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Knute Rockne All American (1940)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,165 users  
Reviews: 18 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 ...
Bonnie Skiles Rockne
...
George Gipp
...
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

Lloyd Bacon replaced director William K. Howard, who was discharged over a disagreement with the studio. Reportedly he wanted to have Rockne to convert to Catholicism in the film. See more »

Goofs

At 17:47, the position of Knute and Bonnie changes. See more »

Quotes

Committee Member: Mr. Rockne, couldn't football be replaced by some other game? Something less violent?
Knute Rockne: Well, what game would you suggest?
Committee Member: Well, hockey, for instance.
[This answer is greeted by raucous laughter in the committee room]
Knute Rockne: Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested that very idea to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, "No... , that game is not for our university. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Land
(uncredited)
Traditional spiritual
Sung by Pat O'Brien as "Boarding House"
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User Reviews

 
An Emotional, Really Nice Sports Film
16 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You don't have to be a Notre Dame football fan to enjoy this, because I am not....but, as a football fan in general, this was fun to watch. It almost makes me a Fighting Irish devotee. If you can't get caught up in the emotion in this film, gridiron fan or not, you better check your pulse because this is an emotional film with some very touching scenes.

As a sports fan, I loved watching the classic footage of early college games. They had some pretty wild plays back then with a lot of laterals. They interspersed that footage with Pat O'Brien shown as head coach Knute Rockne on the sidelines and some of the players, such as George Gipp (Ronald Reagan).

Reagan gets pretty good billing in this film but his part really isn't that large. O'Brien is the only actor with a large role in here. The rest - all playing nice characters - include Gale Page as Rockne's wife "Bonnie;" Donald Crisp, as the Notre Dame's "Father John Callahan;" Albert Bassermann as chemistry professor "Father Nieuwland" and Reagan, as Gipp, perhaps Notre Dame's most talented and famous player ever.

What this film does nicely is balance the personal story with the football. Neither angle is overdone. The characters in here all people you can root for, as there are no villains. On my last look, it was interesting to discover Johnny Sheffield - Tarzan's son - playing Rockne at the age of seven and to see George Reeves, TV's Superman, as one of the players.

There have been very few football movies made in Hollywood, for some reason, and precious few good ones. This is one of them.


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