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)
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Popularity
3,609 ( 2,175)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In DVD commentary, Burt Reynolds states that Dinah Shore and his parents are among the spectators seated in the end zone at game's end. See more »

Goofs

During the final drive the Mean Machine called time out after 1st and goal and there was 40 seconds on the clock. The next play the running back ran out of bounds and there was 25 seconds left. It's not possible that that play would take 15 seconds. 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.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Unleashing 'The Mean Machine' (2005) 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
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User Reviews

 
"Hey Pop, the time you hit Hazen in the mouth, was it worth 30 years?/ For me it was./ Then give me my damn shoe!"
15 October 2008 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Burt Reynolds plays Paul Crewe, a reprehensible character discovering, in a prison, dignity and esteem… You see him, at the beginning of the movie—as a rising star—beating up a woman, stealing her car, drunken driving, insulting cops in a bar, resisting arrest… He's seen so funny when he insulted the miniature cop who's about to arrest him, while the cop's partner is laughing openly…

Eddie Albert was very charming when he meets Paul Crewe at his arrival to Citrus State Prison… Aldrich wanted to play Warden Hazen as the guy who had the veneer of normalcy, the veneer of being a good executive, the veneer of keeping it all together till it starts unraveling… He really was just a despicable, oily, warden type… In one game scene, we see him over and over again, getting up just with that same look of shock on his face…

Ed Lauter (Captain Knauer) is wonderful… He runs the football team… He is a bad guy and he represents everything that is wrong with that prison system and everything else… He changes as a result… And to see that is just so delightful… He's got the classic Ed Lauter's scene at the end… James Hampton plays Caretaker, the character who brings the team all together and pushes Burt's character ahead to win the game…

Ray Nitschke plays the toughest, meanest linebacker in football… Richard Kiel, Bob Tessier, Charles Tyner, Michael Conrad, and Harry Caesar give the film a certain veracity, you almost thing you are in jail


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,008,075
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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