North Dallas Forty (1979)

We all know that I am not afraid to speak my mind when it comes to terrible movies. After spending over two hours of my night watching North Dallas Forty, the lingering question I have is: what the heck was I watching?!? Seriously, have any of you out there in the world seen this movie? What was the point? How did I miss the meaning of the movie? There’s little to no football in this “football” movie, the exceptions being flashbacks to hard hits and game-winning touchdowns. The final 40 minutes of the movie is a football game with high stakes, but even that turned out to be meaningless in the end.

I can’t think of a story that was more depressing in terms of characters, football games, and storytelling. If you read the plot symposia on IMDb, you’ll find out this is loosely based on the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1970’s. I know a little bit about NFL history and couldn’t imagine the Cowboys ever acting this way, but I wasn’t born then and can’t really say for sure. We see do see this story played a lot in today’s world, where athletes are forced to retire because of injuries like too many hits to the legs or head, have altered their normal way of life. Nick Nolte showcases the struggles of being a football player both physically and mentally. That is really the only thing I took away from this movie. That a guy clinging to his past glory will take all the pills and needles he needs to make the pain go away one more time for a shot at success. Whether his personal life is a mess, it really doesn’t matter when the game starts.

This movie probably had a serious message behind it and if I had watched it back in 1979 then I might have gotten it. Watching this film today reminds me that it is tough to watch older movies in 2018. I’ve always like Nolte as an actor, but this was by far his worse film I had to sit through. 2/10

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