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Movie Review of “Rudy”

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    The 1993 film “Rudy” is a film that is truly inspirational and stands for the fact that against all odds dreams can come true if you work extra hard and are determined.  Rudy is a classic underdog; he was too small and had educational issues that seemed to scream that he would never achieve his dream of playing football at Notre Dame.  Against these insurmountable odds, Rudy did achieve his dream and he stands as an inspiration to all of us to strive for the stars because we may just reach them if we give it our all.

                The first memorable scene from “Rudy” is the scene where Rudy is told by his Catholic school teachers that he would never be accepted to a school like Notre Dame.  This occurs on the day that a bus is taking students to tour the campus.  Rudy is told that he lacks the intelligence to even be allowed to get on a bus and go see the school that is his dream to attend.  This scene is important because without seeing how this young man was viewed by teachers, the viewer would not understand Rudy’s determination to achieve his goal.  If the writer and director had just implied that Rudy lacked the grades to get into Notre Dame, then the viewer would have missed the emotional tie to Rudy’s character.  We have all been told by someone that we won’t be able to do something.  The human psyche is such that when told we don’t have the ability to achieve something, we strive harder for that unattainable goal.

                The second memorable scene from “Rudy” is the scene where his best friend from high school is killed.  Pete is Rudy’s best friend and the only one that believes he has the ability to achieve his dream.  The scenes leading up to his death, show Pete giving Rudy a Notre Dame jacket for his birthday and the two talking about how it’s never too late for Rudy to try and go to Notre Dame. Pete also tells him that playing it safe and doing what is expected of him will only get him a life of factory work and unfulfilled dreams.  In the aftermath of Pete’s death, Rudy sees that his best friend was right and he makes the decision to leave everything that is “safe” in his life (his family, his job, his fiancée) and go to Southbend.  The writer and director included this very important scene to show the viewer what motivated Rudy to finally follow his dreams.  Without this scene it would have been hard for the viewer to understand why Rudy left everything behind and went to a place where he didn’t know anyone.

                The third memorable scene from “Rudy” is the scene in which Rudy is first rejected by Notre Dame.  Upon getting accepted by Holy Cross College, Rudy takes classes and then applies to Notre Dame and is promptly rejected.  Watching this scene it doesn’t seem as significant as the other scenes, but it actually is a very integral scene to the movie because it gives the viewer another glimpse into Rudy’s character.  Most people who struggle in school would have just given up and gone home, but Rudy goes and talks to one of the priests who tells him that if he has “done everything in his power the only thing left to do would be to pray.”  The writer and director want the viewer to feel the emotions that Rudy is feeling.  We have all faced set backs and seeing how Rudy deals with this setback helps us to connect with him.

                The fourth memorable scene from “Rudy” is the scene where Rudy walks onto the football field at Notre Dame and convinces the coach, Ara Parseghian, to give him a spot on the varsity practice team.  Coach Parseghian takes a look at this short little guy and figures that the varsity practice team can use him as a tackling dummy.  Once on the team, Rudy surprises the coach by showing the heart and the drive of a lion.  Rudy has more desire to play the game then some of the guys that are tossing him around like a ragdoll.  This scene is an important scene and allows the viewer to see the heart and soul of Rudy.  Without this scene, the ending of the movie would not have the impact that it does.  Also, the viewer would not understand how much Rudy loves the game.  As part of the practice team, Rudy is constantly injured  but he takes each lump with enthusiasm because he sees his job is to help the varsity players get ready for their next game.  That pure love for the game and his small part in it is necessary for the viewer to understand the end of the movie.

                The fifth memorable scene from “Rudy” is the scene where the varsity football team throws their jerseys one by one on the new coaches desk demanding that Dan Devine allow Rudy to take their place in the last home game.   Dan Devine refuses to honor the deal that Rudy had with the former coach to be allowed to suit up in one home game.  According to tradition, a football player is only on the team if he suits up; otherwise there never is a record that he was a member of the football team. Seeing how each member of the varsity team feels, Devine gives in and Rudy is allowed to suit up for the final game of the season.  This scene I think more then any other is by far the most important scene.  Up until this moment, the viewer is seeing the effort and determination that Rudy has, but how other people react to that effort really gets glossed over until this scene.  The fact that each member of the varsity team recognizes Rudy’s unconquerable spirit is the defining moment of the film.  Without this scene, the movie’s end would have been anti-climatic.  This moving scene builds for the final scene where Rudy actually gets to play in the final game.  This scene also strikes a chord in the viewer and shows that hard work and determination will be recognized by your peers and you will always be respected for it in the end.


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    Movie Review of “Rudy”. (2016, Dec 06). Retrieved from

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Is Rudy appropriate for 8 year old?
    Good movie for 15+ - language, drinking, violent death not appropriate for the recommended 9 yo!
    Is Rudy worth watching?
    [A] well-crafted piece of middle-American uplift. It's definitely a really wonderful movie if you want to be inspired by a goal that you have in your life and you want to be motivated. So sentimental it moves you to laughter rather than tears.

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