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 <email@example.com>
According to Al Ruddy and Burt Reynolds on the DVD commentary, Robert Aldrich didn't like Michael Conrad and would call him the "Polish Princess". When they filmed the scene between Paul Crewe and Scarborough, when Nate says, "There's only two things you've got left: Your pride and your balls . . . ", Aldrich liked the scene so much that he rewarded Conrad with a candy bar, which Aldrich gave to whoever did the best work that day. Conrad, who had endured Aldrich's insults throughout filming, was moved to tears. Aldrich stopped calling Conrad "Polish Princess" for the rest of the shoot. See more »
After Paul backs the car off of the rising drawbridge, the rear end is smashed, and the trunk lid is flapping up and down. When he drives it down to the bay to dunk it in the water, the trunk lid is securely closed. See more »
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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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 »
Burt Reynolds was one of the biggest stars of the '70s, but like a lot of '70s stars (Faye Dunaway, Michael Serrizan, Karen Black, etc.) other decades have not been so kind to him. Here he stars in one of his finest films, "The Longest Yard," made in 1974, directed by Robert Aldrich, and also starring Eddie Albert, Michael Conrad, Ed Lauter, James Hampton, and Bernadette Peters.
Reynolds plays Paul Crewe, a football player who goes to prison after he hits his ex-girlfriend, steals her car, and runs it into the river. He's a football player with a scandal in his past, when he was suspected of shaving points off of a game.
The sadistic warden (Eddie Albert) wants him to organize a football team for the prisoners so that they can play the guards. The real agenda is that on the football field, the guards will be able to practically beat the prisoners senseless. With the help of Caretaker (James Hampton), Paul chooses a football team and starts training them. On the day of the big game, he gets an offer that he should refuse but might not be able to.
This is a really fine film. I wouldn't call it a comedy, but it's one of those movies where you wind up rooting for the bad guys. Reynolds' character learns self-esteem, pride in his work, and also a sense of camaraderie. The football game itself is very exciting.
"The Longest Yard" is a film that holds up well, and not the usual type of prison movie you'd see today. And Bernadette Peters' hairdo is a no-miss!
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