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.


Robert Aldrich


Tracy Keenan Wynn (screenplay), Albert S. Ruddy (story)
3,609 ( 2,175)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


THE AUDIENCES DON'T JUST SEE IT - They talk to it! They cheer it! They roar with it! They explode with it! They love it! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Sport


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


According to producer Albert S. Ruddy, the story Crewe tells about his two blind parents is a reference to former NFL quarterback Jim Plunkett. See more »


Crewe and another inmate are fighting (wrestling) in the swamp When Capt. Kenauer strikes Crewe on the back with a baton during the fight, the rectangular padding is visible under Crewe's shirt. See more »


[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.
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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 »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #3.9 (2004) See more »


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
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User Reviews

I Don't Know Why I Like It
14 September 2001 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

If there ever was a manipulative film, this is it. By the end you are rooting for the prisoners (the nice guys, you know, armed robbers, murderers, rapists, child molesters) against those awful guards. Those poor sweet prisoners, being taken advantage of by those sadistic guards. Then there's the warden, Mr. Douglas from Green Acres, Eddie Albert. Rotten to the core. Bert Reynolds is his mugging best, first selling out, then winning one for the Gipper. It is violent, raucous, ridiculous from the stolen uniforms to the cross dressing cheerleaders. I am a non violent person, I knew everything was designed to work over my prejudices and my primitive feelings of revenge. And yet, when the game started, I was transfixed. I don't get it. Have I no taste?

17 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

30 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Longest Yard See more »

Filming Locations:

Beverly Hills, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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