• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

RUDY (1993) - PG - TOP NOTCH  
 Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty   

Summary -  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.

Cautions - Some language

Commentary - I'm not the biggest fan of sports movies (personal taste) but this film comes as close to a perfect movie as one might find. It starts with a fantastic true story, well written and skillfully directed. Then add perfect casting and actors who demonstrate what an authentic performance means (Sean Astin is spectacularly good). Now the icing on the cake (film?) - one of Jerry Goldsmith's best scores in an already prestigious career (great in it's simplicity not grandeur). It was powerful but not manipulative - a perfect complement to the tone of the film.

This film deserves my highest recommendation. Back me up Martin Liebman:

As if the true story is not powerful enough, actor Sean Astin delivers an absolutely first-rate performance as the diminutive-in-stature but big-in-heart Rudy Ruettiger. The boundless enthusiasm he brings to the character never fails to bring a smile to your face and a flood of tears to your eye as he succeeds in showing how powerful a tool perseverance in the face of endless negativity truly is. Sean Astin plays it so well, in fact, that the sorrow in his eyes when he is time and again denied his dream, be it from his father or a rejection letter, never looks forced or acted. He captures the spirit of the character with an uncanny realism that in turn captures the audience's heart and emotionally involves us in the story like few other actors and characters that I can recall. In conjunction with the fine score by the late and legendary Jerry Goldsmith, the film creates a myriad of emotions in the viewer from beginning to end, from heartbreak to triumph, right alongside Rudy. The score is impeccable in its representation of the film. It doesn't stir the emotions (the movie does that well enough), but it reinforces them in both the movie and in the audience.


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