At the NFL Draft, General Manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.
In the sumer of 1976, 30-year old Vince Papale is having a tough run of luck. He's been working as a substitute teacher for two days a week but has just found out that his job has been eliminated because of budget cuts. His wife gives up on him saying he'll never amount to anything and asks for a divorce. He works as a bartender and plays football with his friends. When the the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil, announces that he will hold open tryouts for the team, Vince reluctantly decides to give a try. Based on a true story.Written by
Early in the movie, after Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg) is interviewed by the local sports host in front of the bar, he goes running to get in shape for Eagles training camp. If you look closely, you will notice that he runs under the El Train along Kensington Avenue. There is a green street sign above him that says "Tusculum Street". This is noteworthy, as Sylvester Stallone, in Rocky (1976), lived on the same block of Tusculum and Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia. Although supposedly set in South Philadelphia, the actual filming of Vince Papale's house and bar, was in the Kensington neighborhood. See more »
When Vince Papale comes into his room at the training center and finds Dennis Franks sitting on the bed, Franks says that Dick Vermeil is trying to shake things up by "putting veterans with rookies and rookies with veterans". But, Vince Papale and Dennis Franks were both rookies in 1976. Franks was undrafted out of the University of Michigan that year. See more »
Even if you're down there for an hour, you're down there.
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Mark Wahlberg gives a splendid performance as a former teacher and bartender who gets the chance of a life to play professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The trouble with this film is that is full of clichés. The team that has to have heart and soul. A brooding young man whose wife walks out on him and takes all the furniture as well. This same young man who is affected by teacher budget cuts with a hard-working class father whose wife has died following a lengthy illness.
Greg Kinnear gives ample support as the coach who has a positive feeling about Wahlberg. (Vincent P) Despite early team failures, he keeps him on the team.
We see what life is like in the training camps and how Wahlberg has heart to stay on the team and then take abuse from team mates. When Kinnear gives his rousing locker room speeches, I thought of Pat O'Brien asking his team to win this one for The Gipper.
Yet, with all these clichés, the film is nicely done and is a tribute to the idea that if you persevere, you can succeed.
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