Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Harvard Beats Yale 29-29|
Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Brian Dowling, Vic Gatto, Frank Champi, J.P. Goldsmith
Director: Kevin Rafferty
Genres: Drama, Sports
An incredible true story that unfolds like a ripping good yarn... With an uproarious, impossible Hollywood ending (Andrew O Hehir, Salon.com), Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is filmmaker Kevin Rafferty s (The Atomic Cafe) acclai... more »
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Not just for alumni
M. Heller | Mendota Heights, MN United States | 04/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was in high school in 1968 and remember the game and its legend well. My wife knew nothing of the game. We both loved the movie. Rafferty skillfully weaves interviews with players with footage of the game and narration in an insightful and entertaining fashion. He also has a remarkably wry sense of humor. It's not a comedy but I found the audience erupting into laughter more often than at most mainstream comedies.
I saw it at a movie theater but I think it should be great on DVD at home."
Delightful, Captivating Film
John Schlorholtz | Boston, Mass. | 07/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know very little about football. My girlfriend knows even less. Yet we were both captivated and delighted by this film.
Aside from getting caught up in the unfolding action of a football game that is more incredible than any fictionalized game I've seen, we really enjoyed the experience of the 60's that the film evoked through the stories told by the players. These are the most thoughtful, witty football players imaginable, and they drew us in with their frankness, insights, humor, and the reflectiveness that the 40 years of life-experience since the game have given them.
No matter who speaks in the movie, whether it's the guy who keeps wanting to hurt people to get them out of the game, the "aloof," introspective second string quarterback who can throw the ball 50 yards with either hand, Tommy Lee Jones, who was roommates with Al Gore and is about to hang up his helmet for good and move to Hollywood, or the Jewish player whose father tells him to play on the Sabbath, all the personal stories are beautifully edited together by the filmmaker to make an engrossing tale that's as much about interesting people living through a dramatic time as it is about a football game.
I think this film will continue to be around for a long time to come.
Only if you're comfortable with the oxymoron "Ivy-League Foo
Eclect | Boulder, CO | 08/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kevin Rafferty has done a masterful job in recreating the last time ever that Harvard and Yale played "The Game" to a tie in 1968. (Overtime now ensures that there will be no more ties.) The film consists entirely of three elements: (1) footage from the television broadcast, (2) interviews with the players, and (3) minimal graphics to tie the story together. Just the players - no coaches, no officials, no people in the stands, no commentariat. Of course, this is being recalled forty years after the fact, and some memories don't entirely jive with those of others or with the television clips. Watching the hour-plus of outtake interviews gives an even fuller picture, while making one grateful that Rafferty was judicious in his final cut. Probably best not to watch both the film and the bonus in one sitting.
If you think the only football games worthy of attention are professional and BCS caliber teams, you won't be interested in this movie. If you have nothing but antipathy (or worse) for the Ivy League, don't bother. If you are interested in a historical re-creation of an event that profoundly affected 40+ men who were coming of age in a time of considerable outside stress (the military draft at the height of the Vietnam war) and hearing their reactions to something that happened two-thirds of their lives ago, you could do a lot worse. If you're a Doonesbury fan from way back, you will also find it of interest.
The answer to the question why Calvin Hill was not featured more is that he declined to talk to Rafferty.
When a Tie Is a Win
Douglas S. Wood | Monona, WI | 01/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary film about a 1968 football game between rivals Harvard and Yale is great fun and also opens a little window on "The Sixties" (which really went from around 1965 to 1974 as one of the players points out). Filmmaker Kevin Rafferty (The Atomic Cafe (Collector's Edition)) tracked down Harvard and Yale players some four decades after the game and skillfully mixes game footage with the player interviews. The result is 73 captivating minutes of sports, social commentary, and even celebrity watching.
How is a tie a win? Both teams were unbeaten going into the final game of the year, but Yale had future Dallas Cowboy star Calvin Hill and a number 16 ranking in the polls (Yale? 16th in the land?!). Yale goes out to a big lead and has the game well in hand until odd things begin to happen. Still down 29-13 with a minute to play, Harvard manages to score two touchdowns plus two two-point conversions in the final 42 seconds to "win" the game, 29-29. (Harvard was aided by Yale's astonishing lack of an onside kick return play that helped Harvard regain possession of the ball and begin its final drive.)
Football aside, the film features Tommie Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men), then an all-conference lineman for Harvard and Al Gore's roommate! Yale's QB, Brian Dowling was the inspiration for Doonesbury's B.D. And George W. Bush gets a mention for hanging from the goal posts in a state of inebriation after an earlier Yale win at Princeton. Another player (now bald on top and thick in the middle) was dating a shy and reserved Meryl Streep. The Vietnam War always in the background and sometimes took center stage - at least at Harvard. At least one player was a vet who had survived Khe Sanh while another was a member of the SDS. Casual sex had been discovered with the invention of the Pill - every date offered at least a possibility of 'going all the way'.
What really makes the film, however, is the fact that several of these former players are very good story tellers, whether it is the deft humor and witty insight of J.P. Goldsmith or the scary honesty of linebacker Mike Bouscaren, who candidly admits he attempted to injure the Harvard QB, but only got a well-deserved personal foul. (Oddly, he also asserted with absolute certitude that he had knocked a Harvard running back out of the game by using his helmet as a weapon and spearing the player's ankle. The game film clearly shows Bouscaren is nowhere near the action when that player is injured. Bouscaren had created his own false memory!) Compelling times, good stories well-told, and a wild game on the gridiron make for a highly entertaining an stimulating film."