- My film belongs to a genre that inspires eye rolls from my wife. Interestingly, her home state has been the setting for a disproportionate number of the genre's finest examples, including this one. Perhaps her disdain stems from the very fact that she hails from a place where people take the subject matter of these movies far too seriously. For example...
- My wife went to a Catholic high school. One of the nuns - the typing teacher - would lead students in prayer for the success of a certain group of young men each autumn weekend. These young men are also the subject of my movie.
- The lead was a reasonably successful child actor but my film represented his breakthrough as an adult. He was just getting started. A few years later, he would be cast in an important role in one of the most successful franchises in the history of cinema.
Drum roll, please...
Director: David Anspaugh
Original Release: 1993
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
But I still love these movies. I am certainly willing to concede that both Hoosiers and Rudy are sappy and predictable. However, I would argue for both as exemplars of top-notch film making, particularly in their use of setting. 1950s small town Indiana lives and breathes in Hoosiers. In Rudy, both the protagonist's native Joliet, Illinois and the University of Notre Dame are rich characters, vital to the narrative. The last movie the school's administration allowed to be filmed on campus was 1940's Knute Rocke, All American which celebrated the university's storied chemistry department. Just kidding, that one was about the football team, too.
The acting's pretty good, including a few stars on the rise. In addition to Sean Astin (the future Samwise Gamgee) in the title role, Jon Favreau plays D-Bob, Rudy's pal and academic savior, and Vince Vaughn plays Jamie O'Hare, an underachieving tailback. The veterans are strong, too. Ned Beatty is Rudy's father. Father John Cavanaugh is performed by Robert Prosky, a fine actor I once saw play the role of the Stage Manager in Our Town at DC's Arena Stage.
So, if you're a sucker for inspiring sports movies, Rudy will not disappoint.
Next meeting is Friday, January 8th. I'll post January's blog list tomorrow. For January, pick another society member's choice from our ever increasing library to review. Today, please visit my fellow cinephiles, listed below: