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The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

2:32 | Trailer
In the 1913 US Open, 20-year-old Francis Ouimet played golf against his idol, 1900 US Open champion, Englishman Harry Vardon.


Bill Paxton


Mark Frost (book), Mark Frost (screenplay)
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Paxton ... Young Harry Vardon
Tom Rack ... Black Top Hatted Man
Armand Laroche ... Black Top Hatted Man
Peter Hurley Peter Hurley ... Black Top Hatted Man
Gregory Terlecki ... Black Top Hatted Man
Jonathan Higgins ... Embry Wallis
Matthew Knight ... Young Francis Ouimet
Luke Askew ... Alec Campbell
Amanda Tilson ... Young Sarah Wallis
Elias Koteas ... Arthur Ouimet
Jamie Merling Jamie Merling ... Young Louise Ouimet
Eugenio Esposito Eugenio Esposito ... Young Raymond Ouimet
Marnie McPhail ... Mary Ouimet
Stephen Dillane ... Harry Vardon
Robin Wilcock ... Bernard Darwin


Near the turn of the twentieth century, young Harry Vardon becomes a champion golfer but learns that his amazing skill is no match for the class boundaries that exclude him from "gentlemanly" English society. A dozen years later, a young American, Francis Ouimet, fights against the same prejudice, as well as his own father's disdain, for a chance to participate in the U.S. Open against his idol -- Harry Vardon. The struggles of both men for acceptance provides the background for an amazing contest of skills. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In reality, Ted Ray wasn't anywhere near as obese as the actor who portrayed him. See more »


When Vardon's ball lands in rainwater in a sand trap, he stands in the water and plays the ball out of the water. The rules of golf clearly state that occasional water entitles a free drop: "If your ball comes to rest in casual water within a bunker, you may drop without penalty at the nearest point of relief within the bunker, no nearer the hole. That applies no matter what the condition is of the rest of the bunker." See more »


Francis Ouimet: Don't ever talk to my caddy again.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Par for the Course (2011) See more »


Written by Joe Jackson
Performed by Dawn Upshaw
See more »

User Reviews

Touching and sensitive portrait of a golf winner who participates in the U.S. International Open against his British idol
25 June 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

An emotive tale of triumph and redemption , being based on a true story . Sport film with sentimental story and intelligent character studio . Classic story rings true because of Shia Labeouf's complex and adequate acting and stunningly realized by director Bill Paxton . Exceptional Shia Labeouf displaying a first rate performance reaching an important milestone and a terrific Stephen Dillane as his upright as well as serious contender . In the 1913 US Open, 20-year-old Francis Ouimet (Shia Labeouf) gets a chance as he played against his idol, 1900 US Open champion , Englishman Harry Vardon (Stephan Dillane) . Amateur player Francis gets to achieve for big time , thanks to the coach , as he triumphs over by odds , but sheer determination helps them attain their dream . Ouimet dreams of playing final Open , as he gets the chance to participate in the International Golf Championship against his idol , no matter how far-fetched the dream . Meanwhile , he falls in love for a rich young girl called Sarah Wallis (Peyton List) . But he has an intelligent skill to no match for the class boundaries ; however , being pressurized by his father (Elias Koteas) .

From the studio that brought you ¨The rookie¨ , ¨Miracle¨ and ¨Remember the Titans¨ is realized this agreeable tale based on the 1913 USA Open in which took part famous international champs , it contains a classic plot and deals about a slice of American history , and is plenty of good feeling , heartfelt, interesting characters and formidable performances . However , sometimes is some sentimental and predictable but is still pretty amusing . Correctly based on real events as the actual Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery remained life long friends . When Ouimet died in 1967, Lowery was one of the pall-bearers . Likable and enjoyable plot about a young golfer and his coach and caddie , both of them face the dual challenge to win a world championship and redeeming themselves . Splendid film from the filmmaker Bill Paxton and writer/producer Mark Frost of another David beats Goliath sports movie , similarly to ¨Rudy¨ with Sean Astin and ¨Hoosiers¨ with Gene Hackman , and it is even better than ¨The legend of Bagger Vance¨ with Will Smith and Matt Damon . Sentimental plot stretches Hollywood manipulation , but is still entertaining . Shia LaBeouf delivers an engaging acting as Francis Ouimet ; he is backed by a good supporting cast such as Luke Askew as Alec Campbell , Stephen Marcus as Ted Ray , Peter Firth as Lord Northcliffe , Len Cariou as Stedman , Elias Koteas as his stiff father Arthur Ouimet and special mention to Stephan Dillane as Harry Vardon , protagonist's idol as well as contender .

Spectacular and rousing musical score by Brian Tyler , fitting perfectly to action . Fine production design and good sets , filmmakers had trouble filling the fields with extras for the final game, and needed to move people around when shooting different angles ; extras were given 1910's hairstyles and their clothing was checked for anachronisms . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Shane Hurlbut ; filmed at the Kanawaki Golf Club outside Montreal, Quebec, producers had the club house painted yellow for the film from its original white. Members so liked the change that they kept the color following filming. The motion picture was compellingly directed by Bill Paxton , he's a notorious producer/director and especially actor ; being this one his second film , the first one was a nice terror film titled ¨Frailty¨ with Matthew McConaughey . Rating : Better than average , worthwhile seeing .

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Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site


USA | Canada



Release Date:

30 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Greatest Game Ever Played See more »

Filming Locations:

Kahnawake, Québec, Canada See more »


Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,657,322, 2 October 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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