Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD Screening at The Wildey Theater in Edwardsville January 28th
” The most important thing to remember is: to protect your quarterback – ME!”
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD (1974) will be screening at The Wildey Theater in Edwardsville, IL ( 252 N Main St, Edwardsville, IL 62025) at 7pm Tuesday, January 28th. Admission is $2.
Hollywood veteran director Robert Aldrich (DIRTY DOZEN, HUSTLE) gave Burt Reynolds one of his biggest hits – and best roles – in this seriocomic tale of prison life and football. On the surface, the character of Paul Crewe is fairly despicable – he is a smartass, a drunk, and a violent malcontent not above mistreating women. But Reynolds not only makes us like Crewe, he makes us actually root for him to find redemption. With Eddie Albert and Ed Lauter as the villains, and wonderful character performances from Richard Kiel, Michael Conrad, Bernadette Peters, and many others, YARD doesn’t gloss over its portrayal of prison society. The hard life often explodes in violence, racial tensions abound, and then there’s the warden’s secretary. Aldrich, himself a gridiron fan, smartly peppered the film with many real-life ex-NFL players, such as Joe Kapp (Vikings) and Ray Nitschke (Packers). This gives the film, along with Reynolds’ natural athleticism (he played for Florida State), a tone of realism lacking in many sports- based tales.The climactic football game takes up nearly half the movie’s running time, and it is certainly one of the most brutal and exciting events – in any sport – ever put on film. Coming on the heels of DELIVERANCE, this movie solidified Reynolds’ box office appeal. With his winning mixture of bravado and self-deprecating humor (we get a lot of the trademark laugh), Reynolds helped make THE LONGEST YARD one of the greatest sports movies ever made.
The Wildey Theater’s site can be found HERE