HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  North Dallas Forty The Games People Play
Year: 1979
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, Charles Durning, Dayle Haddon, Bo Svenson, John Matuszak, Steve Forrest, G.D. Spradlin, Dabney Coleman, Savannah Smith, Marshall Colt, Guich Koock, Deborah Benson, Jim Boeke, John Bottoms, Walter Brooke, Alan Autry
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Phil Elliott (Nick Nolte) plays football for the North Dallas Bulls, but it's not all working hard and playing hard as there are times he wonders why he's putting his body through this ordeal for a few minutes of glory on the field. Today, the morning after a big game the night before, he has trouble even getting out of bed thanks to his strains and sprains, so lowers himself into a bath and tries to relax, relishing the memory of the previous evening's highlight which for him was an incredible catch followed by a world-beating touchdown. Sure, it was a little flukey, but he scored the points and that's good enough for him...

North Dallas Forty is a cult movie which occupies a curious place in the affections of both sports fans and movie buffs in that it's really the film about American football that is the preferred production on the subject, especially if either you have no interest (or knowledge) of the game, or even if you actively despise the contests and all they stand for. In fact, it appears to have been designed to expose the whole shebang as the corrupt business its detractors actually suspect it to be, but it wasn't negative scene after negative scene because there were flashes throughout of just why these players put themselves through this, that oft-elusive elation of knowing you have won, or even simply scored: as Phil's best friend (country singer Mac Davis) observes, if they have to be whores they may as well be the best.

Helping to achieve this difficult tone immeasurably was an excellent script (taken from a semi-autobiographical novel) littered with profane dialogue and hilarious turns of phrase, which added to the contributions of a very capable cast helped to paper over the cracks of a story that tended towards the schematic, and would have come across as such if it was not so dedicated to undercutting the expectations of your average sporting triumph flick where you just know the proceedings will end on a freeze frame of the winning team our hero plays for punching the air mid-victory celebration. In this case, you watch it unsure of quite how far the team will get when there are so many factors both of their own making and others' that could get in the way.

Nolte's Phil encapsulated that world-weariness with his career, which he is beginning to get too old and out of shape for, with a sharp wit and genuine love of the highs a great win will offer. But this had something to say about male aggression, as here that is encouraged in the arena whereas normally in society it is frowned upon, and that is because left unchecked they will both lead to the same result: pain. We see the coaches and the bosses firing up the players to the point where they will be capable of violent crime, which is excused on the field since there's a catharsis for those watching in seeing these men bare their teeth and really launch themselves at one another, but becomes more problematic when the participants cannot leave that behind in the game.

The most visible example of that was Bo Svenson's towering Jo Bob who we are introduced to when he bursts into Phil's bathroom with two friends and blasts a shotgun at the ceiling, all to get him to accompany them hunting; very amusing, but when at the party that night to celebrate the team's close vicinity to winning the championship - just one game to go - he nearly rapes a woman, Charlotte (Dayle Haddon), as he won't take no for an answer and being the biggest guy there expects to get his way. Phil saves her after a fashion, and they become lovers themselves, though truth be told this is the weakest part of the film with Haddon's ice queen demeanour difficult to warm to; better is the briefly seen affair he is having with one of his bosses' fiancées (Savannah Smith). But it's that pain which stays with you, all these burly men gingerly making their way across the screen because they need to be pumped full of painkillers to keep going, every one exploited to line the pockets of the self-satisfied company men. If this wasn't so funny, it would be a harrowing tragedy. Music by John Scott.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2719 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: