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Paterno (2018)

2:05 | Trailer

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The film centers on Joe Paterno, who after becoming the most successful coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his ... See full summary »


Barry Levinson
1,948 ( 119)
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Joe Paterno
Kathy Baker ... Sue Paterno
Kenneth Maharaj ... MRI Tech
Michael Mastro ... Guido D'Elia
Joshua Morgan ... Bobby, Media Wrangler
Ross Degraw ... Sports Producer
Mitchell L. Mack Mitchell L. Mack ... Devon Smith (as Mitchell Mack)
Larry Mitchell ... Jay Paterno
Darren Goldstein ... Mike McQueary
Riley Keough ... Sara Ganim
Nicholas Sadler ... Todd, Press Photographer
Sir Brodie Sir Brodie ... Security Guard
Greg Grunberg ... Scott Paterno
Annie Parisse ... Mary Kay Paterno
Vito Vitiello Vito Vitiello ... Sports Director


The film centers on Joe Paterno, who after becoming the most successful coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure regarding the victims.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The greater the legend,the harder the fall.


Biography | Crime | Sport



Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

7 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Valley See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Barry Levinson was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Directing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special category for Paterno (2018), but lost to Ryan Murphy for American Crime Story: The Man Who Would Be Vogue (2018). See more »


[last lines]
Sara Ganim: Uh, I'm sorry. You said... 1976?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title appears after 10 minutes. See more »


Written by Tariq Trotter (as Tarik Collins), Levar Coppin, Deleno Matthews and Gregory Spearman
Performed by The Roots feat. Greg Porn
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings
By arrangement with Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Interestingly Done - I Sort Of Liked It
8 April 2018 | by neener3707See all my reviews

While its not another HBO masterpiece, I found it interesting enough to watch the whole thing and enjoyed it. I liked many things about it but I also didn't like some things, and I'll talk about that. At the beginning, it starts with the indictment so I was worried we wouldn't give enough background going back to 1998, but thankfully the film has many flashbacks and the reporters are also used as an explanation device of the past. The film did not shy away from the tough aspects of this tough subject. I did enjoy the Paterno scenes where he is confronted on the charges and how he deals with it, though it can be a little slow. I found the framing device to be interesting and Al Pacino's performance was great, I didn't see Al Pacino, I saw his character. The cinematography was also top notch, what can be expected from and HBO movie. But there were things I didn't like, and I will discuss it.

I personally didn't like how they opened it, they opened it in a spot where a lot of things already happened, but to be fair the film does go back and explains things. The pacing is also hit and miss, sometimes things are paced fine, and sometimes I felt it jumped around too quickly. I also wish is a bit longer or a show because there were a couple story points I feel could have been explored more and would have been beneficial to the story to delve into. I also didn't connect with any of the other characters except for Paterno, no character really stood out and wowed ne. All in all it was an interesting enough film that I finished and mostly enjoyed.

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