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Knute Rockne All American (1940)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,184 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 7 critic

The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(original screen play), (based upon: private papers of, and the reports of Rockne's intimate associates and friends)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gale Page ...
...
...
Albert Bassermann ...
Father Julius Nieuwland (as Albert Basserman)
...
Committee Chairman
Henry O'Neill ...
Doctor
Owen Davis Jr. ...
Gus Dorais
...
Lars Knutson Rockne
Dorothy Tree ...
Martha Rockne
Johnny Sheffield ...
Knute - Age 7 (as John Sheffield)
Moreau Choir of Notre Dame ...
Themselves (as The Moreau Choir of Notre Dame)
Nick Lukats ...
The Four Horseman
Kane Richmond ...
The Four Horseman
William Marshall ...
The Four Horseman
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Storyline

Lars Rockne and his family, including his four year old son Knute, emigrate to Chicago in 1892 from their native Norway. By his his mid-twenties Knute saves enough to attend obscure Notre Dame University, where he excels in football and chemistry. He and a teammate develop the forward pass as an offensive weapon while working as life guards on summer break and use it to upset heavily favored Army in a historic game. After graduation Rockne becomes a teacher while coaching part time but ultimately abandons academics to devote all his energies to football. During his tenure as head coach at the school, he develops such outstanding players as George Gipp, who dies prematurely from a strep infection, and the Four Horseman while introducing many innovative tactics including the backfield shift. Rockne, known for his staccato motivational speeches, devotes his life to maintaining the integrity of the sport he loves and promoting it as an integral component in the development of the American... Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Modern Hero  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cagney, eager to break out of gangster roles, lobbied hard for the part of Knute Rockne. But Cagney had signed a petition in support of the anti-Catholic Republican government in the Spanish Civil War. Notre Dame University had control over all aspects of the filming and would not okay Cagney for the role. See more »

Goofs

At 1:12:08, the position of books on the corner of the desk changes. See more »

Quotes

Knute Rockne: Father, I've decided to take up coaching as my life's work.
Father John Callahan: Hmmmm.
Knute Rockne: You think I'm making a mistake, don't you?
Father John Callahan: Anyone who follows the truth in his heart never makes a mistake.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rudy (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

The Notre Dame Victory March
(1908) (uncredited)
Music by Michael J. Shea
Lyrics by John F. Shea
Played during the opening and end credits
Played and sung by the crowd at the railroad station twice
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

O'Brien Steals the Film
15 December 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Knute Rockne All American (1940)

*** (out of 4)

Fun, winning story from Warner about the life and career of Knute Rockne (Pat O'Brien), the man who will forever be remembered as changing the way football was played while coaching at Notre Dame. If you're looking for a 100% accurate biography on Rockne then you might not want to start here but there's no question that the producers and studio had their hearts in the right place and they've at least delivered a very entertaining look at several highlights in the career of Rockne. I thought the film was highly entertaining from the start as we see Rockne's family coming to America and all the way up until the final day in the life of the legend. The film covers his days of attending college, his work as a chemist, his marriage to Bonnie Skiles (Gale Page) and of course his relationship to George Gipp (Ronald Reagan). The film certainly makes you care about Rockne and especially his fast-talking style, which someone like O'Brien can do with ease. The actor certainly turns in a very good and energetic performance as he has no problems making you believe he knows football and his speeches are flawless. Page is also good in her supporting role as is Donald Crisp and John Litel. Reagan appeared in countless films in his career but it's easy to see why his four-or-so minutes here are his most remembered. The football scenes are all directed extremely well, although there are still moments where stock footage is used. I think the film works best whenever we see Rockne on the field, coaching up his boys and working new plays to change the way the game was played. KNUTE ROCKNE ALL American is very "American" in the way he shows football as a patriotic thing and this too is something that helps carry the film.


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