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Staff Picks: Penn Staters Who Deserve Their Own Movie

Last week, a group of filmmakers announced they’re working on a new production to bring the life and story of Penn State legend Wally Triplett to the silver screen sometime soon.

Naturally, Triplett’s story is more than deserving of the Hollywood treatment. But Penn State is a big place with many tales to tell.

To help get the ball rolling in Tinseltown, a few of our staffers discussed which Penn State figures and stories should get their own films, too.

Matt Rudisill: Charlene Morett-Curtiss

Last semester, I had the pleasure of hearing Penn State field hockey coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss speak in one of my classes, and I immediately thought her story should be made into a film. Morett-Curtiss has been the field hockey coach at Penn State for more than 30 years after an illustrious playing career as a Nittany Lion.

She was a three-time All American at Penn State and was a part of two Olympic teams in her playing days. After making the Olympics in 1980, Morett-Curtiss was devastated that her team would not be able to compete due to the United States’ boycott of the games. She persevered through the tough times, made it back in 1984, and was rewarded with a bronze medal in the Los Angeles games.

As the longest-tenured field hockey head coach in Penn State history, Morett-Curtiss has guided nine Nittany Lion squads to conference titles. A pioneering figure in field hockey for many years, Morett-Curtiss is unjustly overlooked in Penn State lore, and her story is absolutely deserving of a movie.

Charles Reinert: Jesse Arnelle

In Penn State’s long history, it’ll be tough to find someone who left a bigger legacy than Jesse Arnelle. Arnelle was the first-ever Black student body president and the first-ever Black member and chair of the Penn State Board of Trustees, where he served for 45 years.

He also was on Penn State’s men’s basketball team, went to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament, and was named an All-American. After he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science, he became Penn State’s first NBA talent. When he retired from professional sports, he joined the Peace Corps and the U.S. Navy, went back to school, got his law degree, and started working as a lawyer out west.

And the crazy part is, these are only some of his accomplishments. Arnelle passed away last year, and a film celebrating his life and his legacy would be a great way to keep his legacy alive as Penn State moves into the future. With all the great accomplishments he achieved during the course of his life, there’s a lot to pull from to make a great film.

Rico Gore: OPP

I would greatly like to see an in-depth documentary film on the origins of our beloved OPP. I think it would be cool to see the progression from the first lawnmower to where they are now with hundreds of vehicles, including a crane! Although, I would also like to see a “Real Housewives” or “Jersey Shore”-style show about the honorable men and women of The Office of Physical Plant.

Gabe Angieri: Sue Paterno

A movie should absolutely be made about the one and only Sue Paterno. I mean, do I really need to explain?

When you think about people to make movies about, you want a star, a legend. What is SuePa? Exactly that.

Matt DiSanto: Russ Rose

Seven national titles, 1,300-plus wins, and an appearance in every NCAA Tournament — need I say more? Rose’s legendary career coaching Penn State women’s volleyball is absolutely begging to be made into a film.

In my experience, Rose is about the most humble person on campus, especially when discussing his own accomplishments. But Hollywood would be lying if it said it didn’t have an interest in bringing one of college sports’ all-time greats to the silver screen.

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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.


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