The Longest Yard (2005 film)
|The Longest Yard|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Segal|
|Produced by||Jack Giarraputo|
|Screenplay by||Sheldon Turner|
|Story by||Albert S. Ruddy|
|Based on||The Longest Yard
by Tracy Keenan Wynn
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Editing by||Jeff Gourson|
|Running time||113 minutes|
The Longest Yard is a 2005 American sports comedy film, a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. Adam Sandler plays the protagonist, Paul Crewe, a disgraced former professional quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL, who is forced to form a team from the prison inmates to play football against their guards.
Burt Reynolds, who played Sandler's role in the original, co-stars as Nate Scarborough, the inmates' coach and a former Heisman Trophy winner for Oklahoma in 1955. Chris Rock plays Crewe's friend, known as Caretaker. The cast includes James Cromwell, Nelly, William Fichtner and several former and current professional athletes such as Terry Crews (NFL), Michael Irvin (NFL), Brian Bosworth (NFL), Bill Romanowski (NFL), Bill Goldberg (NFL, WCW/WWE), Bob Sapp (NFL, MMA), Kevin Nash (Euro League Basketball, WCW/WWE), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (WWE/ECW/WCW, college football at North Texas State University), and Dalip "The Great Khali" Singh Rana (WWE).
Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) is a former NFL player disgraced for shaving points in a big game. One night, he gets drunk and goes joyriding, gets arrested, and is sentenced to 3 years in a Texas Federal Prison.
In prison, Warden Rudolph Hazen (James Cromwell) coerces Crewe into helping the prison guards' football team, led by hostile Captain Knauer (William Fichtner), by threatening him with additional jail time. Crewe informs Hazen that what Hazen's team needs is a tune-up game to boost the guards' confidence, and therefore sets out to form a semi-decent team to play against the guards out of fellow inmates. With the help of newfound friend, Caretaker (Chris Rock), they start off with a poorly organized team, before being noticed by another prisoner, former college football star, Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds), who decides to help coach the team.
Crewe, Nate and Caretaker set out to find and recruit additional inmates for the team. Hazen and the guards go to extreme lengths to hinder Crewe's squad, including provoking the players and flooding their field, but the team overcomes these obstacles.
Inmate Unger (David Patrick Kelly) secretly spies on the activities of the inmates and after being pressured by the guards, rigs Crewe’s radio with an explosive. Caretaker unknowingly enters the cell to give a photo to Crewe, but is killed when he tries to turn the dial on the radio.
During game day, the inmates, now calling themselves "Mean Machine", with gear provided by the late Caretaker, overcome a rough start, and Crewe has to help the team realize that winning the game is more important than their personal grudges. The first half ends with the score tied. The angered Hazen informs Crewe that if he does not lose he will be framed for the murder of Caretaker. Crewe acquiesces to Hazen's threat, only asking that the guards take it lightly after getting a comfortable lead, to which Hazen agrees to do so after they obtain a two touchdown lead. After faking an injury in order to leave the field, Crewe's teammates voice their displeasure over his obvious deserting over the team.
After seeing that Hazen has broken his promise and two members of the Mean Machine are injured, Crewe asks Skitchy if the time spent in jail for punching the warden was worth it. Skitchy replies, "It was worth every goddamn second," and Crewe returns to the field. The team initially doubts Crewe’s resolve and allows him to be sacked twice. After losing his helmet and still getting the first down, Crewe admits his sabotage to the other inmates, and asks for their forgiveness.
United again as a team, the Mean Machine scores two touchdowns to cut the guards' lead to 35-28. Scarborough comes in for one play as replacement and scores a touchdown off a trick play involving a fumble called a Fumblerooski. They decide to go for the two-point conversion and the win. As they get up to the line they seem to be confused and Crewe and Coach start arguing in order to trick the guards. Moss gets the snap and passes it to Crewe, who scores the winning conversion. Knauer, with a newfound respect for Crewe, lets him know that he will testify that Crewe had nothing to do with Caretaker's death.
Hazen admonishes Knauer for losing a fixed game and notices that Crewe is heading towards the exit. Thinking Crewe is trying to escape, Hazen orders that Crewe be shot for attempting to escape. Knauer hesitates and at the last moment realizes (and scornfully tells Hazen) that Crewe is only picking up the game football. Crewe returns it to Hazen, telling him to "Stick this in your trophy case."≠
Rap group D12 except for Eminem appeared in the movie and they were credited as Basketball Convicts. Eminem was mentioned in the scene where Crewe comes to invite the Basketball team and D12 member Swifty McVay says: "Yo man, check out this fake Slim Shady" mocking his race.
The Allenville Penitentiary in Texas was filmed entirely at the New Mexico State Penitentiary on Route 14, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The football game at the end of the movie was filmed at Murdock Stadium at the El Camino College in Torrance, California. The car chase scene was filmed whereabouts in Tall Beach, California. Other parts of the film were filmed in Los Angeles and New Mexico. The Golf Course Scene was filmed at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, CA 
The film did well at the box office. Its $47.6 million opening weekend was the largest of Sandler's career and only second to The Day After Tomorrow as the largest opening by a movie that was not #1. The film would go on to gross $158.1 million in the United States and Canada and $190 million worldwide. It was the highest grossing film produced by MTV Films, until it was surpassed by Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Despite the large number of remakes released at the theaters, it's worth noting that The Longest Yard is the highest grossing comedy remake of the modern box office era (from 1980 on).
Critical response 
The overall critical response was mixed. It received a 31% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though users, who rated it 67%, generally agreed that it was a play-by-play remake; the greatest complaint from critics was that it replaced the original's dark comedy and grit with juvenile humor and visual gags. Roger Ebert, in the critical minority with this title, gave it a "Thumbs Up", defending it later in his Chicago Sun-Times review as a film that "...more or less achieves what most of the people attending it will expect." In the print review, Ebert beseeches his readers to "...seek out a movie you could have an interesting conversation about", citing films not in wide release such as Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist and Kontroll, until finally encouraging his readers to "drop any thought of seeing anything else instead" if they can see Crash.
The film also earned Chris Rock a BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Theatrical Film.
Burt Reynolds earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actor for his performance in the film.
- Comedy Remake Movies
- Roger Ebert Reviews: The Longest Yard Retrieved on 2009-10-31.
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