The Longest Yard / Mean Machine


D: Robert Aldrich

Paramount / Long Road (Albert S. Ruddy)

US 🇺🇸 1974

121 mins


W: Tracy Keenan Wynn

DP: Joseph Biroc

Ed: Michael Luciano

Mus: Frank DeVol

Burt Reynolds (Paul ‘Wrecking’ Crewe), Eddie Albert (Warden Rudolph Hazen), Ed Lauter (Capt. Wilhelm Knauer), Michael Conrad (Nate Scarboro), James Hampton (James ‘Caretaker’ Farrell)

This 1974 original film The Longest Yard stars Burt Reynolds in the lead as a brash former quarterback who is arrested on a motoring violation and is sentenced to prison, where a sadistic warden wants to arrange a football game between the guards and the prisoners as an excuse for the former to install dominance over the latter with dirty tactics.

The Longest Yard has spawned three remakes, including a 2005 film starring Adam Sandler in the lead and a 2001 British film starring Vinnie Jones, with the sport changed from gridiron to soccer.  The plot has also inspired other films into existence, such as 1981’s Escape To Victory (aka Victory) and 1980’s Stir Crazy.  

I wasn’t a huge fan of this film, as I didn’t particularly care for Burt Reynolds’ character and I have no interest in American Football and barely understand the rules of the sport.

However, I think it does deserve some credit for the legacy it created, even though this film just wasn’t tailored at all for my personal tastes.


The Longest Yard (1974)
The Longest Yard (1974)


D: Barry Skolnick

Paramount/Ska (Matthew Vaughn)

UK/US 🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2001

98 mins


W: Charlie Fletcher, Chris Baker & Andrew Day [based on the screenplay "The Longest Yard" by Tracy Keenan Wynn]

DP: Alex Barber

Ed: Eddie Hamilton & Dayn Williams

Mus: John Murphy

Vinnie Jones (Danny Meehan), Jason Statham (Monk), David Kelly (Doc), David Hemmings (Governer), Vas Blackwood (Massive), Danny Dyer (Billy the Limpet)

This Anglicised remake of an American sports comedy (The Longest Yard) stars real-life former footballer Vinnie Jones, a man of very limited acting ability, as a disgraced England footballer sent to prison for assault and forced by the warden into coaching other convicts to play in a match against the guards.
This is a prime example of the rubbish which came out of the woodwork following the success of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (qv). An English gangster film with a lead character with absolutely no charisma or charm, armed with a hand-me-down script with barely any believable dialogue.


Mean Machine
Mean Machine