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Knute Rockne All American (1940)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Sport | 5 October 1940 (USA)
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) (as Mrs. Rockne)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Father Julius Nieuwland (as Albert Basserman)
...
Committee Chairman
...
Doctor
...
Gus Dorais
...
Lars Knutson Rockne
...
Martha Rockne
...
Knute - Age 7 (as John Sheffield)
Moreau Choir of Notre Dame ...
Moreau Choir (as The Moreau Choir of Notre Dame)
Nick Lukats ...
Harry Stuhdreher-One of The Four Horsemen
...
Elmer Laydon - One of The Four Horsemn
William Marshall ...
Don Miller - One of The Four Horsemen
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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 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 duke1029

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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 Knute Rockne convert to Catholicism in the film. Producer Robert Fellows asked star Pat O'Brien to accompany him to the director's house to break the news to him. Howard, whose career was declining, said, "Boys, this will destroy me!" When O'Brien said, "It's not so bad, Bill," Howard replied, "It is--a fadeout." With the exception of James Cagney's independent production Johnny Come Lately (1943), Howard only directed B-pictures after that (including one, When the Lights Go on Again (1944)) for bottom-of-the-barrel studio Producers Releasing Corp.) and ended his career with a film for Republic Pictures. See more »

Goofs

At 26:05, Nieuwland's pencil jumps to his chin. See more »

Quotes

Knute Rockne: 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.
Knute Rockne: Neither has the Army, what can we lose?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Aura Lee
(1861) (uncredited)
Music by George R. Poulton
Played when Rockne convinces his coach to use the forward pass
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Straightforward Biopic
10 February 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne (Pat O'Brien).

This film is an early example of the great biopic. While I care nothing for Notre Dame football, I feel like this was a really well-made film. Was it accurate? I don't know. Likely some of Rockne's lesser qualities were probably glossed over. But it still tells the story and makes a great case for the role immigrants have played in shaping America.

The film is probably best remembered today for Ronald Reagan's role as "the Gipper". This is interesting, because even though the part is important, it is relatively small. Of all the parts Reagan played, it is interesting that this is the one that stayed with him forty years later.


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