North Dallas Forty (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

North Dallas Forty (1979)



Critic Consensus: Muddled overall, but perceptive and brutally realistic, North Dallas Forty also benefits from strong performances by Nick Nolte and Charles Durning. Football fans will likely find it fascinating.

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Movie Info

Onetime Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent's tell-all novel about the big business of football is the source for Ted Kotcheff's film, which explores the destructive world faced by NFL players both on and off the field.

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Nick Nolte
as Phil Elliott
Mac Davis
as Seth Maxwell
Charles Durning
as Coach Johnson
Dayle Haddon
as Charlotte Caulder
Bo Svenson
as Jo Bob Priddy
Steve Forrest
as Conrad Hunter
G.D. Spradlin
as B.A. Strothers
Marshall Colt
as Art Hartman
Guich Koock
as Eddie Rand
Deborah Benson
as Mrs. Hartman
Jim Boeke
as Stallings
Alan Autry
as Balford
Danny J. Bunz
as Tony Douglas
Rad Daly
as Conrad
Boyd Matson
as Sportscaster
John Matuszak
as O.W. Shaddock
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Critic Reviews for North Dallas Forty

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (6)

Profanely funny, wised-up and heroically antiheroic, North Dallas Forty is unlikely to please anyone with a vested interest in glorifying the National Football League.

Full Review… | August 29, 2016
Washington Post
Top Critic

Retains enough of the original novel's authenticity to deliver strong, if brutish, entertainment.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The football scenes are brutally real; the locker room scenes are totally authentic.

Full Review… | March 21, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

The production is a most realistic, hard-hitting and perceptive look at the seamy side of pro football.

Full Review… | March 14, 2007
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

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

Audience Reviews for North Dallas Forty

Not enough football action. It's dated and practically unwatchable. (First and only viewing - 2/4/2016)

Adam R
Adam R

I think the game is twisting your mind. Phillip Elliot is a wide receiver that would do anything to play. He has a bad knee but a great relationship and chemistry with the star quarterback. He's getting sick of the fast lifestyle and looks to settle down with his girl. We watch as his career opportunities appear to be increasing after a big touchdown catch in the play-offs; but in professional football, careers and opportunities disappear in the wink of an eye. "Better football through chemistry." Ted Kotcheff, director of First Blood, Winter People, Switching Channels, Wake in Fright, Weekend at Bernie's, Hidden Assassin, and Cry Rape, delivers North Dallas Forty. The storyline for this picture is very entertaining and tells the tale of the short lives of NFL player's the harsh realities of pain killers in the league as well as their lavish lifestyles. "They're shooting at cows." "They're too drunk to hit anything." This was recommended to me a long time ago on Rottentomatoes and I came across it again some years later on Netflix. I found this film well put together and a nice glimpse into the issues of pro sports. This is a film the NFL wouldn't even let get made today. I recommend giving this film a viewing. I don't feel much has likely changed since this came out. "I want you to knock his cock into his watch pocket." Grade: A-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

12/14/2014: An ok movie. A pretty good story without much football. Not good enough to watch more than once.

Russ Bast
Russ Bast

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