“Eddie” a documentary about the life of legendary Hall of Fame basketball coach Eddie Sutton is set to debut on Monday night on ESPN at 8.
Below is a release from the creators of the film about what you will see when watching the documentary on Monday night.
We all love redemption stories, because flawed heroes are relatable heroes. Access into the lives of the accomplished sparks hope in our own shortcomings – that even our dreams are achievable. Set on the biggest stages of college basketball, Eddie Sutton’s life and career personifies this dichotomy of success in the midst of personal failure. Players from all races and socio-economic backgrounds, many without present fathers of their own, found family on and off the court in Coach Sutton. But behind the scenes, Coach struggled with alcoholism. Through gut-wrenching interviews with his own sons, EDDIE shines light on the often misunderstood “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality associated with the disease of addiction.
EDDIE, chock-full of gripping interviews and never-before-seen footage, intimately poses this question to family, colleagues, former players and national leaders forever better for having known Coach Sutton. Their stories compel audiences to ponder the conflicting attributes of a man with flaws shared by many and achievements matched by few.
We had a chance to catch up with Christopher Hunt the producer and director of the film as well as executive producer Andy McMahan to discuss the film and what went into putting it together.
Chris Hunt “Well, that started in 2016. I grew up a fan of Coach Sutton, primarily from his days at Oklahoma State. That’s where I’m from and that’s where I got introduced to coach as a young boy. And my my partner and I business partner, David and myself, were looking for a film that we felt like had a broad national appeal. A lot of people outside of just Oklahoma and Arkansas would be interested in. So we just looked in our own backyard and felt like any of that criteria there were a lot of things going on in his life and, you know, everything with the Naismith Hall of Fame and him not getting in so many times that as a as a film maker, it got me a little riled up. And then I knew much more beyond just the Naismith question, that there were a lot, there was a lot of material behind the scenes that people didn’t maybe know about. And we felt like would make for an interesting film. And so just a combination of all that really got us rolling and then took the plunge and started started the process of making this movie. Well, I mentioned earlier that the Naismith Hall of Fame induction was something that kind of woke me up at night and made me want to make the movie. But whenever we sat down the very first time with Coach Sutton and his son, Steve, David and I expressed to them that we were not interested in doing a propaganda film for him, you know, to kind of be a part of a marketing campaign to get into the next town hall thing. That was not something we were interested in doing. And we we wanted to have the ability to talk about things that they had never talked about before. Coach has been through a lot and he has achieved what most of us can only dream of. But he’s also gone through some very real struggles that I think a lot of people can relate to. And he did it on a very big stage and we wanted to dive into that. And what happened was you just get this beautiful honesty from so many people, thankfully, because they agreed to do that. And just a just a really wonderful father son story emerged that we were able to explore. That was kind of a surprise for me. I didn’t I knew it existed, but I didn’t know what the level. And I think if it wasn’t for everyone’s honesty in the movie that the film would not be what it is and these guys wouldn’t have something to sell.”
Andy McMahan “Yeah. And to kind of piggyback on what Chris said is I mean, I think I think Sean’s honesty is a whole new level in the film with with their relationship and and that kind of family dynamic. And Sean has been really pivotal, pivotal in pushing other people in the film, to be honest. I think also played a big role. I think they’ll be able to relate. I mean, he’s a he’s just a guy that, you know, he he had some issues, but he’s a he’s a great basketball coach. He’s a great man. He looked after his players and just like anybody else, he had issues. And I think I think that’s really gonna be identifiable to two people and maybe a little bit of surprise for the people of Arkansas to see it. You know, after the fact.”