At the dinner scene with the family and visiting neighbor kids, the one boy asks permission of Papa Ruettiger (Ned Beatty) if they could switch channels from the Notre Dame football game in order to check the score of an in progress U. of Illinois football game. Prior to 1984, the National Collrgiate Athletic Association (NCAA) forbade more than one game to be telecast in a particular TV Market area. The NCAA was successfully sued under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act by the colleges for constraint of trade. The scene would be set in the early 1960's, when the rule concerning one game only policy was in effect.
Immediately after the Notre Dame Football tryout sequence, Coach Yonto (Ron Dean) speaks to Rudy (Sean Astin), and over his left shoulder, during the close-up, there is a set of Blue/White STX lacrosse gloves from the late '80s - early '90s.
In one practice scene, a Notre Dame player is shown wearing a football helmet with the "AIR" logo on front. Schutt Sports did not market the "AIR" model helmet until 1987, more than a decade after this movie was supposed to have taken place.
When Rudy comes home for Thanksgiving after his first semester at Holy Cross Junior College, his older brother walks in with a bag of groceries. At the top of the bag is a bag of Frito-Lay chips with the current Frito-Lay logo clearly showing, even though this was supposed to be from the mid-1960s.
When Rudy's family is arriving for the game in which Rudy plays, Rudy's dad is the first one off the bus. On the side of the bus, near the door, is an Illinois Fuel Tax/Road Tax sticker used in 1992. It is light purple in color.
When Rudy is confronted in the school's parking lot by a much larger football player, as the scene ends and the players start to enter their car, the boom pole is clearly seen reflected in the car's windows.
In the scene where father Cavanaugh is walking through the hall with two other priests and he spots Rudy sitting by himself in one of the pews, as he approaches him to talk to him, you can see the boom mic briefly pop-up and go back down below the pew in between the two of them.
Roland Steele, the Cornerback and Captain who Devine calls an All-American, is never on the dress list that Rudy scans to see if he is going to dress. The name should have been visible just below Rudy's, but it is not there.
When the team captain walks into the head coach's office, there is a pen holder with two pens on the edge of the desk. Since laying the jerseys on top of the pen holder would have caused them to tent (instead of lay flat), it is conveniently missing before the jerseys are laid on his desk.
When the priest asks that anyone interested in attending Notre Dame that wants to take a tour to sign up for it, he says the tour is on Saturday December 15th and that they should sign up no later than Wednesday November 4th. This would mean that November 4th falls on a Sunday, not a Wednesday
When Rudy and Pete are talking in the lunch room at the plant, Pete lights a cigarette with a match. The match burns down almost half-way, but when he sticks it into the cupcake, it hasn't burnt nearly as much.
After Rudy leads the team onto the field, the team huddles around the coach for last minute instructions. In the first shot in the huddle, you can clearly see Rudy behind the coach. The next shot shows Rudy directly in front of the coach.
When Rudy is signing up for the Booster Club, the camera goes back and forth between Rudy and D-Bob. There are characters talking behind D-Bob who finish a conversation and walk away. They continue to reappear and disappear in subsequent shots.
After Rudy leaves Father Cavanaugh, he is shown walking through Main Quad, often referred to as God Quad. He stops and looks up to see the stadium. The stadium is not near Main Quad, it is halfway across campus.
During the final scene when Rudy brings the team onto the field, the marching band is warming up the crowd. Each band member is in uniform including hats, EXCEPT the two close-ups shown where neither member has a hat.
During the Rudy's first play on the field - the kickoff to Georgia Tech - a hand-held 35mm production camera with follow-focus and matte box is visible. (There is an edit right after the kickoff and the camera can be seen in the lower left of the frame during the second shot).
When Ara tells Rudy he can't dress because the NCAA places limits on the number that can dress at home. This is incorrect. You could dress unlimited players at home. You were limited to 65 on the road.
As the team leaves the locker room to go on the field for the GA Tech game, they clearly pass the "Play Like A Champion Today" sign. That sign was actually not placed there until Lou Holtz' tenure. Definitely was not there in the '70s.
In the movie, Dan Ruettiger's big moment is a solo sack of the Georgia Tech quarterback on the final play after the crowd chants his name and the announcer talks about him. In actual TV footage of the game, you can see Ruettiger chase Tech quarterback Rudy Allen out of the pocket and into the arms of an Irish player play-by-play man Don Criqui identifies as "Jay Acterhoff." Criqui makes no mention of Ruettiger, who would probably get no more than a half-sack or tackle assist from a stat keeper. There is no special uproar from the crowd, except the typical cheer for the end of the home team's win.
At the end of the GTech game, after the defense gets the ball back the final time, there are only 37 seconds left in the game. Yet, the Irish run a play in bounds without a time out before the final play (the halfback pass touchdown) and when Rudy finally gets in for the ensuing kickoff, there is no way any time would be left on the clock. It would have actually run out before the touchdown pass.
When the priest announces the trip to the Notre Dame campus in class, he says the sign-up deadline is November 5th. In the film, football season has already ended. In actuality, high school football season goes well into November.
In the movie, Rudy gets to play for the first time in a game against Georgia Tech. However, as they show Rudy running down the field during the kickoff, you can see a maroon and gold Boston College banner in the crowd behind him. This scene was filmed at the halftime of the real ND/Boston College game in 1992.
Rudy breaks away from practice to talk to a girl on the sidelines ("Hey, don't I know you?"). Although Notre Dame practices are usually closed and there should be no spectators, the girl in question was a student manager for the football team. This was evident from her involvement in painting the helmets (a responsibility for the student managers). They are not only allowed on the practice field, but assist with the practice itself.
Rudy continually says that by not getting into Notre Dame sooner, he is losing eligibility. In reality as long as you do not play NCAA football at another college (which Rudy does not appear to do at Holy Cross), no matter when he got into Notre Dame he would always have four years of eligibility unless he officially graduates. However this is only true for D2 and D3. In D1 football and basketball, students have 5 years to complete their eligibility, once enrolled in a college or university full time. Whether they are competing or not.
There's a tight shot on the ball before the snap of the last offensive play of the season. The shot tilts up showing the center and part of his number. The "6" is reversed, revealing this to be a flopped shot.
The football scenes for Rudy's last Joliet Catholic practice are actually filmed in Doyle Stadium at the old St. Rita High School on 63rd and Claremont Ave, in Chicago, not at Joliet Memorial Stadium where they would have played/practiced.
When Rudy gets his acceptance letter and is reading it on the bench, there are Fall color leaves in the background. It would have been August in actuality. Also, at tryouts the players breathe can be seen as it is cold. In real life tryouts are at the end of Summer. Even in the Midwest it is not frosty in August.
Rudy's High School coach tell the seniors they can take one last running hit on him and the underclassmen should line up "in two rows, five yards apart." Yet when they line up, they're only 5, maybe 6 feet (2 yards) apart.