Necessary Roughness (1991)

PG-13 | 108 mins | Comedy | 27 September 1991

Director:

Stan Dragoti

Cinematographer:

Peter Stein

Editor:

Wayne Wahrman

Production Designer:

Paul Peters

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures
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HISTORY

Producer Mace Neufeld told the 2 Oct 1991 HR that he and partner Robert Rehme commissioned David Fuller and Rick Natkin to write the original screenplay in response to a request from Paramount Pictures for a film about college football. After researching the topic, Rehme and Neufeld gave the writers a basic concept and six weeks to complete their first draft. Because Paramount planned a Sep 1991 release, rewrites and preproduction had to be completed in the six weeks prior to the 17 Apr 1991 start of principal photography. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Natkin and Fuller considered the story to be “an idealized version of college football,” with a team comprised of dedicated students rather than aspiring professional athletes. After studying National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations, the writers conceived the characters, “Paul Blake,” a thirty-four-year-old quarterback, and “Lucy Draper,” a female place kicker. The University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, TX, was chosen as the primary location for its “traditional design and large stadium.” Upon their arrival in TX, cast members began training at a football camp. A casting call for athletes yielded more than 400 applicants, from which stunt coordinator and second-unit director Allan Graf chose thirty-three to comprise the various teams opposing the protagonist “Armadillos.” Graf and former technical advisor Vince Costello organized thirty-six plays, each intended to “reveal something about a character or the story.” Game photography was accomplished with the help of veteran cameramen for the National Football League (NFL), and innovations such as helmet cameras and “motorcycle camera cars.”
       A news item in the 15 Mar 1991 ... More Less

Producer Mace Neufeld told the 2 Oct 1991 HR that he and partner Robert Rehme commissioned David Fuller and Rick Natkin to write the original screenplay in response to a request from Paramount Pictures for a film about college football. After researching the topic, Rehme and Neufeld gave the writers a basic concept and six weeks to complete their first draft. Because Paramount planned a Sep 1991 release, rewrites and preproduction had to be completed in the six weeks prior to the 17 Apr 1991 start of principal photography. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, Natkin and Fuller considered the story to be “an idealized version of college football,” with a team comprised of dedicated students rather than aspiring professional athletes. After studying National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations, the writers conceived the characters, “Paul Blake,” a thirty-four-year-old quarterback, and “Lucy Draper,” a female place kicker. The University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, TX, was chosen as the primary location for its “traditional design and large stadium.” Upon their arrival in TX, cast members began training at a football camp. A casting call for athletes yielded more than 400 applicants, from which stunt coordinator and second-unit director Allan Graf chose thirty-three to comprise the various teams opposing the protagonist “Armadillos.” Graf and former technical advisor Vince Costello organized thirty-six plays, each intended to “reveal something about a character or the story.” Game photography was accomplished with the help of veteran cameramen for the National Football League (NFL), and innovations such as helmet cameras and “motorcycle camera cars.”
       A news item in the 15 Mar 1991 Screen International announced actor Gene Hackman for the role of “Coach Gennero.” He was later replaced by Hector Elizondo. Also featured were several celebrity athletes, including Jim Kelly, Herschel Walker, Randy White, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Tony Dorsett, Ben Davidson, Roger Craig, Earl Campbell, Dick Butkus, and Evander Holyfield.
       In the 25 Jun 1991 HR, Neufeld praised UNT for its accommodations, which included a hotel for the cast, a motel for production offices, and a warehouse that served as a soundstage. The college also provided eighteen interns from its film department, and several musicians from its One O’Clock Lab Band to perform on the soundtrack. The 20 Sep 1991 HR reported that twenty production assistants were hired from the UNT communications school. Paramount Pictures showed its gratitude by donating $45,000 in scholarship funds, including $21,000 to establish “an endowed scholarship.” The 19 Jul 1991 HR estimated that seventy percent of the cast and crew were hired from Denton and Dallas, TX. With the help of print and broadcast media, the producers drew 17,000 spectators to appear in game sequences at UNT’s Fout’s Field. Interiors were located primarily in nearby Fort Worth, TX, and included the famous “honky-tonk,” Billy Bob’s. The production contributed approximately $8 million to the Texas economy.
       Principal photography was completed on 1 Jun 1991, as noted in the 13 Sep 1991 HR. The 23 Sep 1991 DV estimated the budget at $13.5 million.
       Necessary Roughness premiered 25 Sep 1991 in Denton. Proceeds benefited the Greater Denton Arts Council, the UNT athletic department, and the Paramount Endowed Scholarship Fund. The film opened nationwide 27 Sep 1991 on 1,695 screens to lukewarm reviews. Regardless, the 2 Oct 1991 HR reported earnings of $6.5 million from its opening weekend.
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers would like to give special thanks to: The students, faculty and staff of the University of North Texas, Chancellor Alfred F. Hurley, & the residents, businesses and schools of Denton, Texas, Mayor Robert L. Castleberry; State of Texas - Governor Ann W. Richards; Texas Film Commission; Irving Texas Film Commission; Billy Bob’s Texas; The National Film Board of Canada; NFL Films, Inc.; University of Kansas; Southwest Texas State University; Allied W.B.S. Film and Video Services; Gary Allen; Eddie Brown; Mike Ford; Paul Gallamore; Kevin Hodges; Stacy Jones; John Lott; Rick McKinney; Greg Morris; Mark Murphy; Shawn Robertson; Dennis Swilley; Bret Turnbow; Steve Vanpelt; Shawn Wash.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 Apr 1991.
---
Daily Variety
16 Apr 1991.
---
Daily Variety
29 Apr 1991.
---
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1991.
---
Daily Variety
23 Sep 1991.
---
Hollywood Drama-Logue
23-29 May 1991
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 1991
p. 1, 83.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 May 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 May 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 1991
p. 23.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1991
p. 12, 22.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1991
p. 16.
New York Times
27 Sep 1991
p. 21.
Screen International
15 Mar 1991.
---
Variety
30 Sep 1991
p. 70.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures Presents
A Mace Neufeld and Robert Rehme Production
A Film by Stan Dragoti
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst photog
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
2d asst photog
Film loader
Video asst
Video asst
Still photog
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Lamp op
Lamp op
1st company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Aerial cam system provided by
Aerial cameraperson
Video displays by
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
1st asst photog, 2d unit
1st asst photog, 2d unit
2d asst photog, 2d unit
2d asst photog, 2d unit
Film loader, 2d unit
Chief lighting tech, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
1st comp grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop mgr
Leadperson
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Draftsperson
Props, 2d unit
Const coord
Const
Const
Const
Key scenic painter
Sign painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key costumer
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus supv
Music prod set supv
Asst mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
Orch
Orch contractor
Mus preparation
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Utility sd
Utility sd
Supervising sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Supervising ADR ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Sd asst
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
ADR mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby stereo consultant
Sd mixer, 2d unit
Boom op, 2d unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles & opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Hairstylist
Asst Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Exec asst to Mr. Dragoti
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Asst prod accountant
Payroll accountant
Accounting asst
Loc mgr
Asst loc
U.N.T loc coord
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Casting assoc
Extras casting
Asst to Mr. Neufeld
Asst to Mr. Rehme
Asst to Mr. Koch, Jr.
Transportation coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Craft service
On-set 1st aid
Bull wrangler
Bull wrangler
Promotion staff
Promotion staff
Promotion staff
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Texas casting
Football tech advisor, 2d unit
Scr supv, 2d unit
Coord, 2d unit
Extras casting coord, 2d unit
Facilities mgr, 2d unit
Craft service, 2d unit
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
“All My Ex’s Live In Texas,” by Sanger D. Shaffer & Lyndia J. Shafer, Performed by George Strait, Courtesy of MCA Records
“What Would We Do,” by Lawrence Julian, Joseph Stone & Paul Klein, Performed by DSK, Courtesy of London Records (USA)/Polygram Special Products
“Blue Hawaii,” by Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger
+
SONGS
“All My Ex’s Live In Texas,” by Sanger D. Shaffer & Lyndia J. Shafer, Performed by George Strait, Courtesy of MCA Records
“What Would We Do,” by Lawrence Julian, Joseph Stone & Paul Klein, Performed by DSK, Courtesy of London Records (USA)/Polygram Special Products
“Blue Hawaii,” by Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger
“Fighting Ike,” by Steve Dorff
“Go Bobcats!” by Paul Yoder
“Texas Rangers Song,” by Sam Coslow & Harry Behn
“Liza Jane,” by Vince Gill & Reed Neilsen, Performed by Vince Gill, Courtesy of MCA Records
“All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” Written And Performed by Hank Williams, Jr., Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
“I Gotta Move On,” by Angela Winbush, Performed by Lalah Hathaway, Courtsey of Virgin Records America, Inc
“The Nearness Of You,” by Ned Washington & Hoagy Carmichael
“There’s Only One Thing Wrong With Loving You,” by Benny McNeil & David Stephenson, Performed by Benny McNeil.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 September 1991
Premiere Information:
Premiered in Denton, TX: 25 September 1991
Los Angeles opening: 27 September 1991
New York opening: 27 September 1991
Production Date:
17 April--1 June 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
16 December 1991
Copyright Number:
PA547202
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31354
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On a Texas farm, former high-school athlete Paul Blake practices throwing a football, using his scarecrow as a target. At Texas State University (TSU), the Armadillos football team is disbanded, following a scandal involving recruitment violations, steroid abuse, illegal compensation to players, and grade tampering. University president Carver Purcell hires retired football player Ed “Straight Arrow” Generro as coach, certain that he will save the school’s reputation. Shortly after arriving at TSU, Ed and assistant coach Wally “Rig” Rigendorf conduct open tryouts for a new team, but see little promise among the candidates. Desperate for an able quarterback, Wally offers a scholarship to Paul Blake, a promising young player who abandoned his dream of attending college following the death of his father. Although Paul is thirty-four years old, he legally qualifies as he has not played football since high school. Dean Phillip Elias opposes reviving the Armadillos, and regularly attends practice sessions to revel in their slow progress. After registering as a freshman, Paul makes his way to the dormitory he shares with teammate Manumana, a large, good-natured Samoan. Other players include Featherstone, an excellent runner who is unable to catch, martial arts expert Eric “Samurai” Hansen, militaristic army veteran Sargie Wilkinson, egotistical “cowboy” Wyatt Beaudry, an Australian named McKenzie, undersized Charlie Banks, and Jarvis Edison, son of wealthy TSU benefactor Grant Edison. Dean Elias attempts to undermine the Armadillos by disqualifying five members with low grade-point averages. Undaunted, Ed and Wally train the team for “iron man” football, in which all players perform both offense and defense. Paul has a chance encounter with attractive journalism professor Dr. ... +


On a Texas farm, former high-school athlete Paul Blake practices throwing a football, using his scarecrow as a target. At Texas State University (TSU), the Armadillos football team is disbanded, following a scandal involving recruitment violations, steroid abuse, illegal compensation to players, and grade tampering. University president Carver Purcell hires retired football player Ed “Straight Arrow” Generro as coach, certain that he will save the school’s reputation. Shortly after arriving at TSU, Ed and assistant coach Wally “Rig” Rigendorf conduct open tryouts for a new team, but see little promise among the candidates. Desperate for an able quarterback, Wally offers a scholarship to Paul Blake, a promising young player who abandoned his dream of attending college following the death of his father. Although Paul is thirty-four years old, he legally qualifies as he has not played football since high school. Dean Phillip Elias opposes reviving the Armadillos, and regularly attends practice sessions to revel in their slow progress. After registering as a freshman, Paul makes his way to the dormitory he shares with teammate Manumana, a large, good-natured Samoan. Other players include Featherstone, an excellent runner who is unable to catch, martial arts expert Eric “Samurai” Hansen, militaristic army veteran Sargie Wilkinson, egotistical “cowboy” Wyatt Beaudry, an Australian named McKenzie, undersized Charlie Banks, and Jarvis Edison, son of wealthy TSU benefactor Grant Edison. Dean Elias attempts to undermine the Armadillos by disqualifying five members with low grade-point averages. Undaunted, Ed and Wally train the team for “iron man” football, in which all players perform both offense and defense. Paul has a chance encounter with attractive journalism professor Dr. Suzanne Carter, and allows her to assume that he is a fellow faculty member. However, Paul is soon embarrassed when Suzanne discovers that he is one of her students. Dean Elias struggles to hide his attraction to Suzanne as he advises her to be especially strict toward the athletes in her class. Elsewhere on campus, Paul discovers his former colleague, Andre Krimm, teaching science and convinces him to join the Armadillos. The team loses its first game of the season after Paul is removed for disobeying the coaches’ orders. However, Paul reveals his respect for Ed Generro when he submits a story in Suzanne’s class, commending the coach for his integrity. Dean Elias continues his sabotage of the Armadillos by arranging a practice game with hardened criminals from the state prison. In an effort to improve morale, Andre takes his teammates to Billy Bob’s tavern, where they are accosted by Harlan “Flat-top” Meyers, quarterback of their arch-rivals, the Colts. When Flat-top tries to provoke a fight with the Armadillos, Paul comes to his comrades’ defense and punches Flat-Top in the face, triggering a brawl. Sheriff Woods restores peace, and Ed berates Paul for his poor leadership skills. Afterward, Paul visits Suzanne, lamenting his inability to win Ed’s approval. She admits to being infatuated with Paul years earlier, when he led his school to victory against hers in a championship game. Later, Wally recruits soccer player Lucy Draper, noting that the rules do not prevent women from participating as place kickers. With Lucy’s help, the next game ends in a tied score, and Ed is pleased with the Armadillos’ progress. When Dean Elias finds Paul kissing Suzanne outside the stadium, he becomes enraged and threatens both of their careers. Meanwhile, Lucy is touched by Manumana’s respect for her, and accompanies him to a party sponsored by Grant Edison. Ed interrupts the party, admonishing the elder Edison for bestowing gifts on the players in violation of league rules. Paul accuses Ed of being more concerned with his own reputation than with the players’ morale, and quits school. The next morning, Jarvis Edison leaves campus with Paul, certain that he will fail his final examinations. After lecturing Jarvis on perseverance, Paul realizes his hypocrisy and returns to TSU. He enlists Andre as Jarvis’s tutor, and rallies the Armadillos to support their teammate. Dean Elias suspects Suzanne of favoring the athletes and confiscates her examination papers, expecting to find irregularities. Suzanne defies the dean and posts her students’ grades, including a passing grade for Jarvis. Ed is hospitalized with chest pains and gives his playbook to Wally, who assumes his friend is dying. After making love to Suzanne, Paul expresses his desire to lead the Armadillos to victory, so they can have the experience of winning. That evening, Wally informs the players of Ed’s condition, claiming he will die if the team loses. As the Armadillos face the Colts in the final game of the season, Flat-top Meyer retains his grudge against Paul, repeatedly tackling the quarterback throughout the first half. Hoping to avoid another defeat, Wally advises the players to approach the game like “a rampaging beast,” in emulation of their ailing coach. Jarvis and Featherstone respond by scoring touchdowns, and “Samurai” Hansen uses his martial skills to hinder their opponents. Dean Elias is tackled by group of players, and fired by Carver Purcell. Upon learning that he is suffering from acute indigestion, Ed leaves the hospital to attend the game. Although the Armadillos can tie the score with a place kick, they attempt a daring play that requires Paul to make a pass to the end zone. Charlie Banks catches the ball and scores a touchdown, winning the game by one point. During the ensuing celebration, Paul and Ed shake hands, while Lucy kisses Manumana on the cheek, causing him to faint. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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