HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  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 2330 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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: