Knute Rockne, All American

( 1 )

Overview

Knute Rockne-All American was Pat O'Brien's finest hour: thanks to intensive rehearsals and numerous makeup applications, he so closely resembled the title character that, in the words of Rockne's widow, "I almost expected him to make love with me." The life of the legendary Notre Dame football coach is recounted from his childhood, when young Rockne played by Johnny Sheffield startles his Norwegian-immigrant parents by announcing at the dinner table that he's just been introduced to "the most wonderful game of ...
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Overview

Knute Rockne-All American was Pat O'Brien's finest hour: thanks to intensive rehearsals and numerous makeup applications, he so closely resembled the title character that, in the words of Rockne's widow, "I almost expected him to make love with me." The life of the legendary Notre Dame football coach is recounted from his childhood, when young Rockne played by Johnny Sheffield startles his Norwegian-immigrant parents by announcing at the dinner table that he's just been introduced to "the most wonderful game of the world." As an adult, Rockne works his way through Indiana's Notre Dame university, under the watchful and benevolent eye of Father Callahan Donald Crisp A brilliant student, Rockne is urged by Father Nieuwland Albert Basserman to become a chemist, or at the very least remain a chemistry teacher. Newly married to Bonnie Skilles Gale Page, Rockne at first sticks to academics, but the call of the gridiron is too loud for him to ignore, and before long he has built his reputation as the winningest college football coach in America. One of his most significant contributions to the game is the invention of the tactical shift, inspired by the precision choreography of a team of nightclub dancers! Among the players nurtured by Rockne are the immortal Four Horsemen-Miller William Marshall, Stuhlreder Harry Lukats, Laydon Kane Richmond and Crowley William Byrne, and of course the tragic George Gipp, superbly enacted by Ronald Reagan. His career continues unabated until his death in a plane crash in 1931. The screenplay of Knute Rockne-All American tends to be all highlights and little story, with several of the more dramatic passages telegraphed well in advance just before her husband's death, Bonnie Rockne comments forebodingly "It's gotten cold all of a sudden". Still, the film remains one of the best and most inspirational sports biographies ever made, with a heart-wrenching conclusion guaranteed to moisten the eyes of even the most jaundiced viewer. Ironically, the film's most famous scene, George Gipp's deathbed admonition to "Win one for the Gipper," was for many years excised from all TV prints due to a legal entanglement stemming from an earlier radio dramatization of Rockne's life; fortunately, this and several related scenes were restored to the film in the early 1990s.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Endlessly quoted and highlighted, Knute Rockne, All American is one of the screen's most famous sports biographies. At the center of the film is Pat O'Brien's stirring performance as Rockne. He's fun to watch, particularly in his famous "Win one for the Gipper" speech. The Gipper himself is nicely played by Ronald Reagan, who would later become known by that nickname as well. The film is a leading example of the sports-mythology genre, the polar opposite of such realistic athlete biopics as Martin Scorsese's searing Raging Bull (1980). Director Lloyd Bacon was one of Warner Bros.'s most reliable studio hands, and he insures that Knute Rockne is successful at what it sets out to accomplish: telling an inspiring story with just enough real-life accuracy to make it credible.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/1/1998
  • UPC: 027616055538
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Warner)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pat O'Brien Knute Rockne
Gale Page Bonnie Skiles Rockne
Ronald Wilson Reagan George Gipp
Donald Crisp Father John Callahan
Albert Basserman Father Julius Nieuwland
John Litel Committee Chairman
John Qualen Lars Knutson Rockne
Henry O'Neill Doctor
Owen Davis Jr. Gus Dorais
Dorothy Tree Martha Rockne
Johnny Sheffield Knute: age 7
Nick Lukats Harry Stuhidreher
Kane Richmond Elmer Laydon
William Marshall Don Miller
Howard Jones Himself
Glen S. "Pop" Warner Himself
Alonzo Stagg
Georgie Billings Boy Quarterback
William Byrne James Crowley, Horseman
Edgar Dearing
George Haywood
George Irving
Bill Sheffield Knute Rockne at Age 4
Bill Spaulding Himself
Peter Ashley Player
Egon Brecher Elder
David Bruce Player
Cliff Clark Danny, Post Office Paymaster
Richard Clayton O'Flaherty
Frank Coghlan Jr. Messenger
Robert O. Davis Elder
Billy Dawson Knute, Jr. at Age 12
David Dickinson Bill Rockne at Age 10
Pat Flaherty Worker
James Flavin Coach
Bill Gratton Jackie Rockne at Age 4
William Haade Worker
Creighton Hale Secretary
Michael Martin Harvey Player
Harry Hayden Professor
Dutch Hendrian Hunk Anderson
William Hopper NY Alumnus
Dick Jones Boy Captain
Frank Mayo Reporter
Carlyle Moore Jr. Player
Gaylord "Steve" Pendleton Player
Lee Phelps Army Coach
George Reeves Player
John Ridgely Reporter
Charles Trowbridge Notre Dame Professor
Pierre Watkin Commissioner
Minor Watson Committee Member
Eddy Chandler Worker
Fredrik Vogeding Elder
Charles Wilson Gambler
Technical Credits
Lloyd Bacon Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Buckner Screenwriter
Ralph Dawson Editor
Robert M. Fellows Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Tony Gaudio Cinematographer
Ferde Grofé Sr. Score Composer
Robert M. Haas Art Director
J.A. Haley Consultant/advisor
Byron Haskin Special Effects
Ray Heindorf Score Composer
Nick Lukats Consultant/advisor
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Jack Warner Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Rex Wimpy Special Effects
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Football Fan

    Anyone who has an interest in football should watch this movie. It shows how a single man could change the game of years past and still have an impact on the game of today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews