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North Dallas Forty

By Robert Lane

A very savvy, 1978 film directed by Ted Kotcheff (First Blood) dealing with the seamier side of professional football. Phillip Elliott and Maxwell (Nick Nolte and Mac Davis, respectively) are players for a Texas football team loosely based on the championship Dallas Cowboys. Though at the peak of his football career, Elliott is a personal and physical mess, needing all manner of drugs prescribed by the team physician to play and even to move around. The indifference of the team management and the hypocritical stance toward recreational drug use versus the drug abuse practiced by the players leads to a crisis of conscience for Nolte. The combination of Nolte's volatile presence and Davis's understated performance as the quarterback who thinks he's seen it all helps make North Dallas Forty one of the best sports films around.

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"I have to admit. . I don't watch football much. I don't have a favorite team. Hell, I only watch The Super Bowl for the ads. But I love football movies. I know, strange.

North Dallas Forty has it all. Great gridiron action. A good story about win at any cost sports and good performances by Nick Nolte, Charles Durning , Steve Forrest and Bo Svenson. And. who knew singer/songwriter Mac Davis could act ??!! He really had some screen presense. The Super70s really had some good football films. Paper Lion, The Longest Yard and I'd even have to add Two Minute Warning and Black Sunday to the list even though foiotball was just a backdrop to the main action."

--Michael C.

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Stars: Nick Nolte, Charles Durning, Mac Davis, Dabney Coleman, John Matuszak, Steve Forrest

Released: August 3, 1979

Availability: DVD VHS


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