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North Dallas Forty (1979)

3:00 | Trailer
A satire of American professional football in which a veteran pass-catcher's individuality and refusal to become part of the team family is bitterly resented by his disciplinarian coaches.


Ted Kotcheff


Peter Gent (novel), Frank Yablans (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Phillip Elliott
Mac Davis ... Seth Maxwell
Charles Durning ... Coach Johnson
Dayle Haddon ... Charlotte Caulder
Bo Svenson ... Jo Bob Priddy
John Matuszak ... O. W. Shaddock
Steve Forrest ... Conrad Hunter
G.D. Spradlin ... B. A. Strothers
Dabney Coleman ... Emmett Hunter
Savannah Smith Boucher ... Joanne Rodney (as Savannah Smith)
Marshall Colt ... Art Hartman
Guich Koock Guich Koock ... Eddie Rand
Deborah Benson ... Mrs. Hartman
Jim Boeke Jim Boeke ... Stallings (as James F. Boeke)
John Bottoms John Bottoms ... Vip


A semi-fictional account of life as a professional (American-style) football player. Loosely based on the Dallas Cowboys team of the early 1970s. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They pay you and they pay you well. On one condition. You play the game their way, even if you're forced to break every bone in your body. [UK Theatrical] See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Joe Bob is injected with "B12" See more »


When Aclie Weeks injures his left hamstring, he hops on his left leg, putting all of his weight on the leg that is injured. If his left hamstring were pulled, he would have been hopping on his right leg. See more »


Phil Elliott: Jo Bob is here to remind us that the biggest and the baddest get to make all the rules.
Charlotte: Well I don't agree with that.
Phil Elliott: Agreeing doesn't play into it.
See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


Performed by The Gibson Brothers
Written by Jean Kluger & Daniel Vangarde
courtesy of Island Records
See more »

User Reviews

has the feel of authenticity
17 December 2014 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Phil Elliott (Nick Nolte) is a worn out wide receiver for the North Dallas Bulls professional football team in the 70s. It's crazy parties, drugs, sex, and alcohol. Seth Maxwell (Mac Davis) is the popular quarterback. Jo Bob Priddy (Bo Svenson) is a dumb wild lineman. Phil meets Charlotte Caulder (Dayle Haddon) at a party but she's not happy to be there. He rescues her from Jo Bob with a lot of help from Seth. Coach Strother thinks Phil isn't serious enough. Team executive Emmett Hunter (Dabney Coleman) is dating Joanne Rodney but Phil is actually sleeping with her. Johnson (Charles Durning) is the assistant coach. Phil is constantly threatened with the CFL. His body is all worn out and the trainer gives him 'B12' shots. Somebody mysterious is after him.

Based on the novel by Cowboys wide receiver Peter Gent, this has the feel of authenticity. It's not quite a spoof with few outright laughs. Nick Nolte is terrific as the weary player. The story is a bit scattered. It could be even darker and more intense.

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Release Date:

3 August 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

North Dallas Forty See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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