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Everybody's All-American
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Reviews & Ratings for
Everybody's All-American More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

More than just a sports movie

10/10
Author: tj_mower from Ann Arbor, Michigan
11 November 2005

This movie is more than just a football movie, or a character study of an athlete that can't hang up his shoes. It's a movie about friendship, glory, and how you can't hang on and stop time. It's a theme that's echoed in the civil rights back story as well. Wonderfully acted, this movie always makes me a little sad for Gavin and the gang. No matter how hard they try, they just can't recapture the good times and glory of yesteryear. Whether those good times are scoring on the field, or in love. Tim Hutton, Jessica Lange, and Dennis Quaid all give great performances. This movie is often underrated and overlooked in lists of great sports movies.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Thoroughly underrated

9/10
Author: Aaron Thompson (winklestiltskin@gmail.com) from Columbia, Missouri
16 November 2004

Even though I do not watch sports anymore, I used to watch them quite a lot and will still watch this movie whenever it's on TV. Definitely one of the best sports films of all time, realistic and superbly acted, this film follows a quarterback hero and his "trophy" wife from college to well beyond retirement. Topics of love, friendship, fidelity, aging and loyalty are all dealt with in profound ways. Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange give probably their best performances ever and the supporting cast does not disappoint. It is melodramatic, but it comes from a place of integrity instilled in the writing and direction of the film. If you're a guy and in the mood to watch something both you and your girl can enjoy, I would highly recommend renting this. It's too bad that so many below average sports movies get more praise than they deserve and lesser known films like this one fall by the wayside. 9/10

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Well Done!

Author: bball1dad from Milltown, New Jersey
21 July 2003

My favorite line in the movie is a colloquy towards the end between Cake's (the academic)girlfriend and Gavin. She offhandedly, and almost sarcastically, remarks to Gavin that he can't "let the old team down". With profound seriousness he responds "Honey,I never did". For those of us who have starred on the athletic field, this sentiment often drove us. For me, this movie realistically captured the experience of being an athletic hero. As I tell my young atheletes who I now coach, no matter what tribulations and setbacks may befall you; no one can ever take away from them what they have achieved on the field. I recommend the movie.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A movie that speaks of life.

8/10
Author: Curt Clevenger (curtclevenger@wave3online.com) from Delaware, USA
9 March 2000

This film tells the story of anyone who has looked back on their life with fondness, embarrassment, nostalgia, sorrow, joy, and any other emotion you can think of. Dennis Quaid does some of his finest work as an All American college football player who is a superstar in spite of himself. While he enjoys the spotlight and all that goes with it to a certain extent, he just wants everyone to accept him for who he is. Jessica Lange does her usual stand out job portraying a prototype southern debutante who starts out happy to be her man's woman, but as time goes on discovers herself. Timothy Hutton plays the cousin to Quaid's character and finds himself woven into the lives of the born to be together couple. John Goodman turns in a great performance as a friend and teammate to the "Grey Ghost" that coincides with the beginning of his long running role as the quintessential suburban husband to Roseanne. While this film is entertaining to the sports fan, it also appeals to anyone who wishes they might have done things differently. If the ending doesn't grab you just a little, you're not human.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The Good & Bad Of 'Everybody's All-American'

5/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
24 August 2007

I like football. I like most of the cast in this film. Does that mean I enjoyed the movie? No, this modern-day soaper was filled with mostly unlikable characters and an appealing story for my tastes, even though it had some very good points.

In a nutshell, it's about an ex-college football star who doesn't know what to do when his playing days are over and nobody is cheering him anymore.

To me, on the negative side were the melodramatic clichés of the typical (for movies) unhappy marriage (a Louisiana State University football star and its Homecoming Queen ), the standard (for movies) adulterous affairs, the normal (for movies) lectures about race and in particular, the South; the tale of real and not-so-real friends, the predictable getting-back together routine, blah, blah, blah. Add in some fake Southern accents, too.

On the more positive side, Dennis Quaid plays "Gavin Grey" of the title role. The story concentrates mostly on the downside of his life, picking up 20 years later when he's not so famous anymore and a life of gridiron fame never materialized after a promising start. The sad thing is, there are real-life stories like this, probably more than we know. So, I am not knocking the film for its story. Many college and professional athletes go into "the real world" unprepared, just as many beautiful Homecoming Queens are unprepared for life because their fabulous looks - not their personality or character - opened a lot doors for them.

"Grey" winding up telling old sports glory stories to drunks at a restaurant is the same as Jake LaMotta doing it in "Raging Bull" and "Rocky Balboa" doing the same in Sylvester Stallone's recent role.

Jessica Lange plays the ditzy Homecoming queen who bears four kids and then becomes a good businesswomen. She isn't the most faithful, loving wife. And, at 39 years of age when she made the film, a little too old to be playing a college kid.

Quaid and Lange, though, are fine in their performances, but supporting actors John Goodman and Timothy Hutton were the most interesting, in my humble opinion.

Overall, so-so as a sports-soap opera. It's not a film I have ever been interested in viewing a second time.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Among the most underrated movies --

Author: p36mohawk from United States
3 September 2001

As I recall this movie was panned by the critics and was a box office

bomb when it was released in '88 but I consider it one of the best films in recent years and one of the best sports movies of all time.

Gavin Grey is a '50s LSU football star who has few interests or talents off the field. He's seen as a shallow. but basiclly decent, product of the 1950s south. He's under no illusion about the fleeting nature of his fame, and the movie avoided the usual cliche of protraying him as a bigoted simpleton or a sanctimonious do-gooder. It takes you through his pro career with the Redskins, a humiliating stint with the Denver Broncos when he's way past his prime, and the final heartbreaking episode with his 1955 teammates at LSU Tiger stadium. In the meantime wife Jessica Lange has found unknown talents as a businesswoman, adding to the pathos of Grey's status as a has-been. Dennis Quaid is superb as Grey, especially when showing him as a middle-aged ex-jock.

Everybdy's All American? Everybody connected with this project should be congratulated. I'd like to think that, someday, this film will get the credit it deserves.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

one of THE greatest films I have seen

10/10
Author: ophelia-10 from new jersey
1 April 1999

I started to watch this movie on HBO non commitedly but soon found myself engrossed. Nothing else was on so I kept watching. I was struck by the brilliant performance of Dennis Quaid and my heart broke for his character Gavin. I have rarely felt this kind of emotion when viewing a film and was overwhelmed with it. I had never before thought of Dennis Quaid as anything other than the funny guy from Undercover Blues and I was taken aback at his acting. I wept at the end and I felt every kind of emotion it is possible to feel. I cannot even express in words how I was blown away by this superb film and all of the actors involved in it.

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After 25 years, I finally got to see Everybody's All-American which was shot in my current hometown

8/10
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, La.
16 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After about 25 years of reading about this movie shot in my long-time hometown of Baton Rouge, I finally watched Everybody's All-American with my mom on Netflix disc. From the parade at the State Capitol to shots at Airline Highway near the end, I recognized many of the landmarks that were depicted in the film. Oh, and the shots at LSU Tiger Stadium (otherwise known as Death Valley) were glorious! It follows Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange as football hero and homecoming queen as they go through the trails and tribulations of falling in love, getting married, making a family, and the ups-and-downs-of career and marriage. There's also nice supporting turns by John Goodman-as a fellow player who has some personal problems, Timothy Hutton-as Quaid's cousin who becomes a writer, and Carl Lumbly-another former football star who thrives when the civil rights era passes. If there's some disappointment concerning the narrative, it's near the end when there seems to be some scenes missing which was confirmed when I looked at the deleted scenes section of the DVD and found a whole sequence concerning Quaid's affair with another woman in it. With that, it might have been a much better movie. Still, I enjoyed what I saw and was glad to watch this. So on that note, I recommend Everybody's All-American. P.S. I recognized singer (and New Orleans native) Aaron Neville as the man with a track pistol in the Spanish Town sequence and Patricia Clarkson (fellow N.O. native) as Hutton's fiancée. I also loved seeing Mike the Tiger when he was shown!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Everybody's All-American

Author: Tim Cox from Marietta, OH
10 August 1999

Superbly acted film about a rocky relationship between a Sugar Bowl all-american (Quaid) and the Magnolia Queen (Lange). The story takes us through over 25 years of triumph and tragedy with great support from Hutton and an especially good performance from John Goodman. Look for "Seinfeld's" Wayne Knight here.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Film That Both Genders Can Relate To

7/10
Author: eric262003 from Canada
4 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Everybody's All-American" brought forth a movie that can be seen as both a chick flick in terms of the steaming romantic chemistry between the two leading stars (Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange) and plenty of football action for the guys to enjoy. The main character of the movie is centered around Gavin "The Gray Ghost" Grey (Dennis Quaid). "Everybody's All-American" succeeds in that the ideas featured had potential to be an extraordinary film, but Hollywood had to water it down immensely. The film scores high points in entertainment, but their welcome goes on too long.

Based on a novel by Frank DeFord, the die-hard football fan can see through that this film is based loosely on the life of Billy Cannon. Both Grey and Cannon's stories both seem eerily similar to each other. The film center around Gavin Grey, who plays for the LSU Tigers, leading their team to the 1956 Sugar Bowl Championship. Even though not once, LSU was ever mentioned, but Cannon played for that team at the time.

What makes this film enjoyable to watch is that the characters portrayed are both likable and well developed. Quaid shines as the star football running the "Gray Ghost" Gavin Grey. Lange is just adorable as Southern gal Babs. Timothy Hutton was at his very best as history professor Cake, John Goodman is believable as a football player who turns his life to gambling and Carl Lumbly puts in his performance as black football player who later becomes a business tycoon. It's always a great feeling deep inside to see such well developed characters and at the same time each and every one of them have a certain likeness that truly captures the spirit of this movie. By setting this film in the state of Louisiana, we realize that the South really loves their football. The look of the 1950's South captures a feel of nostalgia, though it's questionable if it was entirely accurate.

The biggest problem I had with "Everybody's All-American" was that the two best characters were not the leading stars (though they did well), but Prof. Cake (Hutton) and Lawrence (Goodman) were the best of the ensemble, but were sadly underused and I wanted to see more of them. And even though Ghost and Babs have good chemistry between each other, there are several holes between them that make for a gripping relationship. For instance, what does Babs really see in the Gray Ghost and vice versa? We are left clueless as to how and why they are attracted to one another. However, the romantic angle is still a joy to watch.

The fine ensemble cast carries the film splendidly, but falls short in terms of comprehension to what they're saying at times which could be due to the overdone technicalities of director Taylor Hackford.

Hackford's direction is the weakest link in this film. He's trying to hard to make this movie ultra serious but at the same time, the characters are also clichéd. With newsreels and archive footages they aren't put to good use and is taken way too seriously. You can clearly point out which of the scenes are staged and which ones are actual highlights making it all seem out of place. Even the die-hard football fan will be taken off by this sloppy mess Hackford made.

Overall in spite of it's flaws it is still an enjoyable film filled with plenty of football action and romance outside the gridiron.

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