IMDb > North Dallas Forty (1979)
North Dallas Forty
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North Dallas Forty (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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North Dallas Forty -- Based on the popular novel by former Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent, NORTH DALLAS FORTY depicts Nolte as an aging ballplayer who, through a woman he meets, is drawn away from the masculine, violent world in which he has lived so long. In doing so, he finds himself at odds with the team's management.


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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Peter Gent (novel)
Frank Yablans (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for North Dallas Forty on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 August 1979 (USA) See more »
"Wait till you see the weird part." [USA Theatrical] See more »
A semi-fictional account of life as a professional Football (American-style) player. Loosely based on the Dallas Cowboys team of the early 1970s. See more » | Add synopsis »
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Best football movie ever See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order)

Nick Nolte ... Phillip Elliott

Mac Davis ... Seth Maxwell

Charles Durning ... Coach Johnson

Dayle Haddon ... Charlotte Caulder

Bo Svenson ... Jo Bob Priddy

John Matuszak ... O. W. Shaddock

Steve Forrest ... Conrad Hunter

G.D. Spradlin ... B. A. Strothers

Dabney Coleman ... Emmett Hunter

Savannah Smith Boucher ... Joanne Rodney (as Savannah Smith)
Marshall Colt ... Art Hartman
Guich Koock ... Eddie Rand
Deborah Benson ... Mrs. Hartman
Jim Boeke ... Stallings (as James F. Boeke)
John Bottoms ... Vip
Walter Brooke ... Doctor

Alan Autry ... Balford (as Carlos Brown)
Danny J. Bunz ... Tony Douglas

Jane Daly ... Ruth

Rad Daly ... Conrad
Cliff Frazier ... Monroe
Stanley Grover ... March
Glenn-Michael Jones ... Locker Boy (as Glenn Michael Jones)
Frank O'Neill ... Assistant Trainer
Tommy Reamon ... Delma Huddle

Tom Reese ... Coach Waddy
Jeff Severson ... Partridge (as Jeffrey Severson)

Grant Kilpatrick ... Monsignor

Kevin Cooney ... Pete Peterson
Tony Frank ... Rindquist
Doug France ... Alcie Weeks
Garrie Kelly ... Party Guest

Debbie Turner ... Party Guest
Michele Turner ... Party Guest
Jasmine Gagnier ... Party Guest
Sharyn Lee ... Party Guest
Joe Portaro ... Party Guest
Lauren Jennifer Downing ... Party Guest
Nanci Roberts ... Bunny Girl
Kathleen Mary Larken ... Peggy
Don J. Berberet ... Referee
Randall Braxtan ... Billy Fitch
Kory Olson ... Salesman
Louie Kelcher ... Football Player
Harold Jackson ... Football Player

Michael Ballew ... Football Player (as Mike Ballew)
Martin Imhof ... Football Player
Ronnie L. Coleman ... Football Player
Boyd Matson ... TV Announcer
Ross Porter ... TV Announcer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michele Turner Wilson ... Stewardess Twin

Directed by
Ted Kotcheff 
Writing credits
Peter Gent (novel)

Frank Yablans (screenplay) &
Ted Kotcheff (screenplay) and
Peter Gent (screenplay)

Nancy Dowd  uncredited
Rich Eustis  uncredited

Produced by
Frank Baur .... associate producer
Jack B. Bernstein .... executive producer
Frank Yablans .... producer
Original Music by
John Scott 
Cinematography by
Paul Lohmann (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jay Kamen 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
Alfred Sweeney 
Set Decoration by
Arthur Jeph Parker  (as Art Parker)
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins 
Makeup Department
Robert Dawn .... makeup artist (as Bob Dawn)
Edouard F. Henriques .... makeup artist (as Eddie Henriques)
Gladys Witten .... hair stylist
Production Management
Frank Baur .... unit production manager
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... executive production manager: Paramount (uncredited)
Wally Samson .... production manager: studio features (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Victor Hsu .... assistant director
Kalai Strode .... second assistant director
Kevin G. Cremin .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Terry E. Lewis .... property master (as Terry Lewis)
Gunnar Mattson .... construction coordinator
Hank Giardina .... paint foreman (uncredited)
Mike Humburger .... leadman (uncredited)
Richard McKenzie .... set designer (uncredited)
Chuck Shepard .... second assistant property master (uncredited)
Kenny Swenson .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sig Tingloff .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bub Asman .... sound effects editor
Pierre Jalbert .... dialogue editor
Larry Jost .... sound mixer
Alan Robert Murray .... sound effects editor (as Alan Murray)
Alan L. Nineberg .... dialogue editor (as Alan Nineberg)
John Wilkinson .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Keene Wilkinson)
Clint Althouse .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Joseph P. Mercurio .... special effects (as Joe Mercurio)
Debby Porter .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Genne .... first assistant camera
Wally Hice .... dolly grip
J. Michael Marlett .... gaffer (as Mike Marlett)
Guy Polzel .... key grip
Timothy E. Wade .... camera operator (as Tim Wade)
Roger Blauvelt .... best boy: studio (uncredited)
Clarence Ebert .... second grip (uncredited)
Ron Frantzvog .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Richard Hartley .... electrician (uncredited)
Greg Langham .... electrician (uncredited)
Phillip Marlett .... best boy (uncredited)
Chris Nagle .... grip (uncredited)
Hal Nelson .... grip (uncredited)
Glenn K. Shimada .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Mel Traxel .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Norman A. Burza .... costume supervisor: men (as Norman Burza)
Betsy Cox .... costume supervisor: women
Harold Crawford .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
James P. Cullen .... costumer (uncredited)
Roger Gallo Garcia .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Tom Numbers .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Christopher Koefoed .... apprentice editor (as Christopher Lucien Koefoed)
Jack Michon .... assistant editor
Thom Noble .... editorial consultant
Location Management
James Herbert .... location manager (uncredited)
Frank Nurre .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
John Mick .... music editor
John Scott .... conductor
Dennis Budimir .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Larry Bunker .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Carl Fortina .... orchestra manager (uncredited)
Lincoln Mayorga .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Malcolm McNab .... musician: Trumpet (uncredited)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Ted Nash .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Joe Porcaro .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Waddy Wachtel .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Transportation Department
James Thornsberry .... transportation coordinator (as Jim Thornsberry)
Chuck Alsobrook .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Gene Biernot .... driver: prop truck (uncredited)
Tom Dragna .... driver: effects truck (uncredited)
Tom Greene .... driver: motorhome (uncredited)
Millard Lemon .... driver: grip truck (uncredited)
Larry Merideth .... driver: wardrobe truck (uncredited)
Carlos G. Rodriguez Jr. .... driver: catering (uncredited)
Greg Van Dyke .... driver: camera truck (uncredited)
Randy White .... driver: production van (uncredited)
Mike Wills .... driver: crew cab (uncredited)
Other crew
Bruce Bahrenburg .... unit publicist
Tom Fears .... football coach
Tom Fears .... football coordinator
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Doug Grossman .... technical advisor
Wanda Mull .... secretary to unit production manager (as Wanda R. Mull)
Dickey Nesenger .... script supervisor
Frank O'Neill .... football coordinator
Frank O'Neill .... football trainer
Jette Sorensen .... location auditor
Martin Brown .... craft service (uncredited)
Ron Eisenman .... first aid (uncredited)
Richard Espinoza .... production trainee (uncredited)
Gerry Okuneff .... assistant football coach (uncredited)
Carlos G. Rodriguez Jr. .... cook (uncredited)
Ron Chapman .... special thanks: Radio Station KVIL Dallas-Fort Worth
Robert H. Kovoloff .... special thanks: Associated Film Promotions, Inc.
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
119 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (cinema release) | UK:18 (video release) | USA:R | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

According to writer Peter Gent, the role of Seth Maxwell (played Mac Davis) was actually offered to NFL player 'Don Meredith (I)' who the character is apparently based on.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: There are several lip-synch problems throughout, probably due to re-dubbing lines.See more »
Maxwell:Hell, Poot, we're all whores; might as well be the best.See more »
Movie Connections:
CubaSee more »


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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Best football movie ever, 18 August 2006
Author: caa821 from Tulsa OK

This movie is the best "football" film ever made. Along with "The Natural" - baseball, and "One-on-One" - basketball, these are an outstanding trilogy of the three best pictures representing our primary American sports, and all have interesting multi-dimensional stories as well. Pete Gent was a maverick in his NFL career, but it would seem his alter-ego, Phil (Nick Nolte), while possessing this same nature, is significantly more accomplished in his pro career (even if on the coach's "secondary list" in the film). Gent played six years, 48 games, with only 68 overall receptions and four touchdowns. These numbers and his yardage (his average per catch was pretty good) would comprise a good single season's stats.

The primary "athletes" in the film - played by Nolte, Davis, Matuszak and Svenson are realistic, interesting, tough and bawdy. Matuzsak's distinguished career was as a defensive end, and Svenson also possesses more of the physical characteristics of a defensive lineman. The fact, though, that they played offensive linemen in the film was obviously a necessity to the drama - both off- and on-field, where all four prime leads had to be on-screen simultaneously. As I mentioned in commenting on "One-on-One," where the great G. D. Spradlin was the basketball coach - coupled with this film, he wins the award of the "all-time horse's ass coach" hands-down. Durning was hilarious as the vacuous assistant coach. Anyone familiar with Gent and Tom Landry can see that Spradlin's coach Strothers is modeled - at least in part - from the latter. Although similar in appearance, and more "professorial" than most coaches, and probably often a bit distant -- Landry did not seem to possess the extremely negative traits displayed by Strothers. In the film, with the level of talent Nolte's "Phil" possessed, it is unlikely he'd have been as neglected by the coach as depicted, even in view of Strothers' compulsive devotion to his computerized statistics, and distaste for Nolte's persona. I suspect that this relationship has similarities to Gent's with Landry, but, again, Gent in real life was not as productive or talented as Nolte on film.

Steve Forrest was excellent as the smarmy, wealthy team owner, and Dabney Coleman as his even smarmier, completely unctuous younger brother. {Has anybody, EVER, in the history of the motion picture industry (t.v., too), done "smarmy" or "unctuous" as well as Dabney???} This one's a "10" for both sport and drama.

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