The Longest Yard (1974)




Critic Consensus: Equal parts tough and funny, and led by a perfectly cast Burt Reynolds, The Longest Yard has an interesting political subtext and an excellent climax -- even if it takes too long to get there.

Movie Info

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 … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Tracy Keenan Wynn
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 30, 2001
Paramount Home Video


as Paul Crewe

as Warden Rudolph Hazen

as Capt. Wilhelm Knauer

as Nate Scarboro

as `Caretaker' Farrell

as Announcer

as Granville

as Rassmeusen

as Warden's Secretary

as Melissa

as Announcer

as Walking Boss

as Samson

as Shop Steward

as Assistant Warden

as Bogdanski

as Bartender

as Team Doctor

as Trainer

as Tannen

as Schmidt

as Referee

as Trooper

as Shokner

as Levitt

as Big George

as Big Wilbur

as Buttercup

as Little Joe

as Bartender

as Rassmeusen
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Longest Yard

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Critic Reviews for The Longest Yard

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (4)

An outstanding action drama, combining the brutish excitement of football competition with the brutalities of contemporary prison life.

Full Review… | August 4, 2008
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 4, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

If it ultimately descends into macho nonsense, then that's all part of the fun.

Full Review… | July 31, 2008

Pardon me if I wasn't blown away by all its simplistic machinations and lighthearted appeal to one's baser instincts.

Full Review… | October 11, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Longest Yard

An inmate forms a football team to compete against the prison guards' team.
Almost all sports film invariably devolve into cliches. There's something elemental about sports that creates an inherent conflict that can carry a film. The good sports films are good because of their variations -- 61*'s portrayal of Maris's innate strength of character, Sugar's focus on the unheard of players, and A League of Their Own's hot women (jk). The fact that this film is set in a prison is supposed to be its interesting variation, but I don't find the prison setting to be particularly compelling or to be used in a profound way. Its attempt at a variation is also Burt Reynolds's character, Paul Crewe. Crewe is a wise-cracking, devil-may-care kind of guy, and Reynolds made a career playing parts like this. He does it well, handsome, charming, and witty.
Overall, The Longest Yard's attempts at breaking sports films' cliches aren't bad, but the film doesn't amount to anything extraordinary.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Decent enough sports film, The Longest Yard for me, has been s tad overhyped and its reputation slightly killed the tone of the film for me. The film is far better than the remake of course and it should be seen as one of the best sports films, but it's not one of my personal favorites. The acting is good, and the story is well constructed, but overall, I thought it was a decent film. However this film wasn't my cup of tea. The film boasts a good cast of talented actors, and this was made back in the day when Burt Reynolds was still able to make good films. The Longest Yard is an entertaining film. This film is not a film that has a comedic vibe like the remake, and that's what I like about it. Though I view this film as decent, I found good enough to be entertaining, and I did enjoy it. But the fact is, is that I felt that the film a bit too hyped up. I'm not saying that the film bad, but I'm just saying I expected something much better than this. Overall a decent sports drama with a good cast. The Longest Yard is one of those films that can easily disappoint a viewer because it has been hyped up too much. However despite this, The Longest Yard is an entertaining film that is memorable, and is a necessary viewing for sports fans. I enjoyed the film, but not as much as I'd might have if it wasn't for the hype. For me the hype killed the film. A worthwhile film to watch and an entertaining film despite the fact that it's not as great as what everyone claims it to be.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Burt Reynolds plays a football player who goes on a spree and is locked in jail and forced to play football. There are a few disturbing things, like the old gay snitch, the cell fire, the mean warden, and Burt without a moustache! There's a muddy hard labor scene. But it has good football games in it. Mean Machines was better.

Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer

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