A romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America's nascent pro-football league in 1925. Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero, is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. The captain hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country's attention. Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford, America's favorite son. A golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple German soldiers to surrender in WWI, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. This new champ is almost too good to be true, and Lexie Littleton aims to prove that's the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carter's war story. But while she digs, the two teammates start to become serious off-field rivals ... Written by
More than 400 local extras were hired. They were paid around $9 per hour. See more »
In the 1920s and 1930s, The Chicago Tribune used a much denser lay-out of typeface columns than depicted in the film. The more open design using more white space did not come along until the 1940s. See more »
I saw Leatherheads today, despite the negative comments here at IMDb. On the whole, I agree with the 'movie-guy: Doug' who ventured that this is a "slapstick comedy that is cute and enjoyable to watch". I'd add that this is a comedic period-piece, which is pleasant and witty, rather than hilarious and knee-slapping (if you want to get technical). It offers excellent sets, costumes and characterizations typical of the Roaring 20's when Newspapers were godlike, and Radio was just unfolding.
It's (loosely) about Pro Football in the 20's. The message is that the game was rough, poorly-regulated and messy! (No wonder Baseball was America's game!) College players fared better, with fervent fan support and well-tended fields of play -- but after College, great players packed it up and got real jobs (or switched to baseball, I guess). In this story, George Clooney hopes to boost the fortunes of his floundering Toledo Pro team by recruiting a college superstar (and reported war-hero), played by John Krasinski. Renée Z. is the ace reporter dispatched to get the goods on the football hero's military service record.
The film was reminiscent of the 1988 film '8 Men Out' in doing a great job of recreating the look and feel of that era. However, '8 Men Out' was based upon a real life incident and a fabulous book. 'Leatherheads' was a story one IMDb contributor says George Clooney carried around in his pocket for 20 years. So, I'd agree that the storytelling and comedy bits of the screenplay are lacking a bit. However, George does fine as a Director and Performer -- I don't buy that comedy isn't 'his thing' - he was sparkling in 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou' and 'Intolerable Cruelty' (ahhhhh, but those were Coen Brothers scripts, which showed what George could do with a real creative team behind him). Also, it looked like the cast had a hoot making this thing -- to be honest, if the DVD has lots of bloopers and special features, that alone might induce me to pick it up in 2009.
I quite enjoyed the film, but, then, I like period pieces, especially those about the Jazz Age (8 Men Out, Great Gatsby and the Sting are in my Top-20). Nice soundtrack by Randy Newman here, too. This was witty and pleasant to watch. And PG-13 comedies that are NOT about singles dating morons or kids with three dads, or sperm donors (the Previews at our matinée today) are in very short supply these days.
Might add that Renée was quite charming in the manner of a glamor girl of the Jazz Age, with soft blonde hair and strategic use of red lipstick to produce that perfect 'kissy' smile! Pete Gerety, a veteran character player, chips in with a nice spot as a new Football Commissioner. I recognized Gerety as the smooth-talking oil baron 'Lee Janus' in another Clooney project, Syriana.
7/10 - canuckteach
btw: The NFL really didn't get rolling as a major diversion until NFL Films made it a TV legacy in the late 60's. (In the 50's, it was viewed in crummy black and white with those ugly-duckling 4-poster goalposts).
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