One Cup of Coffee

Director: Robin B. Armstrong
Screenwriters: D.M. Eyre

Institute History


Baseball has always been the prototype for American me. It exemplifies the American dream of climbing from nowhere to the top, of "making it," and its opposite, the fear of failure. Robin Armstrong's debut feature is a poignant study of all the aspects of a life in pursuit of success. But it's also the story of a man's devotion to his dreams and the imprint one individual's friendship can make on another.

Forty-one-year-old Roy Dean Bream is a kind, bighearted man who lives for one all-consuming passion: baseball. His pitching experience, his knowledge and his passion have kept him in the game well past the momentary zenith of his career, a three-week trip to the majors—in baseball terms, a "cup of coffee." On a slow descent ever since, Roy Dean now plays "D" ball in the middle of nowhere. His marginality to his ball club links him with its newest, youngest arrival, Tyrone Debray, a soft-spoken black man whose exceptional talent belies his shyness. Roy Dean befriends Tyrone, but unknown to Roy, he is about to be dropped from the club. However, Roy Dean's willingness to give of himself, even in the face of his greatest trial, sets up an emotional climax that celebrates the generosity of the human spirit.

Most of the best American independent films take risks: formally, narratively, and/or stylistically. One Cup of Coffee achieves an extraordinary level of emotional impact, without becoming maudlin or overly melodramatic. That's a filmic feat that's rarely accomplished.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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