North Dallas Forty
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In a society in which major league sporting events have replaced Sunday worship as the religion of choice, North Dallas Forty appears like a desecration at the altar. In this film, directed by Ted Kotcheff (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz), the National Football League is revealed to be more about the money than the game. Nick Nolte is North Dallas Bulls pass-catcher Phillip Elliott, whose cynicism and independent spirit is looked upon as troublesome by team coaches Johnson (Charles Durning) and Strothers (G.D. Spradlin) and team owner Conrad Hunter (Steve Forrest). Elliot, at the end of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Retains enough of the original novel's authenticity to deliver strong, if brutish, entertainment."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Something of a mess, both in terms of the wayward plot which rambles all over the place, and in terms of the rather muddled juggling of audience sympathies."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It relies upon your belief in the inherent nobility of the sport... If you believe that, this is the greatest sports movie ever made. If you don't, it's a wallow in self-pity."
‑ , Film4
"North Dallas Forty reveals some of the reasons why the fun has been taken out of football."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The football scenes are brutally real; the locker room scenes are totally authentic."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The leading man, Nick Nolte, has a physical authority and a clowning, irreverent manner that lend the film some semblance of continuity, even when it's about to flounder."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The best football movie ever made."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"It's still fascinating to get a glimpse of what athletes sacrifice to entertain us. It would have been considerably more fascinating if more of the people involved had seemed more human."
‑ Scott Renshaw, Apollo Guide
"The production is a most realistic, hard-hitting and perceptive look at the seamy side of pro football."
‑ , Variety
"Pro football fans may be disillusioned by this excellent, honest, and often brutal expose of the play-for-pay game."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Raucous football tale with effective Nolte."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"For a sports flick, this is unique and holds your attention for the most part."
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for North Dallas Forty on Rotten Tomatoes