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Knute Rockne---All American Reviews

Corn doesn't grow any higher than this male bonding tribute to testosterone. Pat O'Brien gives a gung-ho performance as the great Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne in this bland biography that features Reagan as Rockne's most famous player, George Gipp. The film follows Rockne from his Norwegian immigrant beginnings through his playing days at Notre Dame (when he helped invent the forward pass) and on to his glory days as head coach at his alma mater. With the support of Father Callahan (Donald Crisp), Rockne rises from assistant coach and chemistry teacher to the top spot, and revolutionizes the game as he turns out winning team after winning team, blessed with great players like the "Four Horseman" and Gipp, who dies young of pneumonia and provides the inspiration for Rockne's famed "win one for the Gipper" pep talk! Along the way, Rockne even finds time to romance and marry Bonnie Skilles (Gale Page). Four of Rockne's contemporaries play themselves--the grandfather of all coaches, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Howard Jones of USC, William Spaulding, and "Pop" Warner--and much of the football action is culled from newsreel footage. For legal reasons, some of the big scenes--such as the pep talk O'Brien gives in the locker room and the "for the Gipper" speech are missing on television. But it's all there in the home video, sitting in the cobwebs on your video store shelf.