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The Longest Yard (1974)

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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.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Tracy Keenan Wynn (screenplay), Al Ruddy (story) (as Albert S. Ruddy)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Reynolds ... Paul Crewe
Eddie Albert ... Warden Hazen
Ed Lauter ... Captain Knauer
Michael Conrad ... Nate Scarboro
James Hampton ... Caretaker (as Jim Hampton)
Harry Caesar ... Granville
John Steadman ... Pop
Charles Tyner ... Unger
Mike Henry ... Rassmeusen
Jim Nicholson Jim Nicholson ... Ice Man
Bernadette Peters ... Warden's Secretary
Pervis Atkins ... Mawabe
Tony Cacciotti ... Rotka
Anitra Ford ... Melissa
Michael Fox ... Announcer
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Longest Yard See more »

Filming Locations:

Beverly Hills, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$43,008,075, 31 December 1974
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Then-Governor Jimmy Carter facilitated the production in Georgia. See more »

Goofs

The guards are leading 28-13 when they score a touchdown. After a missed PAT, the scoreboard shows the score as 35-13. 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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1995 VHS USA re-release does not feature the song "Saturday Night Special" by Lynyrd Skynyrd during the chase scene. Instead, there is no music during the chase. See more »

Connections

Featured in Death Hunt with Executive Producer Albert Ruddy (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Saturday Night Special
Written by Ronnie Van Zant and Edward King (as Edward Calhoun King)
Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Recording Supervised by Al Kooper
Courtesy of Sounds of the South/MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A classic of the genre.
15 June 2005 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

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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