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At the movies: When the Game Stands Tall

November 11, 2014

When the Game Stands Tall

De La Salle High School’s football team had the longest winning streak in the country for any sport at any level, so no player wanted to be on the team that finally lost.  Coach Bob Ladouceur enjoyed the winning streak but always felt the purpose of his team was to mold the players into responsible young men.  When the team faced several tragedies and lost a game, his approach to the game proved to be invaluable.

When I saw the trailer for When the Game Stands Tall I figured it was my kind of movie – I thought it would be a feel good movie and, as an added bonus, football was involved.  For the most part, I was right.

Based on a true story, the movie shows what football (and other team sports) can be for young people.  What it fails to tell you is that De La Salle is an all-male Catholic school.  That means players can be recruited for the team, although it was emphasized they never gave athletic scholarships.  It also meant the movie felt a little preachy at times.

I’ve been to quite a few high school football games through the years and have to say the football scenes in the movie didn’t feel authentic to me – I’ve never seen a high school football team play like that – the play looked too polished and sophisticated to me.  Overall, though, I enjoyed the movie.  I think it’s one to rent.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2014 7:02 am

    You’re right about movie h.s. football seeming pretty sophisticated compared to real life!

  2. November 11, 2014 7:11 am

    I generally don’t like sports movies but I still enjoy watching them because most of them use the sports just to show how people get over something very tough. This one has been on my must-watch list for a long time, but now I will just wait for the DVD.

  3. November 11, 2014 10:00 am

    This is an interesting one. I live about an hour from De La Salle High School. And grew up even closer than that. So I have always been fully aware of the streak. I have to say that I really loved this movie (4/4). BUT, I learned afterwards from a friend who read the book that the movie was not true to the actual facts of the streak. Did that change my mind? Not really. I still enjoyed the heck out of it.

  4. Patty permalink
    November 11, 2014 11:04 am

    Hmmm…I have to watch so much football that I would need a good book and a martini while Den watches this one!

  5. November 11, 2014 11:39 am

    I saw the trailer for this and thought it looked fun. I’ll take your advice and watch it on streaming when the time comes.

  6. November 11, 2014 12:09 pm

    Kathy, thanks for sharing your honest thoughts about this movie. I don’t think I will rush to see this one.

  7. November 11, 2014 3:15 pm

    I haven’t heard of this movie but I love feel-good sports movies. I’ll have to check it out.

  8. November 11, 2014 4:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I think I’ll pass on this one.

  9. November 11, 2014 7:04 pm

    Bay Area Football! We played De La Salle. I didn’t realize they’d made a movie about them. Interesting.

  10. November 12, 2014 4:18 pm

    HS games ARE different aren’t they? Sorry the playing in this film did not come through as genuine.

  11. November 12, 2014 9:04 pm

    Too bad the scenes didn’t feel authentic

  12. November 15, 2014 10:07 pm

    This looks like one Jason and I might enjoy – on a quiet night at home, when we’re missing football 🙂

  13. bookingmama permalink
    November 17, 2014 11:02 am

    I’m thinking Booking Son might like this one!

  14. November 26, 2014 11:37 pm

    I’m so intrigued by this movie. I haven’t gone to see it yet but De La Salle High School is actually a school that my school plays against so I know of the school. I always feel intrigued when something from my neck of the woods ends up in a movie or on TV!

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