The Longest Yard is the story of pro quarterback Paul Crewe and former college champion and coach Nate Scarboro, who are doing time in the same prison. Asked to put together a team of inmates to take on the guards, Crewe enlists the help of Scarboro to coach the inmates to victory in a football game "fixed" to turn out quite another way.

(2005) Film Review

This page was created on May 14, 2005
This page was last updated on May 30, 2005

About this Film
Spiritual Connections

Review by Mike Furches
Review by PapaBear

Dial up modems will take a few moments


Directed by Peter Segal
Story by Albert S. Ruddy
1974 Screenplay by Tracy Keenan Wynn
Screenplay by Sheldon Turner

Click to enlargeCast (in credits order)
Adam Sandler .... Paul 'Wrecking' Crewe
Chris Rock .... Caretaker
Burt Reynolds .... Coach Nate Scarborough
James Cromwell .... Warden Hazen
Walter Williamson .... Errol Dandridge
Michael Irvin .... Deacon Moss
Nelly .... Earl Megget
Edward Bunker .... Skitchy Rivers
Lobo Sebastian .... Torres
Bob Sapp .... Switowski
Dalip Singh .... Turley
David Patrick Kelly .... Unger
Terry Crews .... Cheeseburger Eddy
Nicholas Turturro .... Brucie
Joey Diaz .... Big Tony
Bill Goldberg .... Joey Battle
Steve Reevis .... Baby Face Bob
Cloris Leachman .... Lynette Reynolds
William Fichtner .... Captain Knauer
Bill Romanowski .... Guard Lambert
Kevin Nash .... Guard Engleheart
Steve Austin .... Guard Dunham
Brian Bosworth .... Guard Garner
Michael Papajohn .... Guard Papajohn
Brandon Molale .... Guard Molloy
Todd Holland .... Guard Holland
Conrad Goode .... Guard Webster
Tracy Morgan .... Ms. Tucker

Produced by
Barry Bernardi .... executive producer
Allen Covert .... executive producer
Michael Ewing .... executive producer
David Gale .... executive producer
Jack Giarraputo .... producer
Tim Herlihy .... executive producer
Albert S. Ruddy .... executive producer
Van Toffler .... executive producer

Original Music by Teddy Castellucci
Cinematography by Dean Semler
Film Editing by Jeff Gourson

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, violence, language and drug references.
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG


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Behind-the-Scenes Featurette - 'Getting Acclimated':
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Webisode 1 - 'Making the Remake':
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Webisode 2 - 'Nelly':
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Webisode 3 - 'Football Experience':
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The Longest Yard
1. Errtime
2. Shorty Bounce
3. Bounce Like This
4. Let Em Fight
5. Stomp
6. So Fly
7. You Should Know
8. Whip Yo Ass
9. Talking That Talk
10. Datz On My Mama
11. Infiltrate
12. My Ballz
13. Fly
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Click to enlarge
"The Longest Yard" is the story of pro quarterback Paul Crewe (Sandler) and former college champion and coach Nate Scarboro (Reynolds), who are doing time in the same prison. Asked to put together a team of inmates to take on the guards, Crewe enlists the help of Scarboro to coach the inmates to victory in a football game "fixed" to turn out quite another way.

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Review by


14.jpg (90 K)Summers of recent have featured movies that are remakes of previous box office hits or popular television shows. This summer is no different, and one of the ones to come out at the first of the summer season is the remake of the popular Burt Reynolds comedy, The Longest Yard. The recent version of The Longest Yard features a cast that includes Adam Sandler in the leading role but the supporting cast features some of the best and most fun characters in movies in a long time. Some of the characters range from sports entertainment wrestling stars like Bill Goldberg and Stone Cold Steve Austin to individual character actors such as Cloris Leachman and the reintroduction of Burt Reynolds. There are also football legends such as Michael Irvin, Steve Romanowski and former college great Brian Bosworth. From Chris Rock to Nelly, and from James Cromwell to Courteney Cox, this movie has enough supporting actors to fill a gumball machine to the brim. Even though this may be a re! make of a former movie, the filmmakers have not forgotten about the power of a strong supporting cast with defined and enjoyable characters.

The themes from the 2005 version of The Longest Yard are similar to the themes of the original released in 1974. There are updates that have been incorporated but not that much has changed. A dried up desert prison where inmates are abused by guards and a system that seems to care little about them is the same story today as it was 31 years ago. According to this movie, not much has changed in a system that seems to be far more about punishment than it is rehabilitation.

01.jpg (66 K)Peter Segal does a phenomenal job at directing this entertaining, laugh aloud movie. Not only do we see the individuals within the movie change their perception of the team formed by the inmates, we as an audience also begin to change our perception as we find ourselves thinking differently of the characters. While we are along at first for the comedy effect, we find ourselves thinking that some of these individuals, with a little bit of help, could become people that excel outside of prison walls if given a chance.

One of the things that is lacking for many of the inmates is hope. Along comes a sort of savior, Paul Crewe, played wonderfully by Adam Sandler, who provides a level of hope. While not a perfect human being, he learns the value of making friendships, and of making sacrifices for the greater good of those he is living with on a day-to-day basis. Those sacrifices come at a cost, a terrible cost, one that involves blood, and ultimately life. However, they are sacrifices that need to be made in order to provide the hope and satisfaction that is missing from the hell these inmates live in on a daily basis. Once those sacrifices are made, there are people who understand the nature sacrifice and who are then willing to follow into battle the one who was so willing to show love, restraint, and compassion for something they believed in. A basketball game between Crewe, played by Sandler and Deacon Moss played by Michael Irvin help illustrate this point. We also see it displaye! d again later on when one of the characters is racially abused by one of the prison guards played by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Restraint and sacrifice are concepts that can change a world if practiced. After awhile, Crewe helps all of the inmates see and understand this.

20.jpg (68 K)While we don’t get strong glimpses of it, we get some glimpse of the importance of faith, even to those who are among the “worst” that society has to offer. After one character who has made numerous sacrifices at bringing people together, and at befriending one who no one seems to care about dies, we see that the first thing placed on that individuals casket is a Holy Bible. We see others moved by that sign of love by placing the very things on the casket that means the most to them. From a coaches whistle, to a photo of a dear friend, others come to understand the concept of laying down their lives for others.

It took great sacrifice and undue death to help those individuals see the importance of love and serving each other, but they finally get it. The filmmakers also understand the importance of faith, immediately after the burial scene is the Norman Greenbaum song Spirit in the Sky. Personally I like the Kentucky Headhunters version better, but this song is a reminder to the audience that something awaits each individual after death. There is certainly an afterlife and the memories of the individual is not the only place that person will live on. The song indicates that there is a Spirit in the Sky, and as the song says; “I’ve got a friend in Jesus.”

Technically, as hard as one might have believing it, this movie is sound and even at times artistic. While there may be what is considered by some, a movie filled with sophomoric humor, there are actually artistic tendencies in the style of the film and the movie itself. There is also a killer soundtrack that my son is out buying right now. It won’t be surprising to hear many talking about the artistic merit of this movie and being reminded of the songs that add to the story line. From dramatic football sequences to split screen visuals, the movie has far more than I personally bargained for. At times it even reminded me of Friday Night Lights and that is saying something.

On a closing note, this movie could have been longer, and delved more into the characters. They are abundant and with as many dynamite characters as there are in this film, the makers have done as good a job at developing those characters. I just wish there could have been another 30 minutes added to the movie that would have allowed more.

The Longest Yard is more than just a laugh out loud comedy. It is a movie that causes us to think about the hope that we all desire, and the value of friendship along the way. It forces us to look at the reality that while some things require sacrifice, those things are worth it. It also forces us to think of ways we can conquer and obtain goals from working together. While revenge may be nice to some, revenge is also a concept that will tear down and destroy if we let it, and it will certainly affect those that we journey through life with.

The Longest Yard is not a classic; it is a fun and enjoyable remake. It pays tribute to the original actor, Burt Reynolds who played in the original’s title role. He has more than a simple cameo; he plays a part that helps deliver the team and in many ways delivers the movie. He may be an old coach in this movie, but he can still contribute. His character realizes his potential and gifts. May we all learn lessons that will allow our own individual gifts and strengths to contribute to society! May we realize that the characters in this movie represent all people, not just convicts, who are, after all, like one of the characters in the movie reminds us, just people too.

On a scale of 1 – 10, for the laughs, good time, and the original Longest Yard and the new remake, minus 2, a heartwarming and fun 8. By the way, see if you can catch the obvious tribute to The Waterboy also staring Adam Sandler.

Review by

Well, actually, since I was on business travel to Colorado Springs there were a lot of cadets from the Air Force Academy and their “local” girlfriends. But since one of my favorite pastimes is working with a High School Youth Group, I felt pretty much at home.

03.jpg (76 K)So, after getting over my trepidations about watching a remake and groggily making it to a late night show-time, what was my viewing experience? I LOVED the movie! Within the first 5 minutes I, and most of the theater were laughing and did not stop until the end of the film (well, there were a couple of scenes that definitely were not funny, but these were short and only added to the validity of the overall plot). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the film was true to the original movie and I actually believed that it was as good if not better. I think the critics, I had read earlier, were way off base when they said that Sandler couldn’t pull off Burt Reynolds’ original role. I thought Sandler’s portrayal of the ex-football player landed in jail and given a chance to redeem himself with a convict football team, was perfect and I am sure Reynolds himself would approve. In fact, I have no doubt that Reynolds approved as he had a role in the film himself and provided guidance to Sandler on different scenes. I thought Sandler showed he was a class act when he went to Reynolds to get his blessing before shooting the remake.

12.jpg (84 K)As I stated, the storyline is faithful to the original with the actors not only portraying the original cast, but going beyond to give us a more in-depth characterization of the hardened criminals and their desire to achieve, regardless of how little, a degree of respect for themselves and each other (which for many is the only family they have).

It would have been easy for Sandler, coming off a poor showing with Spanglish (which I loved, but evidently not a lot of others did), to have played it safe and just attempted an adequate performance to show his critics that he could still headline a movie that could pay for itself. But instead Sandler pulled together a fine cast, not the least of which was Chris Rock, along with a number of other comedians and professional athletes, and showed that he wasn’t only “ok”, but reinforced (what I have always known) that he is both an exceptional actor and producer.

17.jpg (88 K)In-between the uproarious laughter I managed to uncover several different messages. One obvious message being the redemption of Paul Crewe (Sandler). Through different events, and outside pressures, he finds that truth and fellowship are more important than the self. In John 15:13 Jesus says “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” This is not to say that Sandler’s character, Paul Crewe, actually put his life on the line, but as with the original movie he did put 25 years of his life on the line for his friends (fellow in-mates). In the face of adversity, Paul Crewe had to make a decision. A decision that would impact the rest of his life, both physically and spiritually. Many of us may not be faced with such a drastic choice (or we may have worse to deal with), but we all have decisions we have to make every day. And each decision takes us inch-by-inch in one direction or the other. And that’s the funny thing about Free Will…it is all up to us.

To wrap this up, for those of you that like a feel good movie, with some action thrown in mix it up a bit, I highly recommend The Longest Yard. It will be one of the better releases this Summer and more than lives up to the hype. For those of you who loved the original Longest Yard – you will not be disappointed.

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