A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
A football player-turned-convict organizes a team of inmates to play against a team of prison guards. His dilemma is that the warden asks him to throw the game in return for an early release, but he is also concerned about the inmates' lack of self-esteem. Written by
Matt Heffernan <email@example.com>
According to Albert S. Ruddy and Burt Reynolds on the DVD Commentary, for reasons unknown, Robert Aldrich didn't like actor Michael Conrad (Nate Scarborough) and would always insult him by calling him the "Polish Princess". Finally, when they were filming the scene between Paul Crewe (Reynolds) and Scarborough (Conrad) where Nate says, "There's only two things you've got left: Your pride and your balls . . . " Aldrich liked the scene so much that he rewarded Conrad with a candy bar, which was the daily award Aldrich would give out to whomever did the best work that day. Conrad, who had endured Aldrich's insults throughout filming, was actually moved to tears. Aldrich stopped referring to Conrad as the "Polish Princess" for the rest of the shoot. See more »
Richard Kiel hurt his arm during the shoot and can be seen with his arm in a sling in some parts of the football game scenes (his character is supposedly fully fit). See more »
How long do we have to keep watching this crap?... Only a moron can sit and watch two football games, one after the other.
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You just can't get away with this stuff anymore. In the first ten minutes, Burt Reynolds has beaten his girlfriend, stolen her car, gone on a massive police chase, dumped the sportscar off a bridge, then attacked two cops. Oh, and he's the hero of the movie, too.
Nowadays the remake -- starring Adam Sandler -- is rated PG-13 and he's a total wimp. Back in the '70s you could get away with being vicious, sexist, homophobic and racist and live to tell about it. In 2005, Adam Sandler says the F-word in one of his movies and parents are banning the film companies.
Yup, this film is clearly racist, homophobic and misogynist. Women are treated as sexual objects throughout, from the opening to the part where a prison warden's intern requests sexual favors from Burt Reynolds in return for handing him a movie-reel he needs.
African-Americans are portrayed as racist tough guys who are better than the whites at football, and they call whiteys "honkies" and other such words. In return all the whites are racist towards the blacks and it creates an interesting tension.
The homophobia sneaks into play when it's suggested one of the inmates is in love with Burt Reynolds. Quite a funny scene, actually.
"The Longest Yard" was one of Robert Aldrich's most successful films and many claimed it was him "selling out," but viewed 30 years later this really does stand apart from many of the other sports-comedy films of the decade. What is so special about "The Longest Yard" is probably that it plays like a mix between "Cool Hand Luke," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Smokey and the Bandit" -- it's got car chases, it's got sports, it's got funny stuff, BUT it also spends a lot of time developing its characters and creating some very dramatic sequences.
This is well directed, gritty, and fun -- not as much a "comedy" as you might expect, it is actually more serious. By the end of the film we've come to root for a bunch of murderers and rapists and even Burt Reynolds, and let's face it -- when was the last time you saw Burt Reynolds in a movie and actually LIKED his character?! A classic of the genre.
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