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Everybody's All-American

Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Produced by Executive Producer:
Stuart Benjamin
Taylor Hackford
Ian Sander
Laura Ziskin
Alan C. Blomquist
Written by Thomas Rickman (screenplay)
Frank Deford (novel)
Starring Jessica Lange
Dennis Quaid
Timothy Hutton
John Goodman
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Editing by Don Zimmerman
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures Warner Bros. UK
Release date(s) November 4, 1988
Running time 127 min.
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $12,600,000

Everybody's All-American is a 1988 motion picture directed by Taylor Hackford and based on the novel Everybody's All-American by longtime Sports Illustrated contributor Frank Deford.


The film covers 25 years in the life of college football hero Gavin Grey (Dennis Quaid). When he marries campus sweetheart Babs Rogers (Jessica Lange) and is picked up by the pros, a happily-ever-after denouement is predicted by friends and family. It is clear from the outset, however, that Grey is going to have to do a lot of growing up over the next few decades. Babs does her best to keep in step with her husband's career and mood swings, and in so doing becomes the "parent" in the family. John Goodman also stars as Grey's best buddy, and Timothy Hutton is on hand for a romantic-triangle subplot.


  • Filming was stopped for weeks when Dennis Quaid had his collarbone broken by Tim Fox of the New England Patriots during filming. Footage of Quaid rolling in pain on the sidelines of the snow game appears in the finished film.
  • A key scene featuring a candlelight parade involving large numbers of extras was filmed, on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol, when snow started falling. Despite the beauty of the scene, director Taylor Hackford elected to reshoot the scene, as snow in Baton Rouge in November was such a rare event that he was worried it would be seen as a special effects goof in the film.
  • The game scenes were shot in LSU's Tiger Stadium during the halftimes of actual LSU games. The goalposts were altered to resemble the vintage "H" posts as needed during filming. Vertical posts were moved in place for the bottom portion of the H, and a multi-colored fabric covering was used to conceal the center upright. Upon completion of filming, the vertical posts and fabric were retracted so as not to interfere with the LSU games.
  • Some of the filming of the football scenes took place during halftime of the 1987 LSU-Alabama game. The producers wanted to continue shooting some scenes following the game, so they requested that the LSU fans remain after the game so that they could finish the scenes. However, Alabama won in an upset, and ten minutes after the game, the only fans still in the bleachers were wearing crimson, forcing the producers to finish shooting the following week.
  • Despite the fact that the novel was written about the University of North Carolina, when it was filmed at LSU, rumors started that Gavin Grey was based on the former LSU All-American, Billy Cannon. Deford laughs at that. "Never met Cannon and knew nothing about him personally," he says. "Gavin was strictly a composite of many athletes from several sports that I had covered."
  • The film contains a much more hopeful and upbeat ending than the book, where Gavin takes his own life after trying to kill Babs as well.

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