The Red Sneakers was produced originally for television by Showtime Cable, and was directed by Gregory Hines, who also appears in the film as the mysterious junk dealer Zeke. The story is family-oriented with some clear messages that it sends out to kids: academics are important, believe in yourself, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy shoes to be successful in sports. Fortunately the messages are not presented in an overbeaing manner. It’s nice to see young black actors presented in a postive, mainstream environment led by Dempsey Pappion, who gives a credible performance as Reggie. It’s also great to see Chuck Taylors presented again on the basketball court as an effective basketball shoe, which they always have been for nearly a century. There is one flaw in the storyline regarding The Red Sneakers, however. Red and other bright colored high tops were not manufactured until the late 1960s when Converse introduced chucks in a rainbow of colors. Until the 1960s and 1970s, people dressed mostly in a very conventional manner. Athletic shoes were black, white, or sometimes (in the earlier times) brown. The stitching and piping were different from the models shown in the film and the “magic” pair of shoes you see were clearly manufactured in the last decade. It was unheard of for a basketball team to be wearing red shoes in the 1920s. But red chucks definitely get your attention, and The Red Sneakers has a good message, so we will excuse their lack of research.
The Red Sneakers. (2002) Dempsey Pappion, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Gregory Hines, Jordan Walker, Makyla Smith.
Directed by Gregory Hines. Categories: Fantasy, Family, Sports.
Rating: MPAA Rating: PG