The Longest Yard is an outstanding action drama, combining the brutish excitement of football competition with the brutalities of contemporary prison life. Burt Reynolds asserts his genuine star power, here as a former football pro forced to field a team under blackmail of warden Eddie Albert.

The Longest Yard is an outstanding action drama, combining the brutish excitement of football competition with the brutalities of contemporary prison life. Burt Reynolds asserts his genuine star power, here as a former football pro forced to field a team under blackmail of warden Eddie Albert.

In contrast to most hard-action films, this is quality action drama, in which brute force is fully motivated and therefore totally acceptable. At the same time, the metaphysics of football are neatly interwoven with the politics and bestialities of totalitarian authority.

Script, from a story credited to producer Albert S. Ruddy, finds Reynolds arriving at Albert’s prison. Ed Lauter, his chief guard, also coaches the guards’ clumsy football team. Reynolds is forced to form an inmates’ team from a ragtag bunch of cons, with a no-win payoff: if he loses, Lauter’s guards will rub it in; if he wins, Albert’s vengeance is certain.

1974: Nomination: Best Editing

The Longest Yard

Production

Paramount/Long Road. Director Robert Aldrich; Producer Albert S. Ruddy; Screenplay Tracy Keenan Wynn; Camera Joseph Biroc; Editor Michael Luciano; Music Frank DeVol; Art Director James S. Vance

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1974. Running time: 121 MIN.

With

Burt Reynolds Eddie Albert Ed Lauter Michael Conrad Jim Hampton Bernadette Peters
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