The Longest Yard (2005 film)
|The Longest Yard|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Segal|
|Produced by||Jack Giarraputo|
|Screenplay by||Sheldon Turner|
|Based on||The Longest Yard|
by Albert S. Ruddy
David Patrick Kelly
The Great Khali
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Edited by||Jeff Gourson|
|Box office||$190.3 million|
The Longest Yard is a 2005 American sports prison comedy film and 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, 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. 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, Michael Irvin, Brian Bosworth, Bill Romanowski, Bill Goldberg, Bob Sapp, Kevin Nash, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Dalip "The Great Khali" Singh Rana. The film was produced by MTV Films and Happy Madison Productions and distributed by Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures, and was released on May 27, 2005.
Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) is a former NFL Quarterback who was accused of shaving points, though it was never confirmed. One night he gets drunk during a party and goes joyriding in the Bentley of his girlfriend Lena (Courteney Cox), getting into a police chase and crashing the car. He is sentenced to 18 months in prison as a result.
In prison, Warden Rudolph Hazen (James Cromwell), an avid Football fan, wishes to use his personal football team composed of his prison guards to boost his reputation for future elections as State Governor. Using a week in a hot box to coerce him, Crewe recommends that the Guards, lead by head guard Captain Knauer (William Fichtner), play a tune-up game, a game between the Guards and a team that they easily slaughter to boost morale. Hazen tasks Crewe with forming a team composed of the prison inmates, believing that he will be unable to unite the unruly prisoners, thus not only achieving his goals, but also exerting his power over the inmates.
Crewe befriends Caretaker (Chris Rock) who helps organize tryouts but finds a mostly inept roster due to Crewe's legacy. Seeing the team forming attracts former college football star Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds), who decides to help coach the team by gathering several intimidating inmates, most of whom join in order to exact revenge against the abusive guards, bolstering his defense. Caretaker implores Crew to seek out assistance from the black inmates to gain some much needed offensive strength. Crewe challenges their leader, Deacon Moss (Michael Irvin), to a one-on-one baskeball game but refuses to call any fouls on Deacon. Deacon wins and refuses to offer help, but Earl Megget (Nelly) is impressed by Crewe's resilience and joins as his Running back.
As the team gains strength Hazen and the guards hinder Crewe's team in several ways, even coercing Megget to attack a guard by cornering him in the library and using ethnic slurs, but Megget does not retaliate. Deacon and the other black inmates witness this and decide to join Crewe's team to exact revenge. Meanwhile, inmate Unger (David Patrick Kelly) spies on the activities of the inmates for the guards and is implored to use his "talents" to weaken their team. Unger rigs an incendiary explosive into the radio in Crewe's cell which Caretaker accidentally sets off and is sealed within Crewe's cell by Unger, preventing anyone from rescuing him.
On game day, the inmates are revitalized in the wake of Caretaker's murder when Caretaker uses his connections to his cousin at Reebok to supply the inmates with quality uniforms and gear as well as giving them the team name Mean Machines. Crewe deals with some difficulty getting the inmates to focus on winning the game during opening play, stating that a loss to them would be a far bigger mark of shame to the guards than any physical brutality they could inflict on them. Though the guards take an early lead, even having the referee's call bogus fouls on them (which Crewe quickly amends), by the end of the first half, the Mean Machines tie the game at 14-all.
Hazen corners Crewe during half-time, informing him that if the Guards do not win by a two touchdown lead, he will pin Caretaker's murder on him. Crewe reluctantly agrees and Hazen orders Knauer to "inflict as much damage as possible" on the inmates once they have a two touchdown lead. During the opening of the second half, Crewe intentionally performs poorly and eventually self-removes him from the field. The Mean Machines catch on and desperately try to maintain an even foothold, but without Crewe, they falter once more in scoring. After earning a two touchdown lead on the Mean Machines, the Guards begin to brutally injure the inmates, spurring Crewe to reenter the field. The inmates initially refuse to help him, allowing him to be sacked twice, but on 4th Down and long, Crewe completes a 1st Down on his own. Crewe calls a time out and admits to his point shaving in both this game and his previous accusations. Informing the team of Hazen's threats, he declares that he would rather stay with the inmates than betray Caretaker's memory. The Mean Machines rally behind Crewe once more and with a decisive Two-point conversion, ends the game on 36-35 for the Mean Machines.
Knauer, having newfound respect for Crewe, congratulates him for the win and informs Crewe that he is aware that he had nothing to do with Caretaker's murder and would defend him. Hazen admonishes Knauer for losing a fixed game and notices that Crewe is heading towards the exit. Eagerly implying 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 informs Hazen, that Crewe is only picking up the game football. Crewe returns it to Hazen, telling him to "stick it in [his] trophy case." Deacon and Joey Battle (Bill Goldberg) give Hazen a Gatorade shower in celebration. He tells them that this has earned them a week in the hot box, but Deacon replies "Who gives a shit?"
- Adam Sandler as Paul "Wrecking" Crewe
- Chris Rock as James "Caretaker" Farrell
- Nelly as Earl Megget
- David Patrick Kelly as Unger
- Terry Crews as "Cheeseburger" Eddy
- Nicholas Turturro as Brucie
- Bill Goldberg as Joey "Battle" Battaglio
- Bob Sapp as Switowski
- Steve Reevis as Billy "Baby Face Bob" Rainwater
- Lobo Sebastian as Torres
- Dalip Singh Rana as Turley
- Joey "Coco" Diaz as Anthony "Big Tony" Cobianco
- Eddie Bunker as "Skitchy" Rivers
- Tracy Morgan as Miss Tucker
- Cloris Leachman as Lynette Grey
- Burt Reynolds as Coach Nate Scarborough
- Michael Irvin as Deacon Moss
- D12 as Basketball Convicts
- James Cromwell as Warden Rudolph Hazen
- William Fichtner as Captain Brian Knauer
- Bill Romanowski as Guard Lambert
- Brian Bosworth as Guard Garner
- Kevin Nash as Sergeant Engleheart
- Steve Austin as Guard Dunham
- Michael Papajohn as Guard Papajohn
- Conrad Goode as Guard Webster
- Brandon Molale as Guard Malloy
- Todd Holland as Guard Holland
- Walter Williamson as Errol Dandridge
- John Hockridge as Guard Hock
- Allen Covert as Referee
- Rob Schneider as Punky
- Chris Berman as Himself
- Jim Rome as Himself
- Patrick Bristow as Walt
- Lauren Sanchez as Herself
- Dan Patrick as Officer Jack Pugh
- Christopher Neiman as Big Ear Cop
- Ed Lauter as Duane
- Sean Salisbury as Vic
- Rob "Revolution" Moore as Gavin
- Big Boy as Jesse
- Marc S. Ganis as Lorenzo
- Shane Ralston as Bradlee
- Courteney Cox as Lena (uncredited)
The movie was filmed at the New Mexico State Penitentiary on Route 14, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The football game at the end of the film was filmed at Murdock Stadium at the El Camino College in Torrance, California. The car chase scene was filmed whereabouts in Long 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, California.
The film was released on the same day as Dreamworks Animation’s Madagascar, both movies starred Chris Rock.
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 
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 31% based on 166 reviews, with an average rating of 4.78/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "This Yard has some laughs but missing from this remake is the edginess of the original." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.
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 Longest Yard (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
- "Filming at Lost Canyons Golf Club". Lost Canyons. December 1, 2014.
- "Comedy Remake". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "The Longest Yard". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- "The Longest Yard". Metacritic. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
- Ebert, Roger (May 26, 2005). "Reviews: The Longest Yard". rogerebert.com.
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