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Happy Valley (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Drama, Sport | 21 November 2014 (USA)
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1:57 | Trailer
A documentary that observes the year after Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child sex abuse charges.

Director:

Amir Bar-Lev

Writer:

Amir Bar-Lev
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Paterno ... Himself - Football Coach, Penn State University (archive footage)
Jay Paterno Jay Paterno ... Himself - Joe Paterno's Son
Andrew Shubin Andrew Shubin ... Himself - Local Attorney
Jerry Sandusky Jerry Sandusky ... Himself - Former Football Coach (archive footage)
Matt Sandusky Matt Sandusky ... Himself - Jerry Sandusky's Adopted Son
Joe Posnanski Joe Posnanski ... Himself - Joe Paterno's Biographer
Scott Paterno Scott Paterno ... Himself - Joe Paterno's Son
Sue Paterno Sue Paterno ... Herself - Joe Paterno's Wife
Tyler Estright Tyler Estright ... Himself - Penn State Class of 2013
Pat Little Pat Little ... Himself - Local Photographer
Matt Jordan Matt Jordan ... Himself - Film Professor, Penn State University
Dorothy Sandusky Dorothy Sandusky ... Herself - Jerry Sandusky's Wife (archive footage)
Michael Pilato Michael Pilato ... Himself - Mural Artist
Mark Emmert Mark Emmert ... Himself - NCAA President (archive footage)
Lou Prato Lou Prato ... Himself - Local Historian
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Storyline

The town of State College, the home of Penn State University, has long been known as Happy Valley, and its iconic figure for more than 40 years was Joe Paterno, the head coach of the school's storied football team. His program was lauded for not only its success on the field but also its students' achievements in the classroom. And Paterno took on mythic national stature as "Saint Joe." But then, in November 2011, everything came crashing down. Longtime Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, setting off a firestorm of accusations about who failed to protect the children of Happy Valley. Was Sandusky's abuse an "open secret" in the town? Did Coach Paterno and the Penn State administration value their football program more than the lives of Sandusky's victims? Filmed over the course of the year after Sandusky's arrest as key players in the scandal agreed to share their stories, Happy Valley deconstructs the story we think we know to uncover a much ... Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story behind the Penn-State scandal See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Valley See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,047, 23 November 2014

Gross USA:

$23,868

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,868
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #2.4 (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Look At the Community, Families and More
4 May 2015 | by medguy42See all my reviews

I liked this documentary very much. Watching people involved in the unchecked crimes of Jerry Sandusky give their side of the story was much more revealing than reading quotes. Matt Sandusky, Jerry's adopted son, impressed me as thoughtful and sincere. He did his best to be fair to Sandusky, saying that ninety percent of the time he spent with the man was everything a kid would want--association with fame, access to football games, etc.--but the other ten percent "would destroy you."

I was shocked when Matt, at the end of the film, said that not one single person from the Sandusky family contacted him after he went public about how Jerry molested him. What kind of people are Dottie and her relatives? If they didn't believe him, you would think someone might want to talk with him and ask him to take back his "lies." But no. That didn't happen.

The one thing missing from "Happy Valley" was any mention of the well-known fact that Paterno decided that some of his players who broke into a residence and beat people should not be put into the legal system. Paterno clearly believed that he and his players were above the law. He decided the law-breaking players would clean up the stadium after some games. It's also known that then-President Spanier and other higher-ups in the Athletics Dept. all agreed that Paterno was in charge of things like this. This piece of history is a big deal. It should have been in the documentary.

The behavior of some of the residents of Happy Valley was detestable. There's an extended scene in which these idiots don't hesitate to grab a sign from an older man making his negative view of Paterno known at the statue of the coach. A woman who wants a selfie with the statue pushes the man aside with her body. Others get in his face with red-neck-type logic. It's scary to see how conformist the community could be---all worshiping a football program.

This film had to be made, and it was made well.


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