and better movies but of course what sticks out is that this stars Caitlyn Jenner when she was still a man called Bruce. To be honest there is something quite nice about Jenner's performance as he brings to life the easy going nature of the character and makes Jim likeable to the audience. Don't get me wrong as the acting is not great from Jenner but it is the same from the likes of Dennis Haysbert, LeVar Burton and Harry Belafonte but they all deliver their parts in an easy to watch manner so that you know Burton as Tank is a good guy whilst Byron Stewart as Sandman is a lot more angry and unmovable when it comes to his attitude towards Jim.

What this all boils down to is that "Grambling's White Tiger" is an entertaining drama based on a true story but at the same time there is something generic about it be it the issues which Jim faces as he tries to be accepted to the way the storyline finds a triumphant ending.