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Everybody’s All-American

Everybody's All-American [from a book by Frank DeFord] has its moments, and remains watchable due to its two attractive leads, but is too predictable and not nearly incisive enough.

Everybody’s All-American [from a book by Frank DeFord] has its moments, and remains watchable due to its two attractive leads, but is too predictable and not nearly incisive enough.

The world of Baton Rouge in the mid-1950s was made for the likes of Gavin and Babs. Dashing, easy-going and likable, Gavin (Dennis Quaid) is the running back who leads his school to triumph in the Sugar Bowl. Gorgeous blond Southern belle Babs (Jessica Lange) represents everyone’s dream girl but yearns only to become Mrs Gavin Grey.

The couple moves comfortably into the expected environs of suburbia, a steady flow of babies, sports-themed restaurant ownership and the like. However, the innocence of youth and the 1950s inevitably yield to the turmoil and doubt of the 1960s. The Greys get wiped out financially and then see Gavin’s star fall as his playing career winds down, just as Babs belatedly starts coming into her own.

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A viewer could do a lot worse than have to watch Lange and Quaid for two hours, and they definitely get far into their parts here. After just getting by posing as 21-year-olds, both age through the years convincingly.

Everybody’s All-American

  • Production: New Visions. Director Taylor Hackford; Producer Taylor Hackford, Laura Ziskin, Ian Sander; Screenplay Tom Rickman; Camera Stephen Goldblatt; Editor Don Zimmerman; Music James Newton Howard; Art Director Joe Alves
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 127 MIN.
  • With: Jessica Lange Dennis Quaid Timothy Hutton John Goodman Carl Lumbly Ray Baker
  • Music By: