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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Anspaugh|
|Produced by||Robert N. Fried
|Written by||Angelo Pizzo|
Charles S. Dutton
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Editing by||David Rosenbloom|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Running time||116 minutes|
Rudy is a 1993 American sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. It was the first movie that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.
In 2005, Rudy was named one of the best 25 sports movies of the previous 25 years in two polls by ESPN (#24 by a panel of sports experts, and #4 by espn.com users). It was ranked the 54th-most inspiring film of all time in the "AFI 100 Years" series.
The film was released on October 13, 1993, by TriStar Pictures. It stars Sean Astin as the title character, along with Ned Beatty, Jason Miller and Charles S. Dutton. The script was written by Angelo Pizzo, who created Hoosiers (1986). The film was shot in Illinois and Indiana.
Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger grows up in Joliet, Illinois; dreaming of playing college football at the University of Notre Dame. While achieving some success with his local high school team (Joliet Catholic), he lacks the grades and money to attend Notre Dame (which is not only a big football power, but also very academically prestigious), not to mention talent and physical size. Ruettiger was much smaller than an average football player, standing just 5'6" (1.68 m) and weighing 165 lb (75 kg).
Ruettiger takes a job at a local steel mill like his father Daniel, Sr. (a Notre Dame fan); he prepares to settle down. But when his best friend Pete is killed in an explosion there, Rudy decides to follow his dream of attending Notre Dame and playing for the Fighting Irish.
He leaves for the campus, but fails to get admitted to Notre Dame. With the help of a local priest (who mistakenly thinks at first Rudy wants to become a priest), Rudy starts at a small junior college nearby named Holy Cross, hoping to get good enough grades to qualify for a transfer. He also manages to get a part-time job on Notre Dame's groundskeeping staff and befriends D-Bob, a graduate student at Notre Dame and a teaching assistant at his junior college. The socially-awkward D-Bob offers to tutor Rudy if he helps him meet girls. Suspecting an underlying cause to Ruettiger's previous academic problems, D-Bob has Rudy tested, and Rudy learns that he has dyslexia. Rudy learns how to overcome his disability and becomes a better student. At Christmas vacation, Rudy returns home to his family's appreciation of his report card, but is still mocked for his attempts at playing football and also dumped by his fiance, who starts seeing one of his brothers.
During his final semester of transfer eligibility, Rudy is admitted to Notre Dame. He rushes home to tell his family. At the steel mill, his father announces it over the loudspeaker, "Hey, you guys, my son's going to Notre Dame!" After "walking on" as a non-scholarship player for the football team, Ruettiger convinces coach Ara Parseghian to give him a spot on the practice (or "scout") squad. An assistant coach warns the players that 35 scholarship players won't make the roster. But, Ruettiger exhibits more drive than some of his scholarship teammates.
Parseghian agrees to the young man's request to suit up for one home game in his senior year so his family and friends can see him as a member of the team. However, Parseghian steps down as coach following the 1974 season. Dan Devine succeeds him in 1975 and decides against giving Ruettiger a chance to appear at a home game. Led by team captain and All-American Roland Steele, the other seniors rise to his defense and lay their jerseys on Devine's desk, each requesting that Rudy be allowed to dress in their place. Devine relents and lets Ruettiger suit up for the final home game, against Georgia Tech.
At the final home game, Steele invites Ruettiger to lead the team out of the tunnel onto the playing field. As the game comes to an end, and Notre Dame is ahead, Devine sends all the seniors to the field, but refuses to let Rudy play, despite the pleas from Steele and the assistant coaches. Then, the Notre Dame bench starts a "Rudy!" chant that soon goes stadium wide, and the offensive team, led by tailback Jamie O'Hare, overrules Devine's call for victory formation and they score another touchdown instead. Devine finally lets Rudy enter the field with the defensive team on the final kickoff. He stays in for the final play of the game and sacks the opposing quarterback, and is carried off on the shoulders of his teammates.
|Soundtrack album by Jerry Goldsmith|
|Released||September 28, 1993|
The soundtrack to Rudy was composed and conducted by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith. Goldsmith had previously worked with filmmakers Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh on their successful 1986 film Hoosiers, garnering the film an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score and thus making Goldsmith their first choice to compose a soundtrack for Rudy.
According to Soundtrack.net, the music from Rudy has been used in 12 trailers, including those for Angels in the Outfield, The Deep End of the Ocean, Good Will Hunting and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
In 2008, Senator John McCain used "Take Us Out" as an official anthem during his presidential run. The piece of music was played at major events such as after Senator McCain's acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention and after John McCain announced Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate in Dayton, Ohio.
In reality, Coach Devine had announced that Rudy would dress for the Georgia Tech game during practice a few days before. The dramatic scene where his teammates each lay their jerseys on Coach Devine's desk in protest never happened, though according to Ruettiger, Devine was persuaded to allow him to dress only after a number of senior players requested that he do so. Also, Coach Devine had agreed to be depicted as the "heavy" in the film for dramatic effect but was chagrined to find out the extent to which he was vilified, saying "The jersey scene is unforgivable. It's a lie and untrue." As a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on September 8, 2010, Joe Montana, who was an active member of the team when Ruettiger played in the Georgia Tech game, also confirmed that the jersey scene never happened.
Rudy received primarily positive reviews from critics. Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times wrote that "It has a freshness and an earnestness that gets us involved, and by the end of the film we accept Rudy's dream as more than simply sports sentiment. It's a small but powerful illustration of the human spirit." Stephen Holden of The New York Times observed that "For all its patness, the movie also has a gritty realism that is not found in many higher-priced versions of the same thing, and its happy ending is not the typical Hollywood leap into fantasy." In The Washington Post, Richard Harrington called Rudy "a sweet-natured family drama in which years of effort are rewarded by a brief moment of glory." Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times called the film "Sweet-natured and unsurprising...this is one of those Never Say Die, I Gotta Be Me, Somebody Up There Likes Me sports movies that no amount of cynicism can make much of a dent in."
American Film Institute recognition:
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Rudy (film)|
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