Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Reel 20: RUDY

"I've been ready for this my whole life."
This month marks the 20th anniversary of David Anspaugh’s RUDY.
Based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, a student who had dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite many obstacles, RUDY was a film which embraced the underdog story and made it work by way of strong casting, acting, and writing. The film was loaded with heart and soul and kept the main character the type of guy you would always root for. He was a character who was all heart; and that was what kept him yearning to be on the football field despite his physical limitations.

RUDY was the first film that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be filmed on campus since the classic KNUTE ROCKNE, ALL AMERICAN in 1940. The choice for director was a natural one…David Anspaugh was only a few years removed from his film HOOSIERS (1986), another film which embraced the underdog story. Sean Astin was cast as the title character and captured all the emotion of the little guy who kept on getting up after getting knocked down, and he was joined by Ned Beatty, Charles S. Dutton, and writer/actor Jason Miller; a lifelong Notre Dame fan.
RUDY would go on to be named as one of the Top 25 Best Sports Movies by ESPN in 2005, and ranked 54th in the American Film Institute’s Most Inspiring Film of All-time.

As a wee-lad growing up in family full of Notre Dame fans, RUDY was a film which was embraced from day one. But it seems that it would be dismissive to simply label RUDY as just a sports film. Movies are often, if not always about rooting for someone that we feel empathy for…because overcoming impossible odds is something that we all do every minute of every day. Perhaps no other film captures the never-say-die spirit like RUDY, and that’s something even the most cynical can understand.

"In this life you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but yourself."

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