Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Anspaugh|
|Produced by||Cary Woods|
|Written by||Angelo Pizzo|
Charles S. Dutton
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Editing by||David Rosenbloom|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Release date(s)||October 13, 1993 (limited)
October 22, 1993
|Running time||116 min.|
Rudy is a 1993 film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles.
It was the first movie the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940. In 2005, Rudy was named one of the best 20 sports movies of the previous 25 years in two polls by ESPN (#24 by a panel of sports experts, and #4 by espn.com users). It was ranked the 54th most inspiring film of all time in the "AFI 100 Years" series.
The film was released on October 13, 1993, by TriStar Pictures. It stars Sean Astin as the title character, along with Ned Beatty, Jason Miller and Charles S. Dutton. The script was written by Angelo Pizzo, who also wrote Hoosiers. The film was shot in Illinois and Indiana.
Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger grows up in Joliet, Illinois, dreaming of playing college football at the University of Notre Dame. While achieving some success with his local high school football team (Joliet Catholic), Ruettiger lacks the grades and money to attend Notre Dame, not to mention talent and physical size. (The real Ruettiger was only 5'6" (1.67 m) and the film's fictional Rudy appears to be even smaller.)
Rudy takes a job at a local steel mill where his father Daniel Ruettiger, Sr. (a huge Notre Dame fan) works and he prepares to settle down. But when his best friend Pete is killed in an explosion at the mill, Rudy decides to follow his dream of attending Notre Dame and playing college football for the Fighting Irish.
He leaves for the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana against his blue collar father's warning that "Ruettigers don't belong at college." Rudy fails to get admitted to Notre Dame, but on the advice of a priest, Father Cavanaugh, he goes to a small junior college nearby, Holy Cross College, hoping to qualify for a transfer to the university. He also manages to get a part-time job on Notre Dame's groundskeeping staff to help pay his tuition. Rudy also befriends D-Bob (Favreau), a graduate student at Notre Dame and a teaching assistant at Holy Cross. Suspecting there may be an underlying cause to Rudy's previous academic failures, D-Bob has him tested, and Rudy learns that he has dyslexia. Rudy learns how to overcome his learning disability, and this helps him become a better student. When Rudy returns home for Christmas vacation, his father is impressed with his report card.
During his final semester of transfer eligibility, Rudy is admitted to Notre Dame. Rudy rushes home to tell his family the news. At the steel mill, his father tells the workers over the loudspeaker, "Hey, you guys, my son's going to Notre Dame!" After "walking on" as a non-scholarship player for the football team, Ruettiger convinces coach Ara Parseghian to give him a spot on the practice (or "scout") squad. Rudy soon exhibits more drive and desire than some of his scholarship teammates.
Parseghian agrees to Rudy's request to suit up for just one game in his senior year so his family and friends can see him as a genuine member of the team. But to the student's dismay, Parseghian steps down as coach following the 1974 season.
After Dan Devine's arrival as head coach in 1975, Ruettiger is not given a chance to dress for a home game and quits the team briefly in anger. Other players, led by team captain and All-American Roland Steele, rise to his defense, pressuring Devine to allow Rudy to suit up for the final home game of the season by stacking their jerseys, one at a time, atop Devine's desk.
The final home game comes against Georgia Tech on November 8. Rudy is suited up, but his teammates feel this is not enough. One invites Rudy to lead the entire team out of the tunnel onto the field. Another starts a "Rudy!" chant that soon goes stadium wide. Rudy's parents are in the stands and can hardly believe their ears and eyes.
Coach Devine eventually gives in and lets Rudy play on the final kickoff. Rudy then stays in for the final play of the game and sacks the opposing quarterback. He is carried off on the shoulders of his teammates. An epilogue states that since that day, no other Notre Dame player has ever been carried off the field this way.
|Soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith|
|Released||September 28, 1993|
According to Soundtrack.net, the music from Rudy has been used in 12 trailers, including those for Angels in the Outfield, The Deep End of the Ocean, Good Will Hunting and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. 
In reality, Coach Devine had announced that Rudy would dress for the Georgia Tech game during practice a few days before. The dramatic scene where his teammates each lay their jerseys on Coach Devine's desk in protest never happened, though according to Ruettiger, Devine was persuaded to allow him to dress only after a number of senior players requested that he do so. Also, Coach Devine had agreed to be depicted as the "heavy" in the film for dramatic effect but was chagrined to find out the extent to which he was vilified, saying "The jersey scene is unforgivable. It's a lie and untrue."
Rudy got mostly positive reviews from critics. The movie scored a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes with 27 out of 34 reviews as 'fresh'.