Written by / 9/11/2022 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BURT REYNOLDS GETS CAPTURED FOR 'THE LONGEST YARD'

Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD Director: Robert Aldrich Year: 1974 Rating: ****
Having experienced the many Burt Reynolds road flicks throughout the mid/late seventies and early eighties, you'd expect him to, in the very beginning as he's being chased by cops in a stolen hot rod, get away and avoid all punishment... 
 
Nothing doing in THE LONGEST YARD since Burt, playing a has-been football star, is sent to a backwards Florida work-camp where he's called upon by a power hungry warden (Eddie Albert backed by chief guard Ed Lauter) to start a team of convicts: who end up challenging the prison guard semi-pro outfit with a start-up game (fitfully helmed by DIRTY DOZEN prisoners-with-a-purpose director Robert Aldrich) ...

Burt Reynolds and Harry Caesar in THE LONGEST YARD with James Hampton
The best scenes involve Reynolds and manager James Hampton (and coach Michael Conrad) interviewing each brute as possible team members; the gritty moments before the plot's underway as Reynolds survives the swampy chain-gang; or the end game itself shown on split-screen like Robert Altman's MASH... 
 
But things never get too intense or realistic as the entire film... despite some seriousness and creepiness (especially thanks to prison rat Charles Tyner)... remains with a knowing, breezy grin: a combination of his prior DELIVERANCE-type intensity and future SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT-style humor.
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD before the arrest
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD with Eddie Albert
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD with Michael Conrad
Richard Kiel in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Ed Lauter in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD with Bernadette Peters
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD
Burt Reynolds in THE LONGEST YARD

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