The Longest Yard
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Ex-football star Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds) ends up in a prison run by sadistic sports-nut Warden Hazen (Eddie Albert). Strong-armed into forming an inmate football team, Crewe manages to instill an esprit de corps previously lacking in the prisoners' lives. Besides, they now have the chance to beat the guards' football team, headed by the hissable Capt. Knauer (Ed Lauter). Hazen orders Crewe to throw the match; otherwise, Crewe will never get the pardon he's been promised. The football game that follows consumes nearly a third of the picture. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An outstanding action drama, combining the brutish excitement of football competition with the brutalities of contemporary prison life."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Though The Yard is a terrible picture, I'll admit to having unwillingly enjoyed some of the football practice and parts of the final game -- even though it's much too long."
‑ Nora Sayre, New York Times
"Part prison film, part football film, this violent but outstanding comedy-drama by gifted action director Robert Aldrich explores the brutality inherent in both the American penal system and football."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Aldrich...created Paul Crewe just as much as Reynolds did."
‑ Rory L. Aronsky, Film Threat
"That The Longest Yard is considered something of a classic is baffling..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"What saves it, aside from good performances by Burt Reynolds and a thundering herd of supporting grotesques, is, of all things, a tough, tiny nut of valid social criticism."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"If it ultimately descends into macho nonsense, then that's all part of the fun."
‑ , Film4
"The original has just the right mix of toughness and humor. Burt Reynolds was born to play incarcerated quarterback Paul Crewe."
‑ Chuck O'Leary,
"The film drags until it reaches the climactic football game, and the contest itself doesn't justify the two-hour run."
‑ Forrest Hartman, Reno Gazette-Journal
"Aldrich's film is most alive during the team recruitment scenes."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Very exciting, very witty, and elevated above its action-movie status by Aldrich's deliberate references to Nixon in Albert's characterisation of the warden."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Pardon me if I wasn't blown away by all its simplistic machinations and lighthearted appeal to one's baser instincts."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The football sequences are excellent, which makes sense given that half of the actors were college or pro ballers themselves."
‑ Gerardo Orlando,
"One of Robert Aldrich's biggest hits, The Longest Yard (1974) combines his ferocious worldview with a new kind of rambunctious audience appeal..."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Reynolds brings his "A" game to this semi-tough crowd pleaser."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
More reviews for The Longest Yard on Rotten Tomatoes

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