DAVID ANSPAUGH’S RUDY — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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I could cry just THINKING of this movie, let alone watching it from start to finish or in bits and pieces or for just 30 seconds. The amount of personal triumph that is explored and honored in this rousing true life football story can never be underestimated; underdog stories are rarely this emotionally rewarding and dramatically effective. Directed with heart and soul by David Anspaugh (Hoosiers) and written with grace by Angelo Pizzo, the film features a splendid performance from Sean Astin as the titular hero, a guy deemed too small by so many, but who had the courage and determination to never back down from any challenge. The final scene of this film leaves a massive lump in my throat, and I can’t help but cheer and sob when Rudy leads his fellow teammates out of the Notre Dame dressing room and onto the field, in front of thousands of screaming fans. There’s a ridiculous cast featuring then-up-and-coming actors like Vince Vaughn and John Favreau, with old pros Ned Beatty, Robert Prosky, Jason Miller, and Charles S. Dutton providing solid anchors for everyone in the robust ensemble. Oliver Wood’s naturalistic cinematography hits all the perfect notes on the field and off, while the tremendous musical score by Jerry Goldsmith goes beyond inspiring and into realms of the sublime. The film states in a text crawl that as of the time of the film’s production, no other Fighting Irish team member has been carried off the field since that happened to Rudy Ruettiger – I hope that this is still the case.

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