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Rudy is a 1993 American biographical sports film directed by David Anspaugh. It is an account of the life of Daniel Rudy Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. It was the first film that the Notre Dame administration allowed to be shot on campus since Knute Rockne, All American in 1940.

In 2005, Rudy was named one of the best 25 sports movies of the previous 25 years in two polls by ESPN (#24 by a panel of sports experts, and #4 by users). It was ranked the 54th-most inspiring film of all time in the American Film Institute s 100 Years series.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 18, 1993, and was released in the United States on October 15, 1993, by TriStar Pictures. It stars Sean Astin as the title character, along with Ned Beatty, Jason Miller, Robert Prosky and Charles S. Dutton. The film had supporting roles from Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, being both actors first film roles. The script was written by Angelo Pizzo, who created Hoosiers (1986), which was also directed by Anspaugh.


In the late 1960s in Joliet, Illinois, Daniel Eugene Rudy Ruettiger dreams of playing football at Notre Dame but lacks the grades and money to attend and the talent and physical stature to play major college football. Following high school, he works at a steel mill with his father, a Notre Dame fan, and his older brother. When his supportive best friend Pete is killed in a mill explosion, Rudy decides to follow his dream.

In 1972, Rudy visits Notre Dame but is not academically eligible to enroll. With the help of local priest and former Notre Dame president Father John Cavanaugh, Rudy enrolls at nearby Holy Cross College, hoping to transfer. He approaches Fortune, head groundskeeper at Notre Dame Stadium, and is given a job. Homeless, Rudy sneaks into Fortune s office through a window to sleep on a cot; initially indifferent to Rudy s plight, Fortune later leaves him with blankets and a key to the office. Rudy learns that Fortune, despite working at the stadium for years, has never seen a Notre Dame football game.

Rudy befriends teaching assistant D-Bob, who helps him study in return for Rudy helping him socially with girls. D-Bob tests Rudy for a learning disability; the results indicate that Rudy suffers from dyslexia, which he then overcomes to become a better student. At Christmas, Rudy returns home to find that his family appreciates his college academic achievements, although his brother Frank still mocks him for his attempts to play college football. Rudy persists, and even losing his girlfriend to his older brother Johnny does not deter him.

After two years at Holy Cross and three rejections from Notre Dame, Rudy is finally admitted and attends football tryouts in the hope of making the team as a walk-on. Assistant coach Yonto warns the walk-ons that 35 scholarship players will not even make the dress roster of players who take the field during games, but notices Rudy’s determination and gives him a spot on the daily practice squad. Rudy tells Fortune and persuades him to promise to see his first game.

Playing well, Rudy convinces head coach Ara Parseghian to let him suit up for one home game in his senior year, but Parseghian retires following the 1974 season and is replaced by former NFL coach Dan Devine, who refuses to place Rudy on the game-day roster. Frustrated to not be on the dress list for the next-to-last home game, Rudy quits the team.

Fortune finds a distraught Rudy and reveals he had actually played for Notre Dame years earlier, but quit as he felt his skin color kept him from playing and has regretted it ever since. Reminded that he has nothing to prove to anyone but himself and will forever regret quitting, Rudy returns to the team. Each of his fellow seniors, led by team captain and All-American Roland Steele, lines up to lay his jersey on Devine s desk, requesting Rudy be allowed to dress in his place for the season s final game. Devine lets Rudy suit up against Georgia Tech.

With Rudy s family and D-Bob in attendance, Steele invites Rudy to lead the team onto the field, and Fortune is there to see the game as promised. With Notre Dame leading 17–3 in the fourth quarter, Devine sends all the seniors into the game except Rudy, despite Steele s and the assistant coaches urging. Fans are aware of Rudy s goal from a story in the student newspaper, and a Rudy! chant begins in the stadium. Hearing this, the Notre Dame offense, led by tailback Jamie O Hara, overrules Devine s call for victory formation and scores a quick touchdown, providing defensive player Rudy a chance to get in the game and be entered onto the Fighting Irish roster. Devine finally lets Rudy play on the Notre Dame kickoff to Georgia Tech. Rudy stays in for the final play, sacks the Georgia Tech quarterback, and is carried off the field on his teammates shoulders to cheers from the stadium.

An epilogue states that since 1975, no other player for Notre Dame had been carried off the field as of the time of the film s release in 1993. Rudy graduated in 1976 and five of his younger brothers went on to earn college degrees.


  • Sean Astin as Daniel Rudy Ruettiger
  • Jon Favreau as Dennis D-Bob McGowan
  • Ned Beatty as Daniel Ruettiger, Sr.
  • Charles S. Dutton as Fortune
  • Robert Prosky as Father John Cavanaugh
  • Scott Benjaminson as Frank
  • Jason Miller as Coach Ara Parseghian
  • Lili Taylor as Sherry
  • Mitch Rouse as Jim
  • Chelcie Ross as Coach Dan Devine
  • Ron Dean as Assistant Coach Joe Yonto
  • John Beasley as Assistant Coach Warren
  • Vince Vaughn as Jamie O Hara (Credited as Vincent Vaughn )
  • Rudy Ruettiger – Cameo in a picture at the end of the movie, and in a crowd scene at the Georgia Tech game, behind Ned Beatty
  • Greta Lind as Mary
  • Christopher Reed as Pete
  • Gerry Becker as Father Ted
  • Diana James as Pick-up Girl #1
  • Mindy Hester as Pick-up Girl #2


Soundtrack album by

Jerry Goldsmith
Released September 28, 1993
Recorded 1993
Genre Soundtrack
Length 36:44

The soundtrack to Rudy was composed and conducted by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith. Goldsmith had previously worked with filmmakers Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh on their successful 1986 film Hoosiers, garnering the film an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score and thus making Goldsmith their first choice to compose a soundtrack for Rudy.

According to, Tryouts has been used in 12 trailers, including those for Angels in the Outfield, BASEketball, The Deep End of the Ocean, Good Will Hunting, The Little Vampire, Mafia!, Seabiscuit and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

In 2008, Senator John McCain used Take Us Out as an official anthem during his presidential run. The piece of music was played at major events such as after Senator McCain s acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention and after John McCain announced Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate in Dayton, Ohio.

Take Us Out was played in the pilot episode of About a Boy, based on the 2002 film of the same name.

Also recorded in the film are performances of various Notre Dame fight songs by the Notre Dame Glee Club.


Ruettiger decided to sell his story in 1986 and wanted Pizzo to write a script. Pizzo initially refused as he hated Notre Dame and didn t want anything to do with them but Ruettiger managed to convince him to write it. The film was shot in Illinois and Indiana.

Historical accuracy

In reality, Coach Dan Devine had announced that Rudy would dress for the Georgia Tech game during practice a few days before. The dramatic scene in which Rudy s senior teammates laid their jerseys on Devine s desk in protest never happened. According to Ruettiger, Devine was persuaded to allow him to dress only after a number of senior players requested that he do so. Devine had agreed to be depicted as the heavy in the film for dramatic effect but was chagrined to find out the extent to which he was vilified, saying: The jersey scene is unforgivable. It s a lie and untrue.

As a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on September 8, 2010, Joe Montana, who was an active member of the team when Ruettiger played in the Georgia Tech game, confirmed that the jersey scene never happened, stating: It s a movie, remember. Not all of that is true…The crowd wasn t chanting, nobody threw in their jerseys. He did get in the ball game. He got carried off after the game.

Nearly 10 years later in an interview on Barstool Sports Pardon My Take podcast, Montana reiterated that the jersey scene and crowd chanting did not actually occur. He also implied that carrying Ruettiger off the field was sarcastic rather than celebratory, saying: Was there a lot of things that happened? Yeah. He got in, he got a sack. Was the crowd chanting? No. Did I throw in my jersey? No. Did he get carried off the field? He got carried off by three of the biggest pranksters on the team.


The film was the closing night gala at the 1993 Toronto International Film Festival.

Rudy received primarily positive reviews from critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the film has a freshness and an earnestness that gets us involved, and by the end of the film we accept Rudy s dream as more than simply sports sentiment. It s a small but powerful illustration of the human spirit. Stephen Holden of The New York Times observed that For all its patness, the movie also has a gritty realism that is not found in many higher-priced versions of the same thing, and its happy ending is not the typical Hollywood leap into fantasy. In The Washington Post, Richard Harrington called Rudy a sweet-natured family drama in which years of effort are rewarded by a brief moment of glory. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called the film Sweet-natured and unsurprising…this is one of those Never Say Die, I Gotta Be Me, Somebody Up There Likes Me sports movies that no amount of cynicism can make much of a dent in. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 78%, based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site s consensus reads, Though undeniably sentimental and predictable, Rudy succeeds with an uplifting spirit and determination. Metacritic gave the film a score of 71, based on 22 reviews, indicating generally favorable reviews .

In 2006, AFI placed the film on its 100 Years…100 Cheers list, where it was ranked #54.

Home media

Rudy was released on VHS by Columbia TriStar Home Video on May 25, 1994, and on LaserDisc on June 22, 1994. The film was released as a Special Edition DVD on September 26, 2000. The film was released on Blu-Ray for the first time on September 9, 2008.

Year 1993
ReleaseDate 1993-10-22
RuntimeMins 114
RuntimeStr 1h 54min
Plot Rudy has always been told that he was too small to play college football. But he is determined to overcome the odds and fulfill his dream of playing for Notre Dame.
Awards Awards, 2 wins & 1 nomination
Directors David Anspaugh
Writers Angelo Pizzo
Stars Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Produced by Robert N. Fried,Jeffrey I. Friedman,Lee R. Mayes,Alan J. Mintz,Angelo Pizzo,Cary Woods,Richard J. Zinman
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography by Oliver Wood
Film Editing by David Rosenbloom
Casting By Sharon Bialy,Debi Manwiller,Richard Pagano
Production Design by Robb Wilson King
Set Decoration by Martin Price
Costume Design by Jane Anderson
Makeup Department Anna Berry,Robyn Goldman,Wendy Kimmel,Tammy Kusian,LunYé Marsh,Angela Nogaro,Laine Trzinski
Production Management Billy Higgins,Ron Lynch
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Sam Hoffman,Kevin Barry Howe,Richard Muessel,Angelo Pizzo,Daniel M. Stillman,Michael Waxman
Art Department Terry Baughman,Troy Borisy,Christine Failla,Will Gatlin,Harry N. Haase,Gary Ledyard,Lance Lombardo,Mike Monckton,Eric Ramsey,Charles Stewart,Amie McCarthy Winn,Karen Fletcher Trujillo,Dick Hansen
Sound Department George H. Anderson,Christopher S. Aud,James Beck,Bill W. Benton,Zane D. Bruce,Clayton Collins,Paul J. Diller,Curt Frisk,David Giammarco,Kimberly Harris,Matt Hovland,Dale R. Janus,Drake Jenevein,Jonathan Klein,Vanessa Lapato,Mark L. Mangino,Tony Margulies,Linda Martin,James Matheny,Timothy Pearson,Sanford Ponder,Sergio Reyes,Bill Rojas,Roy Seeger,Brenda Sowa,John J. Stephens,Steven Ticknor,David Williams,Daryl Ziemke,Dan Sharp
Special Effects by Sam Barkan,Joe Digaetano,Paul Digaetano,Paul Lenzi,Don Parsons
Stunts James Fierro,Brian Flemming,Rick LeFevour,Stacy Logan,Daniel Maldonado,Linda Perlin,Ben Scott,Kent Shelton,Jeff Williams
Camera and Electrical Department Art Bartels,Rick Brown,Gerrit Dangremond,Andrew Hoehn Jr.,Mel P. Mack,Hank McElwee,James A. Miller,David Morenz,Hope A. Nielsen,Van Redin,James F. Roorda,Kyle Rudolph,Vajra Stratigos,Randy Towers,Steve Wick,Jeffrey P. Ackil,David Moenkhaus
Casting Department Jane Alderman,Erica Arvold,Susan Booker,Heath Howe,Corissa Miller,Erin Moore,Owen J. Rice,Sheryl Roberts,Barbara L. Roche
Costume and Wardrobe Department Gloria Coffey-Sharrieff,Edward T. Hanley,Susan Kaufmann,Dianna Miller,Rebecca Naddeau St. John
Editorial Department David Orr,Richmond Riedel,Cas Schwabe,Marianne Urioste,Scot Deer,Steve Kraus
Location Management Bob Hudgins,Stephen Andrzejewski
Music Department Bruce Botnick,Tom Brown,Alexander Courage,Sandy DeCrescent,Bruce Dukov,Daniel Gold,Jerry Goldsmith,Kenneth Hall,Jim Hoffman,Edie Lehmann Boddicker,London Symphony Orchestra,Arthur Morton,Steven L. Smith,Sally Stevens,Darrell Hall,The Hollywood Studio Symphony,Malcolm McNab,Emil Richards,James Thatcher,Louise Di Tullio,James Walker
Script and Continuity Department Alicia Accardo,Mary Tallman
Transportation Department Calvin Chin,Richard Deangelo,Robert Wallace
Additional Crew Natalie Alexander,Lisa Barratt,Bill Bergen,Paul Bergen,Nicole Boxer,Sharisse Burch,Marc Conklin,A.C. Cowlings,William d’Anthony,Eddie Fickett,Frank Foster,Tiffany Fraser,Brian Golden,Sandra Gordon,Jennifer Haskin-O’Reggio,Ida Lee Henderson,Janet Hill,Meredith Humbracht,Nancy Jane King,Mary McCarthy,Jared G. Miller,Gerald F. Nichols,Charlene Norman,Shannon Lee O’Sullivan,Angela Price,Bobbi-Lynn Riley,Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger,Larry Szymanowski,Elizabeth Tompkins,Lisa Ullmann,Medan Wade,Albert DeGeeter,Elloise Dover,John ‘Fletch’ Fletcher
Genres Biography, Drama, Sport
Companies TriStar Pictures
Countries USA
Languages English, Spanish
ContentRating PG
ImDbRating 7.5
ImDbRatingVotes 63753
MetacriticRating 71
Keywords motivation,american football player,montage,applause,1970s