First Down…And Ten Years To Go
Burt Reynolds leads the downfield charge in this raucous, rough-and-tumble comedy-drama directed by Robert Aldrich (The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen). Reynolds plays one-time pro quarterback Paul Crewe, now behind bars for leading the state police on a wild chase in a “borrowed” car. Eddie Albert (Roman Holiday), in a sharp turn away from his “Green Acres” persona, is the sadistic, scheming warden who recruits Crewe to form a team of convicts to go up against the warden’s polished, semi-pro team of prison guards in a championship game. Crewe has agreed that his team – dubbed the “Mean Machine” – will provide only passive resistance to the squad of brutal guards. But the gridiron showdown turns into a gritty game of cunning strategy and outright survival as the Mean Machine defies the warden’s iron-fisted control and attempts to go the distance in The Longest Yard !
- “Part prison film, part football film, this violent but outstanding comedy-drama by gifted action director Robert Aldrich explores the brutality inherent in both the American penal system and football.” – TV Guide
- “If it ultimately descends into macho nonsense, then that's all part of the fun.” – Film4
- “The football sequences are excellent, which makes sense given that half of the actors were college or pro ballers themselves.” – Bullz-Eye.com