John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Let’s have a little fun while we can here. There’s been a lot movies made about football, and everyone has their own favorites.
Here are my top five:
5. North Dallas Forty (1979) – Came out during the height of the Tom Landry Cowboys’ America’s Team era. Nick Nolte turned in a solid performance as the non-conforming WR who is torn between his friend’s (Mac Davis, in a Don Meredith twist) freewheeling ways and the team’s stringent behavioral expectations. G.D. Spradlin, who played a crooked senator in The Godfather, was very convincing as the head coach character based on Tom Landry.
4. Horse Feathers (1932) – The Marx Brothers nailed the early college football days in their own imitable way. If you haven’t seen this one, please do when you get a chance. Perhaps their funniest romp ever.
3. The Longest Yard (1974) – Burt Reynolds was still acting for real at this time, before he became a parody of himself. As a professional football player doing time in a Florida prison, he rallies the inmates to victory in a classic showdown against the guards on the gridiron. An enjoyable film if there ever was one.
2. Rudy (1993) – I’m not much of an ND fan and I hate sappy stuff, but this tale about a runty walk on who steals the imagination of America’s most storied program gets me every time. Well-acted with a catchy script, if you haven’t see this film you should be ashamed of yourself.
1. Brian’s Song (1971) – Oh, yeah…the one that gets everybody. A stellar cast with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams in their primes and Jack Warden as George Halas. The story of Brian Piccolo, whose life was cut short by cancer, and his best friend, future Hall of Famer Gale Sayers. I haven’t watched this one in years, but it still is tops on my list.
Those are my five, let’s hear yours…..