Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time
No. 10: The Longest Yard (109 points)
Year released: 1974.
Cast: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Ray Nitschke, Joe Kapp.
What we like: Reynolds moves, talks and acts like a player -- which he is; the warden and guards are so despicable that you find yourself rooting very hard for the Mean Machine ... and forgetting that the team is composed of a bunch of criminals; the climactic scene is brilliantly shot -- especially for 1974.
What we're willing to overlook: There ain't actually all that much football in the movie; that huge deficit disappears a little too conveniently in the fourth quarter.
"We've come too far to stop now ... for Granny, for Nate ... for Caretaker ... let's do it!" -- Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons
I loved this movie. I loved the friendships among the prisoners. I loved how Reynolds brought the team together. I loved the evil warden. And I loved when Crewe threw the ball into the guy's privates -- TWICE! Good theater, baby. Very good theater. -- Page 2 columnist Bob Halloran
The football scenes are some of the best that Hollywood has produced -- maybe that's because so many real football players are executing them. -- Page 2 editor Kevin Jackson
One of the best things about sports is the sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle bird they flip at the establishment. This movie taught me to look for that part of the game. -- Page 2 columnist Eric Neel
Bernadette Peters is terrific in her tiny role as Miss Toot, the warden's secretary. Reynolds first discussion with her ("Nice hair you got there. You ever find any spiders in it?") is Reynolds-style humor at its finest. -- Page 2 columnist Jeff Merron