7.1/10
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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), Albert S. Ruddy (story)
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:

It's Survival of the Fiercest and Funniest 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

Ray Nitschke, the Green Bay Packer great, played a game called "Kill the Star" while on the playing field with Burt Reynolds. See more »

Goofs

During the game, various scenes are sunny and overcast between shots, and also at largely varying times of day. 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

References The Searchers (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

You Gotta Be a Football Hero
by Al Sherman (as Sherman), Al Lewis (as Lewis) and Buddy Fields (as Fields)
Performed by The Soul Touchers Band and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Football and prison is a recipe for brutal mirth.
13 July 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Disgraced former pro football quarterback Paul Crewe is sent to prison after a drunken night to remember. The prison is run by Warden Hazen, a football nut who spies an opportunity to utilise Crewe's ability at the sport to enhance the prison guards teams skills. After initially declining to help, Crewe is swayed into putting together a team of convicts to take on the guards in a one off match, thieves, murderers and psychopaths collectively come together to literally, beat the guards, but Crewe also has his own personal demons to exorcise.

This violent, but wonderfully funny film has many things going for it. Directed with style by the gifted hands of Robert Aldrich, The Longest Yard cheekily examines the harshness of gridiron and fuses it with the brutality of the penal system. The script from Tracy Keenan Wynn is a sharp as a tack and Aldrich's use of split screens and slow motion sequences bring it all together very nicely indeed. I would also like to comment on the editing from Michael Luciano, nominated for the Oscar in that department, it didn't win, but in my honest opinion it's one of the best edited pictures from the 70s.

Taking the lead role of Crewe is Burt Reynolds, here he is at the peak of his powers (perhaps never better) and has star appeal positively bristling from every hair on his rugged chest. It's a great performance, believable in the action sequences (he was once a halfback for Florida), and crucially having the comic ability to make Wynn's script deliver the necessary mirth quota. What is of most interest to me is that Crewe is a less than honourable guy, the first 15 minutes of the film gives us all we need to know about his make up, but much like One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest the following year, The Longest Yard has us rooting for the main protagonist entering the home straight, and that is something of a testament to Reynolds' charm and charisma.

The film's crowning glory is the football game itself, taking up three parts of an hour, the highest compliment I can give it is to say that one doesn't need to be a fan of the sport to enjoy this final third. It's highly engaging as a comedy piece whilst also being octane inventive as an action junkie's series of events. A number of former gridiron stars fill out both sides of the teams to instill a high believability factor into the match itself, and the ending is a pure rewarding punch the air piece of cinema. 9/10


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