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The Longest Yard (1974)

A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Caretaker (as Jim Hampton)
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Pop
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Jim Nicholson ...
Ice Man
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Pervis Atkins ...
Tony Cacciotti ...
Rotka
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Storyline

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 <msh6880@cs.rit.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First Down...And Ten Years To Go See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Kampfmaschine  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the actors had previously played professional football. Burt Reynolds played for Florida State University, and was drafted by the Baltimore Colts. Mike Henry played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams. Joe Kapp played quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. Ray Nitschke was a middle linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. Pervis Atkins played for the Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins, and Oakland Raiders. See more »

Goofs

When Crewe comes up behind the center during the first scrimmage to have the ball hiked to him, his chin strap is snapped on the right side; the next shot shows his chin strap snapped on the left side only. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Melissa: 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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Connections

Referenced in Memories of Videodisc (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Teach Me to Cheat
Sung by Judy Kester
Recording Surpervised by Jim Foglesong
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You Gotta Be A Football Hero
31 October 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Longest Yard refers not to the territory gained and lost in a football game. For Burt Reynolds its that prison yard that he's in for the next 18 months.

Reynolds isn't one of the noblest athletes ever to grace the National Football League. He was a quarterback who was thrown out of the game in a point shaving scandal. Now he's doing time for stealing his mistress's Maserati and causing a lot of havoc and mayhem when she called the cops on him.

The Longest Yard starts to look a little like From Here To Eternity where Monty Clift's company captain Philip Ober wants him to box for the post championship. Reynolds really isn't interested in playing football any more or helping warden Eddie Albert out with his semi-pro team of prison guards. But he's got less redress than Clift did in the army and Reynolds is not a person to make too fine a point of resistance.

What Reynolds suggests is a tune-up game with a squad of the inmates to play the guards to keep them in a fighting edge. Sounds real good to Albert who has a mean streak in him that Reynolds is slow to realize. There's a lot of possibilities to inflict some legal pain and for him to reassert his authority.

The Longest Yard is first and foremost about what Reynolds will do when the crisis comes. His track record doesn't suggest any heroics, but some people do surprise you.

The antagonists Reynolds and Albert are given good support by director Robert Aldrich's picked cast. Foremost among them are Ed Lauter as the chief guard, James Hampton as the team manager, and Charles Tyner in a particularly loathsome role as a prison stoolie. He will really make your skin crawl.

Bernadette Peters is also in The Longest Yard as Albert's secretary with the delightful name of Miss Toot who takes advantage of her position with a little sexual harassment of the prisoners. I do love that Dickensian name that was given her for this film. The only other female of note is Anitra Ford who is Reynolds mistress and whose Maserati he appropriates. When Burt says he earned that Maserati you can well believe it.

The Longest Yard is in a class by itself, a sports/prison movie. A film that created it's own genre. That has to count for something.


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