Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Anspaugh|
|Produced by||Robert N. Fried|
|Written by||Angelo Pizzo|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Edited by||David Rosenbloom|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Box office||$22.8 million|
Rudy is a 1993 American biographical sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel Ruettiger who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. It was the first film 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 15, 1993, by TriStar Pictures. It stars Sean Astin as the title character, along with Ned Beatty, Jason Miller and Charles S. Dutton. The Film had supporting roles from Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. The script was written by Angelo Pizzo, who created Hoosiers (1986), which was also directed by Anspaugh. The film was shot in Illinois and Indiana.
In late 1960s Joliet, Illinois, Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger dreams of playing football at Notre Dame, but lacks the grades and money to attend, and the talent and physical stature to play major college football. Following high school, he works at a steel mill with his father, a Notre Dame fan, and his older brothers. When his supportive best friend Pete is killed in a mill explosion, Rudy decides to follow his dream.
In 1972, Rudy visits Notre Dame but is not academically eligible to enroll. With the help of priest Father Cavanaugh, Rudy enrolls at nearby Holy Cross College, hoping to transfer. He approaches Fortune, head groundskeeper at Notre Dame stadium, and is given a job. Homeless, Rudy sneaks into Fortune's office through a window to sleep on a cot; initially indifferent, Fortune later provides him with blankets and a key to the office. Rudy learns Fortune, despite working at the stadium for years, has never seen a Notre Dame football game.
Rudy befriends teaching assistant D-Bob, who has him tested; Rudy is diagnosed with dyslexia, overcoming his disability to become a better student. At Christmas, Rudy returns home to his family's appreciation of his college academic achievements, but is still mocked for his attempts to play college football and loses his fiancée to his older brother. It doesn't bother him.
After two years at Holy Cross and three rejections from Notre Dame, Rudy is finally admitted and attends football tryouts in an attempt to make the team as a "walk-on". Assistant coach Yonto warns the walk-ons that thirty-five scholarship players will not even make the "dress roster" of players who take the field during games, but notices Rudy's determination and gives him a spot on the daily practice squad. Rudy tells Fortune and persuades him to promise to see his first game. Competing well during practices, Rudy convinces head coach Ara Parseghian to let him suit up for one home game in his senior year, but Coach Parseghian retires following the 1974 season and is replaced by former NFL coach Dan Devine, who refuses to place Rudy on the game day roster. Frustrated that he is not on the dress list for the next-to-last home game, Rudy quits the team.
Fortune finds a distraught Rudy and reveals that he actually played for Notre Dame years earlier, but quit when he felt he was being kept from playing due to his skin color and has regretted it ever since. Reminded that he has nothing to prove to anyone but himself and will forever regret quitting, Rudy returns to the team. In a famous scene, each of his fellow seniors, led by team captain and All-American Roland Steele, lines up to lay his jersey on Devine's desk and requests that Rudy be allowed to dress in his place for the season's final game. Devine lets Rudy suit up against Georgia Tech.
With Rudy's family and D-Bob in attendance, Steele invites Rudy to lead the team onto the field, and Fortune is there to see the game as promised. With Notre Dame leading 17-3, Devine sends all the seniors into the game except Rudy, despite Steele and the assistant coaches' urging. Fans are aware of Rudy's goal from a story in the student newspaper, and a "Rudy!" chant begins in the stadium. Hearing this, the Notre Dame offensive team, led by tailback Jamie O'Hara, overrules Devine's call for victory formation and scores a quick touchdown, providing defensive player Rudy a chance to get in the game and be entered onto the Fighting Irish roster.
Devine finally lets Rudy play on the Notre Dame kickoff to Georgia Tech. Rudy stays in for the final play and sacks the Georgia Tech quarterback, and is carried on his teammates' shoulders to cheers from the stadium.
An epilogue states that after 1975, no other player for Notre Dame had been carried off the field to the time of the film's release in 1993.[N 1] Rudy graduated in 1976 and all his younger brothers went on to earn college degrees.
|Soundtrack album by|
|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, "Tryouts" has been used in 12 trailers, including those for Angels in the Outfield, The Deep End of the Ocean, Good Will Hunting, Seabiscuit 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.
Also recorded in the film are performances of various Notre Dame fight songs by the Notre Dame Glee Club.
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 senior teammates each lays his jersey on Coach Devine's desk in protest never happened; according to Ruettiger, Devine was persuaded to allow him to dress only after a number of senior players requested that he do so. 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, confirmed that the jersey scene never happened, stating: "It's a movie, remember. Not all of that is true...The crowd wasn't chanting, nobody threw in their jerseys. He did get in the ball game. He got carried off after the game."
Rudy received primarily positive reviews from critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the film "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." On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 78%, based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's consensus reads, "Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination."Metacritic gave the film a score of 71, based on 22 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".