Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray and DVD from director Ty Roberts and Sony Picture Classics comes the story of young boys about to become young men with 12 MIGHTY ORPHANS.

Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson) is a football coach and teacher along with wife Juanita (Vinessa Shaw) and young daughters, they have come to a Fort Worth orphanage to teach and coach. Upon arrival they meet Frank (Wayne Knight) who introduces them a bit and takes them to their dilapidated new home. New arrival Hardy Brown (Jake Austin Walker) is brought in and taken to Doc E.P. Hall (Martin Sheen).

Russell was a former coach at Temple wanting to come to the orphanage to make a difference. Trying to get the boys to become interested in creating a team, he discovers that there are more roadblocks than there are rocks in his field. He also discovers that Frank mistreats the boys at every turn.

Russell starts to make headway with the boys but at the same time tries to get through his own traumas of childhood and time of war. Being a fighter will come in handy as he is met with constant obstacles by those who do not want the orphan boys to play in Division A. In September of 1938, the boys start to prove what they are made of even with the bumps and bruises along the way.

Coming together is not easy but when it happens, it is a sight to see!

Wilson as Rusty Russell is a coach and teacher with a past of his own. Relating to the orphans, he has the opportunity to speak and treat them the way the boys had never known. Then again that is the pattern of Wilson, playing roles that are understanding, insightful and reaches through thoughtfulness.

Sheen as Doc is a father figure to most of the boys and sees exactly what Russell is trying to do for the boys. Doc also has his own demons he is fighting but when Russell influences him as well giving him a chance to be part of the team.

Walker as Hardy Brown is a young man who is full of anger and resentment, but it slowly starts to fade when with Russell. He brings the team together and also turns out to be one of the strongest players the team has and the strongest advocates for the boys have.  

Shaw as Juanity is supportive of her husband on the field and off reminding him that football is only part of what he needs to be teaching these boys. She also works with the kids to teach them how it is possible to become something more than the word ‘orphan’.

Other cast include Natasha Bassett as Opal, Jacob Lofland as Snoggs, Lane Garrison as Luther, Scott Haze as Rodney Kidd, Kelly Frye as Mary Jane, Sampley Barinaga as Chicken, Levi Dylan as Fairbanks, Slade Monroe as Wheatie, Lucy Faust as Wanda, Treat Williams as Amon Carter and Robert Duvall as Mason Hawk.

12 MIGHTY ORPHANS includes Deleted Scenes.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment encompasses motion picture production for television, digital content and theater releases. The studios include Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films and Sony Picture Classics. To see what is coming to theaters and to home entertainment please visit

The story is based on the book Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Rules Texas Football by Jim Dent.

12 MIGHTY ORPHANS is a lovely story at the time when there were no electronics, no television, barely a radio and orphanages were always full. These characters have all been through their own personal struggles and the pain is one that is not of their own making.

During the depression, people were looking for anything to take them away from problems that the brought them such hardships. This team slowly became the focus of everyday people who wanted to root for the underdog. What they did not see was the turmoil these boys faces personally and the emotions that come from feeling abandoned.

It was their coach Rusty Russell who came up with amazing changes in the way football was played bringing his boys the opportunity to win – but more than just football. Off the field there are outside obstacles but inside the orphanage there is just one – the heinously abusive Frank Wynn.

When people begin writing from all over explaining how what the boys are going through brings them hope and courage, it means something to the coach and the boys.

In the end – winning lies within the heart!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.