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Drama - US

Any Given Sunday (1999)


Duration 2h 42m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Said to be “partly based on” a novel “On Any Given Sunday” written in 1984 by Pat Toomay (A NFL player)
Director Oliver Stone
Writers/Script John Logan, Oliver Stone (story Daniel Pyne, John Logan and others)
Starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, Ann-Margaret, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Charlton Heston, Oliver Stone,

Elevator Pitch: The Miami Sharks are a struggling American football team coached by Tony D’Amato whose efforts are often frustrated by the political and financial activities of the owner, Christina Pagniacci, who has inherited the team from her father. To add to the coach’s woes the captain is injured and he ends up with the third string quarterback ignoring his instructions and effectively running the game, with considerable success. As the team struggle towards the end of the season, more of the players suffer from injuries which may, or may not, be life changing.

Content: There is nudity, sex, drug taking and alcohol consumption, at one point all at the same time. The players are often seen in the locker room, sometimes quite graphically. Tony hires an expensive hooker to have the GFE – the girl friend experience. He argues almost constantly with the owner. He makes stirring speeches to the team. There are numerous football games where we are kept up to speed by views of the scoreboards. The cheerleaders prance. The doctors argue about the injuries to the players, some of which are concealed from them. The players have parties.

A View: Due to a cable TV failure I was forced to find an alternative movie to view yesterday. I happened to have some discs provided free with newspapers and so stuck “Any Given Sunday” into the player without having the faintest idea what it was about. I could have discarded it immediately, having no idea about, or interest in, American football, but due to inertia kept it going, only to find that it was quite engaging. It was skilfully presented so that even those with no interest in the sport will find it watchable.  Some have said it is Oliver Stone’s best film. I would not go that far, but definitely worth a watch for nothing.

Additional Info:  Tony’s final rallying speech to the team is based on one by real life NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer in 1989.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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