Any Given Sunday
|Any Given Sunday|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Oliver Stone|
|Produced by||Richard Donner
Lauren Shuler Donner
|Screenplay by||John Logan
|Story by||Daniel Pyne
|Based on||On Any Given Sunday
by Pat Toomay
LL Cool J
|Music by||Richard Horowitz
|Edited by||Stuart Levy
Thomas J. Nordberg
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|December 22, 1999|
Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, consisting of Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and legendary NFL players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor. The title comes from a line of dialogue D'Amato uses about how you can win or lose on "...any given Sunday."
Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer.
The Miami Sharks, a once-great American football team, are now in turmoil and struggling to make the 2001 Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) playoffs. They are coached by thirty-year veteran Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), who has fallen out of favor with young owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), who inherited the team, and offensive coordinator Nick Crozier (Aaron Eckhart), who is expected to succeed D'Amato as head coach.
In the thirteenth game of the season against the Minnesota Americans, both the Sharks' starting quarterback, Jack "Cap" Rooney (Dennis Quaid), and the second-string quarterback, Tyler Cherubini, are injured and forced to leave the field. The desperate Sharks call upon third-string quarterback and former seventh-round draft pick Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). Beamen is visibly nervous and makes a number of errors, illustrating his lack of knowledge regarding the team's playbook. He vomits in the huddle, which begins a ritual that he follows every game. While the Sharks lose this game by a small margin, Beamen, despite his initial struggles, plays well and gains confidence.
During the next game against the Chicago Rhinos, Beamen substitutes Cherubini and quickly learns the team's offense. Much to D'Amato's chagrin, Beamen disregards the team's conservative offense and changes the plays in the huddle, not realizing the disrespect this shows to his coaches. Beamen displays his raw athletic talent and starts to run and pass extremely successfully, leading the Sharks to the playoffs after winning three of the last four games of the season including a road win against the California Crusaders in Los Angeles. Beaman's new-found success results in growing narcissism and arrogance. He becomes "Steamin'" Willie Beamen, the new poster boy for the AFFA, and receives lucrative advertisement deals, including a music video.
Beamen's inability to handle his success leads to tension with players and coaches. D'Amato confronts Beamen to ask why he has been changing the plays. D'Amato demotes Beamen back to the bench while picking Rooney to lead the Sharks during the playoffs, telling Beamen just how far he still has to go to fulfill his potential as the team's lead player. Beamen, unconfident on his coach after his hard college career, and afraid of going back to the anonymity, alienates the rest of the team to the point that he gets his car sawed in half at a party.
Later, the Sharks are blown out at home in a game against the New York Emperors that could have given them home field advantage in the playoffs. Beamen contemplates and amends his self-centered behavior.
In the first round of playoffs, Miami goes to Dallas to face the Knights, one of the league's strongest teams. Before the game, D'Amato gives a speech to his players about working as a team to get the victory.
Rooney returns as starting quarterback. He plays strongly, until being injured after scoring a touchdown in the end of the first half, and Beamen needs to replace him. Willie apologizes for his actions in the huddle and leads the team to win the game.
Off-screen, Miami beats Minnesota for their conference championship, but then loses to San Francisco in the Pantheon Cup Championship 32-13.
At D'Amato's final press conference as the Sharks' head coach, he is thanked by owner Pagniacci for his contributions to the team. D'Amato is then expected to announce his retirement, but instead drops a bombshell and announces that he has been hired as head coach and general manager of an expansion team in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Aztecs. He further infuriates the ungrateful Sharks owner by adding that he has signed Beamen to be his starting quarterback and franchise player, the Sharks having refused to extend Beamen's expiring contract when they had the chance.
- Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato: Head Coach of the Miami Sharks. Having held his position for decades and given much autonomy by the team's owner, "Tony D" is respected for great successes, including two Pantheon Cups, the championship for this (fictional) professional football league. He devoted so much time to the team, he became estranged from his wife and children. D'Amato's traditional methods have come under fire from management and the media for recent failures, including missing the playoffs. Bitter that he was never promoted to general manager, D'Amato resents the hands-on "interference" of Christina Pagniacci, who succeeded her father Arturo as team owner. D'Amato's character was partly inspired by Tom Landry, longtime coach of the Dallas Cowboys. His last name comes from legendary boxing trainer Constantine "Cus" D'Amato.
- Cameron Diaz as Christina Pagniacci: Owner and General Manager. She inherited the team from her father and boasts a Cornell MBA. She attributes the team's disappointments to Coach D'Amato's "old-school methods" and takes a more hands-on approach, bringing in innovative new Offensive Coordinator Nick Crozier as his eventual successor. She hints that D'Amato will not return after his contract expires, adding to his distractions. She also threatens to move the franchise if the city refuses to build a new stadium, causing a confrontation with the AFFA Commissioner and the Mayor of Miami. Her character is based upon Jerry Jones and Georgia Frontiere.
- Dennis Quaid as Jack "Cap" Rooney: Starting quarterback and team captain. Seen like a son to D'Amato, the two have been credited with the team's greatest on-field successes. Rooney is now an aging veteran who faces injuries and conflicts with team personnel. Pagniacci wants to dump him. Relations have soured between Rooney and wife Cindy (Lauren Holly), who goads him without sympathy to his physical or mental situation, mercilessly browbeating him when he even mentions retiring. He is injured during a game and is replaced but is determined to make a comeback. Rooney recovers in time for the first round of the playoffs, where in he plays well until suffering a hard hit while scoring a touchdown before halftime.
- James Woods as Dr. Harvey Mandrake: The team physician. He risks serious injury to players to enable the team to have a better shot at winning, often at the direction of Pagniacci. He is later fired after his methods are discovered by the team internist.
- Jamie Foxx as "Steamin" Willie Beamen: The third-string quarterback. He takes over as starter after injuries to Rooney and the backup quarterback. Though surprisingly successful, Beamen causes tension among staff and teammates. He frequently changes the plays the coach calls, or just calls his own. He begins a singing career and even asks owner Pagniacci for a date when she enters a postgame locker room full of naked or partly dressed players like himself. Beamen later matures and is inspired by "Cap" Rooney's gutsy performance in the Sharks' first playoff game.
- LL Cool J as Julian "J-Man" Washington: The starting running back. He is very good but becomes increasingly angry at Beamen for his cockiness and tendencies to take plays away from him. He is motivated by incentive clauses in his contract, and D'Amato refers to him as a "merc" (mercenary) "who will be gone before next season."
- Lawrence Taylor as Luther "Shark" Lavay: The captain of the defense. Mandrake has concealed that "Shark" is suffering from a previous injury, a broken neck that did not heal properly. If he suffers a serious hit again, he may be killed or permanently disabled. The team's intern doctor informs him and D'Amato of the situation, but "Shark" says he will lose over a million dollars if he does not make his incentive stats or retires as the intern suggests. He also has a confrontation with Beamen over the role of offense vs. defense (which culminates with him cutting Beamen's Chevrolet Suburban in half with a circular saw during a party). While making a hit, Shark gets knocked unconscious. He awakens and is hauled off on a stretcher, satisfied that he made his million dollar incentive.
- Jim Brown as Montezuma Monroe: The Defensive Coordinator. He is vocal and brings intensity to the defense and to the team in general. A longtime friend of D'Amato, who personally confides in Montezuma several times. Monroe states at one point he would like to return to high school coaching where the game is "pure."
- Aaron Eckhart as Nick Crozier: The Offensive Coordinator. Nick is an offensive guru brought in from Minnesota by Christina Pagniacci. Young and tech-savvy (making use of a laptop computer while calling plays), he is highly critical of Tony's old-fashioned ways, as well as Beamen's changing the plays in the huddle and Julian's playing for contract incentives. Despite the tension, D'Amato recognizes Crozier's talent. He is named D'Amato's successor after the coach departs to lead an expansion franchise in New Mexico.
- Matthew Modine as Dr. Oliver "Ollie" Powers: The intern team doctor. He discovers Dr. Mandrake covering for players who are suffering from near-career-ending injuries but are overdosing on painkillers, steroids and hormones to cover the pain. Powers faces his own dilemma in the need to relieve the players' pain vs. prescribing too much medication at the insistence of the addicted players.
- John C. McGinley as Jack Rose: An abrasive and prominent sports reporter. On his own cable show, Rose displays an incredible distaste for all things D'Amato. This leads to D'Amato physically assaulting Rose near the end of the regular season, but no charges are pressed after D'Amato makes a public apology. In spite of their rivalry (or even because of it) he confesses that he will miss D'Amato when he retires. Inspired by Jim Rome.
- Lela Rochon as Vanessa Struthers
- Lauren Holly as Cindy Rooney, wife of Cap Rooney, it is heavily implied that she is no more than a trophy wife caring more for her wealth and social status than for her husbands health and well being.
- Ann-Margret as Margaret Pagniacci
- Elizabeth Berkley as Mandy Murphy
- Charlton Heston as Commissioner
- Clifton Davis as Mayor Tyrone Smalls
Director Oliver Stone appears uncredited as an announcer at the stadium, and his caricature portrait can be seen at a bar with other caricatures of noted sports people, including D'Amato.
Oliver Stone developed a script called Monday Night written by Jamie Williams, a former tight end for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and later the San Francisco 49ers, and Richard Weiner, a sports journalist. Stone separately acquired the spec script On Any Given Sunday, by John Logan. Stone later amalgamated a third screenplay, Playing Hurt by Daniel Pyne, into the project.
As of May 1, 1999, the screenplay's cover page listed the following writers: original draft by Jamie Williams & Richard Weiner, John Logan, Daniel Pyne; subsequent revisions by Gary Ross; revisions by Raynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans; revisions by John Logan; revisions by Lisa Amsterdam & Robert Huizenga; latest revisions by Oliver Stone.
The Writers Guild of America ultimately awarded screenplay credit to Logan and Stone, with "story" credit to Pyne and Logan. Williams and Weiner went uncredited for their original screenplay, but were credited for their work on the film as technical consultants.
The screenplay was also based in part on the book You're Okay, It's Just a Bruise: A Doctor's Sideline Secrets by Robert Huizenga. Huizenga was the intern doctor for the L.A. Raiders in their 1980s heyday, working under Dr. Rosenfield, who dismissed many players' injuries with the phrase, "You're okay, it's just a bruise." James Woods' character was based on Rosenfield, and his first diagnosis of "Cap" Rooney's career-threatening injury at the beginning of the film is "you're okay, it's just a bruise." Huizenga left the Raiders in the early 1990s, disgusted at the way the medical advice was kept from players and Rosenfield being allowed to continue treating them after several mishaps, one of which is closely mirrored in the film—Shark's neck injury and risk of sudden death, based on the real-life Mike Harden case.
Director Oliver Stone's first two choices to play Tony D'Amato were Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Henry Rollins was offered a role as a football player but turned it down as he felt he did not have the size to make the portrayal believable. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs was cast as Willie Beamen, but dropped out amidst rumors he could not throw a football convincingly. Publicly Combs dropped off the project because of scheduling conflicts with his recording career. According to Cuba Gooding Jr., he met with Oliver Stone about playing the role of Willie Beamen but Stone turned Gooding down because he had already played a football player in Jerry Maguire (1996). Chris Tucker turned down the role of Willie Beamen.
Five NFL Hall of Fame Players made cameo appearances as opposing head coaches. Bob St. Clair, with Minnesota, the first game. Y. A. Tittle, for Chicago, the second game. Dick Butkus, with California, the road game. Warren Moon, with New York in the rain soaked game. And finally, Johnny Unitas with Dallas, in the finale.
Jim Caviezel played Tony D'Amato's estranged son, but his scenes were cut. They can be seen in the extras of the Oliver Stone Collection DVD. Tom Sizemore also had a role in the film, but it too was cut.
The film was shot in Miami, Florida and Irving, Texas. Miami's Orange Bowl stadium represents the home of the fictitious American football team, the Miami Sharks. When the team traveled to California, the stadium used was Pro Player Stadium, which is located in Miami Gardens. Texas Stadium is used for the home of the fictitious Dallas Knights.
Director Oliver Stone requested but did not receive the National Football League's permission to use real NFL team logos and stadiums for the film. As a result the fictional Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) was created (not to be confused with the real AFA). The AFFA apparently exists alongside the NFL, since the Miami Dolphins are mentioned.
For the scenes during a football game, production asked local schools to participate as extras for the film, including Lake Stevens Middle School in Miami, Florida. For each shot the crowd was asked to move around so that each section looked filled, in empty seats cardboard cutouts were placed in seats with balloons attached to them so that they would seem in motion.
On Google Earth, using the "historical imagery" button and setting the date to 2/20/1999, the Orange Bowl displays "Sharks" at each end zone.
The film also used Arena Football League players such Pat O'Hara, who played for the Tampa Bay Storm and now coaches the Orlando Predators and Connell Maynor, who also played for the Orlando Predators and spent time as both a player and coach for the Philadelphia Soul.
A scene in the film was shot at Windmill Ranch. Quaid's character's house is really Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's house.
Time Out New York 's Andrew Johnston wrote: "It's often been said of films about sports that smaller balls equal better movies. Any Given Sunday explodes that theory, and not just because of the incredible intensity of its gridiron action. Oliver Stone's best movie in many years—and one of his finest ever—looks at the world of professional football from almost every conceivable angle, but it never tries to be the definitive statement on the subject. A surprisingly balanced film that merges Stone's hyperkinetic style with a character-centric narrative approach reminiscent of John Sayles and Robert Altman at their best, Sunday proves that powerful human drama and MTV visual pyrotechnics actually can coexist after all."
Conversely, Richard Schickel for Time criticized the story as being "standard" and stated "(a)lmost three hours of this jitter deteriorates from bravura filmmaking to annoying mannerism, and Any Given Sunday ends up less than the sum of its many, often interesting parts." Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail wrote that the story was "(c)hoc-a-bloc with manly blather about sacrifice and honour and rugged individuals pulling together for the greater glory of the team." And, elaborating on many critics' shared observations that the movie was "hyperkinetic", Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News states that "the sensation we get from the blizzard of images and teeth-jarring sound effects is of having our head used as the football."
Oliver Stone wanted to use the music of the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor and actually filmed a scene using their music, when he later asked for permission, the band said no, so Stone was forced to redo the scene without the music.
When released to home video on VHS and DVD, a new director's cut by Oliver Stone was used. Due to the packaging listing "6 minutes of previously unseen footage" and a running time of 156 minutes, many assumed that the theatrical cut was 150 minutes, and that Stone had added six minutes of footage. In actuality, the theatrical cut ran 162 minutes; 12 minutes were deleted for the Director's Cut, and six minutes of new footage were added. Stone said these changes were made to help with the film's pacing. The differences between the two versions are discussed on IMDb's entry for the film.
- Euegene Novikov. "Any Given Sunday". Film Blather. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "Television & Film Helmets". Misterhabs.com. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
- "Movie/TV helmets". Mghelmets.com. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
- Time Out New York, Dec. 30, 1999-Jan. 6, 2000, p. 87
- "Any Given Sunday". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
- RHCD 01, 1999 (Any Given Sunday at soundtrackcollector.com).
- "Any Given Sunday (1999) - Alternate versions". Imdb.com. Retrieved 2008-11-28.
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