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The Longest Yard (1974)

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A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Tracy Keenan Wynn (screenplay), Al Ruddy (story) (as Albert S. Ruddy)
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4,386 ( 837)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Reynolds ... Paul Crewe
Eddie Albert ... Warden Hazen
Ed Lauter ... Captain Knauer
Michael Conrad ... Nate Scarboro
James Hampton ... Caretaker (as Jim Hampton)
Harry Caesar ... Granville
John Steadman ... Pop
Charles Tyner ... Unger
Mike Henry ... Rassmeusen
Jim Nicholson Jim Nicholson ... Ice Man
Bernadette Peters ... Warden's Secretary
Pervis Atkins ... Mawabe
Tony Cacciotti ... Rotka
Anitra Ford ... Melissa
Michael Fox ... Announcer
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Storyline

A football player-turned-convict organizes a team of inmates to play against a team of prison guards. His dilemma is that the warden asks him to throw the game in return for an early release, but he is also concerned about the inmates' lack of self-esteem. Written by Matt Heffernan <msh6880@cs.rit.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE AUDIENCES DON'T JUST SEE IT - They talk to it! They cheer it! They roar with it! They explode with it! They love it! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Longest Yard See more »

Filming Locations:

Beverly Hills, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$43,008,075

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$43,008,075
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final shot of Paul Crewe and Pops leaving the stadium silhouetted in the tunnel was a homage to the famous final shot of "The Searchers". See more »

Goofs

Melissa warns Paul not to touch her Maserati. The car was sold in the US as a Citroen/Maserati SM, a Citroen with a Maserati engine. The owner would be more likely to refer to it as Maserati. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Melissa: How long do we have to keep watching this crap?... Only a moron can sit and watch two football games, one after the other.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1995 VHS USA re-release does not feature the song "Saturday Night Special" by Lynyrd Skynyrd during the chase scene. Instead, there is no music during the chase. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.23 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Saturday Night Special
Written by Ronnie Van Zant and Edward King (as Edward Calhoun King)
Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Recording Supervised by Al Kooper
Courtesy of Sounds of the South/MCA Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You Gotta Be A Football Hero
31 October 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Longest Yard refers not to the territory gained and lost in a football game. For Burt Reynolds its that prison yard that he's in for the next 18 months.

Reynolds isn't one of the noblest athletes ever to grace the National Football League. He was a quarterback who was thrown out of the game in a point shaving scandal. Now he's doing time for stealing his mistress's Maserati and causing a lot of havoc and mayhem when she called the cops on him.

The Longest Yard starts to look a little like From Here To Eternity where Monty Clift's company captain Philip Ober wants him to box for the post championship. Reynolds really isn't interested in playing football any more or helping warden Eddie Albert out with his semi-pro team of prison guards. But he's got less redress than Clift did in the army and Reynolds is not a person to make too fine a point of resistance.

What Reynolds suggests is a tune-up game with a squad of the inmates to play the guards to keep them in a fighting edge. Sounds real good to Albert who has a mean streak in him that Reynolds is slow to realize. There's a lot of possibilities to inflict some legal pain and for him to reassert his authority.

The Longest Yard is first and foremost about what Reynolds will do when the crisis comes. His track record doesn't suggest any heroics, but some people do surprise you.

The antagonists Reynolds and Albert are given good support by director Robert Aldrich's picked cast. Foremost among them are Ed Lauter as the chief guard, James Hampton as the team manager, and Charles Tyner in a particularly loathsome role as a prison stoolie. He will really make your skin crawl.

Bernadette Peters is also in The Longest Yard as Albert's secretary with the delightful name of Miss Toot who takes advantage of her position with a little sexual harassment of the prisoners. I do love that Dickensian name that was given her for this film. The only other female of note is Anitra Ford who is Reynolds mistress and whose Maserati he appropriates. When Burt says he earned that Maserati you can well believe it.

The Longest Yard is in a class by itself, a sports/prison movie. A film that created it's own genre. That has to count for something.


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