Well before Draft Day, the Cleveland Browns were part of two major motion pictures.
In 1966, director Billy Wilder shone a light on Cleveland in The Fortune Cookie, a dark comedy starring Jack Lemmon as a CBS cameraman with whom a Browns player (Ron Rich) collides during a game. Though not seriously injured, Lemmon is encouraged to file a lawsuit by his lawyer brother-in-law (Walter Matthau). Matthau won the best supporting actor Oscar for his performance. It was also nominated for black-and-white cinematography, black-and-white art direction and original screenplay (by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond).
The Browns were also part of The Express, the 2008 movie biography of Ernie Davis, a standout player at Syracuse University and the first African-American winner of the Heisman Trophy. Davis followed Jim Brown at Syracuse and was set to play for Cleveland when leukemia cut short his career and life. He never played for the Browns, but did appear in uniform at a preseason game and the team retired his number. He died in 1963.
Rob Brown plays Davis, Darrin Dewitt Henson is Jim Brown and Saul Rubinek plays Art Modell.
The Express and The Fortune Cookie are on DVD.
— Rich Heldenfels