Lars Rockne and his family, including his four year old son Knute, emigrate to Chicago in 1892 from their native Norway. By 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
Did You Know?
's makeup--to make him look more like the real Knute Rockne
, whom he did not resemble at all--took three hours each day to apply. See more
When Knute Rockne (Pat O'Brien
) first notices George Gipp (Ronald Reagan
) kicking a football, a player standing next to Rockne very clearly mouths "Hey You!" (without any sound coming from his mouth) just as Rockne yells the same thing to Gipp. See more
Coach, let us use the forward pass, I know it'll work.
Notre Dame Coach Harper
I'm not so sure. We've never seen it in a game.
Neither has the Army, what can we lose?
Sung by Pat O'Brien
as "Boarding House" See more