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Score Big Laughs With This Hilarious Sports Comedy Classic


Are you a fan of sports comedies that combine hilarious hijinks with heartwarming moments? Look no further than The Longest Yard, a classic movie that has stood the test of time.

This beloved sports comedy classic is a perfect mix of humor, heart, and sports action, with an all-star cast that will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

In this film, we follow the hilarious journey of a group of misfit prisoners who come together to form a football team and take on their brutal guards in a game of epic proportions.

The Longest Yard is a 2005 sports comedy film directed by Peter Segal and stars Adam Sandler in the lead roleThe Longest Yard is a 2005 sports comedy film directed by Peter Segal and stars Adam Sandler in the lead role (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

With sharp-witted banter, slapstick comedy, and thrilling football action, The Longest Yard is a timeless tale of triumph against all odds.

And what makes this film even more remarkable is its excellent cast led by Adam Sandler. Featuring several well-known actors and athletes, including numerous ex-NFL players and WWE wrestlers, The Longest Yard is a true powerhouse of talent.

Adam Sandler was 38, Chris Rock was 40, James Cromwell was 65, Nelly was 30, William Fichtner was 48, and Burt Reynolds was 69 years old at the time of the release of “The Longest Yard” on May 27, 2005.

Let’s look at this beloved sports comedy and the talented cast that brought it to life.

What Is the Longest Yard About?

The Longest Yard is a 2005 American sports comedy movie directed by Peter Segal and written by Sheldon Turner.

It is a remake of the 1974 film with the same title and centers on Paul Crewe, played by Adam Sandler, who takes over Burt Reynolds’ character in the original, as a former renowned professional quarterback who ends up in jail after a drunk driving incident.

2005’s The Longest Yard is a remake of the 1974 prison sports comedy film of the same name with Burt Reynolds in the lead role2005’s The Longest Yard is a remake of the 1974 prison sports comedy film of the same name with Burt Reynolds in the lead role (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

Paul is tasked with putting together a group of prisoners to compete against the brutal correctional officers in a major football match by Warden Hazen, a crafty prison official played by James Cromwell, who is aware of Paul’s career as a footballer.

He gathers the support of other prisoners, Nate Scarborough, a former college football star, portrayed by Burt Reynolds, and James “Caretaker” Farrell, played by Chris Rock, to assemble the team.

Under Paul’s guidance, the inmates begin collaborating and growing stronger, which makes the guards uneasy and encourages them to adopt cruel methods to control them.

Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe and Chris Rock as Caretaker assembling their football team in The Longest YardAdam Sandler as Paul Crewe and Chris Rock as Caretaker assembling their football team in The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

Although Paul and his colleagues went through many hardships, including a devastating loss, their unbreakable spirit inspires them to establish their value and triumph.

The Longest Yard is a very realistic story about facing obstacles head-on and the strength of teamwork in defeating the most formidable opponents.

The Longest Yard Production

To shoot the movie, the cast and crew headed to Santa Fe in New Mexico, where The New Mexico State Penitentiary’s now closed “Old Main” section is located.

On February 2, 1980, one of the worst prison riots in American history occurred in this jail area. The state makes the building available for filming purposes to rent.

The cast of The Longest Yard filming at The New Mexico State Penitentiary’s “Old Main” section in Santa Fe, New MexicoThe cast of The Longest Yard filming at The New Mexico State Penitentiary’s “Old Main” section in Santa Fe, New Mexico (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

It was planned to film The Longest Yard in a recently closed Jefferson City, Missouri jail. However, city employees could not finish the prison’s preparation in time for the show.

The football match at the movie’s end was shot in Torrance, California’s El Camino College’s Murdock Stadium. It was filmed during the fall semester, so the stadium set remained in place throughout El Camino’s home football games. Students from the college made up a portion of the extras in the audience during the stadium scene.

The cast of The Longest Yard filming the final football match at El Camino College’s Murdock Stadium in Torrance, CaliforniaThe cast of The Longest Yard filming the final football match at El Camino College’s Murdock Stadium in Torrance, California (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

Paramount Pictures alone released the original 1974 movie. Adam Sandler, who had previously appeared in multiple films for the studio, was the movie’s star, which is why Columbia Pictures became involved.

“Uncle Bill” was the title given to the film when it was delivered to theaters. It came out the same day as the Chris Rock-starring film Madagascar in 2005.

Adam Sandler as Paul “Wrecking” Crewe

Played by Adam Sandler, Paul Crewe is a disgraced former football player who breaks the terms of his parole and returns to prison.

Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest YardAdam Sandler as Paul Crewe in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

Adam Sandler’s character insulting someone with the moniker “Colonel Sanders” is not exclusive to one movie, as he also utilized this insult in “The Waterboy” (1998) when his character called one of his professors “Colonel Sanders” after being insulted.

Cloris Leachman, who portrays Lynette Grey, also starred with Sandler in the 2004 American romantic comedy-drama film Spanglish.

In movies such as Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, and The Ridiculous 6, Adam has also worked with Nicholas Turturro’s older brother John Turturro.

Jackie Sandler and Adam Sandler attending the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild AwardsJackie Sandler and Adam Sandler attend the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California on February 27, 2023 (Credit: BauerGriffin / INSTARimages)

American actor and comedian Adam Sandler has garnered numerous honors, earning nods for three Grammy Awards, five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

He is most recognized for his hilarious leading roles in movies and television. Happy Gilmore, 50 First Dates, Just Go with It, Grown Ups 2, Blended, Murder Mystery, and Hubie Halloween are just a few of Adam’s comedic performances.

What Adam Sandler Thinks About His Character

In an MTV interview in 2004, Adam shared, “I’m not quite as smooth as Burt [Reynolds], but I make up for it with some sweetness. I don’t got the sex appeal, but I can sweet you to death.”

He talked about his character, saying, “[My character] at one time was a great football player, and in this jail, they take football pretty serious; the guards do. The warden comes up with the idea to have a scrimmage game to give his guards some practice and get them a gimme game. He asks me to put together a team filled with convicts, and they go head-to-head.”

Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest YardAdam Sandler as Paul Crewe in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

Sandler elaborated, “The football team at this point in the movie is looking a little shady. Not too hot, not too smooth, so we’re looking for new recruits. These [basketball players] boycotted the team, they think my guy is kind of a sellout, so I’m coming over here to prove that I’m a hardworking, decent fella.”

Burt Reynolds as Coach Nate Scarborough

Coach Nate Scarborough is played by Burt Reynolds, who wears number 22. He sported this same number as quarterback Paul Crewe in the original film.

Promo shot of Burt Reynolds as Paul Crewe in the 1974 prison sports comedy film The Longest YardPromo shot of Burt Reynolds as Paul Crewe in the 1974 prison sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

As Coach Nate, Burt was meant to have a stunt double for the moment he was struck by Brian Bosworth during a touchdown run, but the actor insisted on doing it himself, saying, “I got one run left in me.”

The incident made Brian, who is one of the guards in the jail, feel honored, and he quipped, “Who else can say they got run over by Burt Reynolds?”

Burt needed assistance getting off the field but weathered the impact without injuries. The scenes of him being assisted off the area included in the film weren’t staged.

Burt Reynolds as Coach Nate Scarborough in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest YardBurt Reynolds as Coach Nate Scarborough in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

American actor Burt Reynolds became known as a sex symbol and an emblem of 1970s popular culture. He first gained notoriety as a star of TV shows including Gunsmoke, Hawk, and Dan August.

The actor had prominent roles in movies like Navajo Joe and 100 Rifles, but his performance as Lewis Medlock in Deliverance was what made him famous.

What Burt Reynolds Says About The Longest Yard Remake

In the timeless 1974 film The Longest Yard, Burt Reynolds portrayed Paul “Wrecking” Crewe, who played the captain of the inmate squad competing against the guards in a violent game of prison football.

Although Burt Reynolds starred in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, he claimed to have never seen it. About the 2005 version, the actor, who passed away at 82 in 2018, told USA Today, “I didn’t see. I didn’t want to see it.”

Burt Reynolds as Coach Nate Scarborough and Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest YardBurt Reynolds as Coach Nate Scarborough and Adam Sandler as Paul Crewe in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

He recalled attending a meeting with Adam Sandler’s “minions” to talk about the remake.

The actor said, “[There were] like seven people in an office. And they were all talking about how they were going to make the best picture of The Longest Yard. And I said, ‘Well, I hope you make a good one. But I don’t think you’re going to make a better one.’”

Additionally, he stated that he went for the compensation part, saying: “‘Well, good luck. And how many days am I working? Three days?’ I said, ‘OK. And how much money is it? OK, this is good.’”

The Supporting Cast of The Longest Yard

Adam and Burt were joined by Chris Rock as James “Caretaker” Farrell, singer and rapper Nelly as Earl Megget, Bob Sapp as Switowski, David Patrick Kelly as Unger, and Nicholas Turturro as Brucie in the film.

Chris Rock as James “Caretaker” Farrell in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest YardChris Rock as James “Caretaker” Farrell in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

WWE superstars, including The Great Khali (Dalip Singh), “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, and Bill Goldberg, were also featured in the cast ensemble.

Legendary professional football players Brian Bosworth, Bill Romanowski, Terry Crews, and Michael Irvin were also a part of it.

Ed Lauter, who played Duane and was one of the actors who appeared in the original film, was also cast after he just so happened to pass by the set while it was being filmed. After their meeting, Adam Sandler had a part written for him immediately.

Nelly as Earl Megget, Michael Irvin as Deacon Moss, and Terry Crews as Cheeseburger Eddy in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest YardNelly as Earl Megget, Michael Irvin as Deacon Moss, and Terry Crews as Cheeseburger Eddy in the 2005 sports comedy film The Longest Yard (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

Was The Longest Yard a Success?

With a successful box office run, The Longest Yard was a hit. Its $47.6 million opening weekend was the most of Adam Sandler’s career and was only surpassed by The Day After Tomorrow as the biggest debut for a movie that wasn’t the number-one film.

The classic movie earned $158.1 million in the United States and Canada and $190 million globally. It held the record for MTV Films’ highest-grossing film until Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters overtook it.

2005’s The Longest Yard was a commercial success and remains the second-highest-grossing sports comedy of all time after Adam Sandler’s 1998 film The Waterboy2005’s The Longest Yard was a commercial success and remains the second-highest-grossing sports comedy of all time after Adam Sandler’s 1998 film The Waterboy (Credit: Paramount Pictures / Columbia Pictures / MTV Films / Happy Madison Productions)

Also, this movie is the second-highest-grossing sports comedy of all time, with The Waterboy (1998), another Adam Sandler movie, claiming the top slot.


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