Knute Rockne--All American (1940)

97 mins | Biography, Drama | 5 October 1940

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writer:

Robert Buckner

Cinematographer:

Tony Gaudio

Editor:

Ralph Dawson

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this picture were All American , The Spirit of Knute Rockne , The Story of Knute Rockne , The Fighting Irish , Laughing Irish Hearts and The Life of Knute Rockne . The opening credits read "Based upon the private papers of Mrs. Rockne and the reports of Rockne's associates and friends." The Var review notes that football coaches Howard Jones, Glenn "Pop" Warner, Alonzo Stagg and William Spaulding, who appeared as themselves in the film, were friends of Rockne. According to news items in HR , John Payne was originally considered for the lead role. William K. Howard began the direction of the film, but was replaced by Lloyd Bacon because of a difference of opinion with Warner Bros. over the treatment of the story. Modern sources suggest that these differences centered around a death scene in which Howard wanted Rockne to convert to Catholicism. HR items add that technical adviser Nick Lukats was a former Notre Dame football star and that the film was shot on location at Notre Dame at South Bend, IN. The line "win just one for the Gipper" that is spoken by Ronald Reagan, who plays George Gipp in the film, became Reagan's trademark and he often mentioned it during his presidency. The entire speech reads, "Some day when the team's up against it...breaks have beaten the boys...ask them to go in there with all they've got...win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then but I'll know about it. I'll be happy." In 1940, Pat ... More Less

The working titles of this picture were All American , The Spirit of Knute Rockne , The Story of Knute Rockne , The Fighting Irish , Laughing Irish Hearts and The Life of Knute Rockne . The opening credits read "Based upon the private papers of Mrs. Rockne and the reports of Rockne's associates and friends." The Var review notes that football coaches Howard Jones, Glenn "Pop" Warner, Alonzo Stagg and William Spaulding, who appeared as themselves in the film, were friends of Rockne. According to news items in HR , John Payne was originally considered for the lead role. William K. Howard began the direction of the film, but was replaced by Lloyd Bacon because of a difference of opinion with Warner Bros. over the treatment of the story. Modern sources suggest that these differences centered around a death scene in which Howard wanted Rockne to convert to Catholicism. HR items add that technical adviser Nick Lukats was a former Notre Dame football star and that the film was shot on location at Notre Dame at South Bend, IN. The line "win just one for the Gipper" that is spoken by Ronald Reagan, who plays George Gipp in the film, became Reagan's trademark and he often mentioned it during his presidency. The entire speech reads, "Some day when the team's up against it...breaks have beaten the boys...ask them to go in there with all they've got...win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then but I'll know about it. I'll be happy." In 1940, Pat O'Brien and Ronald Reagan starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the story. The 1931 Universal film, The Spirit of Notre Dame , was also based on the life of the athletic coach (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4259), produced by M-G-M TV. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Oct 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Oct 40
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 40
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 40
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Apr 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 40
1
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 40
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
7 Oct 40
p. 1, 5
Motion Picture Herald
12 Oct 40
p. 46.
New York Times
19 Oct 40
p. 21.
Variety
9 Oct 40
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
John[ny] Sheffield
The Four Horsemen:
Glenn "Pop" Warner
De Wolfe Hopper
Fred Vogeding
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture; Jack L. Warner in charge of production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Orch arr
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
All American
Laughing Irish Hearts
The Fighting Irish
The Spirit of Knute Rockne
The Story of Knute Rockne
The Life of Knute Rockne
Release Date:
5 October 1940
Premiere Information:
World premiere at South Bend, IN: 4 October 1940
Production Date:
began 2 April 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 October 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9953
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6204
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1892, Lars Knutson Rockne leaves Norway for America, in search of a better life for his family. The Rockne family settles in Chicago, where little Knute becomes fascinated by football. Years later, now grown to manhood, Knute finally saves enough money to enroll in Notre Dame, where he excels in chemistry and football. With his roommate Gus Dorais, Knute develops the famous football strategy of the forward pass and defeats the Army team. After graduation, Knute stays on at Notre Dame, teaching chemistry and coaching football to earn enough money so that he can marry his sweetheart Bonnie Skiles. After three years, Knute decides to give up chemistry and make coaching his life work. The legendary Notre Dame team finally comes together when Knute finds his half-back in freshman George Gipp. However, tragedy dims the team's triumph when Gipp is stricken with a fatal illness. After Gipp's death, Knute revolutionizes football with the backfield shift of his "Four Horsemen," thus winning further glory for his school. Later, crippled by phlebitis, Knute is forced to coach from a wheel chair, but never loses his team spirit. The real threat that Knute must face is not his phlebitis but the allegation of scholastic favoritism in college football. While flying to a hearing in California to defend his beloved sport, Knute tragically loses his life in a plane crash, but his good works live on in the sport that he strove so hard to ... +


In 1892, Lars Knutson Rockne leaves Norway for America, in search of a better life for his family. The Rockne family settles in Chicago, where little Knute becomes fascinated by football. Years later, now grown to manhood, Knute finally saves enough money to enroll in Notre Dame, where he excels in chemistry and football. With his roommate Gus Dorais, Knute develops the famous football strategy of the forward pass and defeats the Army team. After graduation, Knute stays on at Notre Dame, teaching chemistry and coaching football to earn enough money so that he can marry his sweetheart Bonnie Skiles. After three years, Knute decides to give up chemistry and make coaching his life work. The legendary Notre Dame team finally comes together when Knute finds his half-back in freshman George Gipp. However, tragedy dims the team's triumph when Gipp is stricken with a fatal illness. After Gipp's death, Knute revolutionizes football with the backfield shift of his "Four Horsemen," thus winning further glory for his school. Later, crippled by phlebitis, Knute is forced to coach from a wheel chair, but never loses his team spirit. The real threat that Knute must face is not his phlebitis but the allegation of scholastic favoritism in college football. While flying to a hearing in California to defend his beloved sport, Knute tragically loses his life in a plane crash, but his good works live on in the sport that he strove so hard to build. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.