RUDY 4K steelbook is available at Amazon by clicking the picture above
Back in 2003, my entire family made a pilgrimage out to South Bend, Indiana so we could take a tour of Notre Dame University. My father, a former football player, and lifelong Notre Dame football fan had a not-so-secret desire for one of his children to attend the prestigious catholic university. At the time, my older sister was looking at colleges as she was closer to graduating High School than I was. My father sat us all down to watch RUDY for the first time before the trip, as a kind of rite of passage. When we got to Notre Dame the effect was all the more powerful, having just seen all of the same locations on film, that we were now stepping right into. We also went during the fall, so there was peak foliage, as there is in the actual film. My personal highlight from the University was the 'Touchdown Jesus', a famed mural created by artist Millard Sheets that shows Jesus with his hands in the air appearing similar to a football referee after a team scores a touchdown.
I remember enjoying the film upon my initial viewing, but not feeling the depth of emotion that my father feels by the films final moments. Now at age 35, revisiting the film in 4K, I can say with full confidence, it's one of the finest sports films ever made and a testament to the great hollywood filmmaking of the 1990s. For those unfamiliar with the story, RUDY is the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, the son of a working class family in Joilet, Ilinois, whose only dream in life is to play football for Notre Dame University. However, Rudy has dyslexia and is generally not a good student, not to mention he's not built like your average football player. But what Rudy lacks in brains and brawn, he compensates for with a ton of heart. Through hard work and persistence, Rudy eventually gains entrance into the school and makes the football team.
Sean Astin plays the title character of Rudy with such an authenticity and likability that he pulls you in from the films very first moments. The film RUDY is really not about winning the big game, or even being a good player, it's about the lengths one goes to achieve the impossible dream, against all odds. Throughout the film, Rudy is constantly being rejected and told he can't do the things he wants. His spirit never wavers and he never lets anyone stop him from continuing to take the steps necessary to achieve his dream.
Among the supporting cast is a young Jon Favreau as Rudy's girl hungry friend, and a much older looking Jason Miller (THE EXORCIST) as the Notre Dame football coach.
Sony Pictures has done an extraordinary job of restoring RUDY in 4K UHD, highlighting Oliver Wood's beautiful camera work much better than the previous DVD or Blu-Ray release did. In addition, we get a new director's cut of the film that restores 13 minutes left out of the original cut. Among the newly-restored scenes is a great scene involving a Christmas dinner with Rudy’s family at their church, where Rudy’s dad explains why Notre Dame is so important to him.
RUDY in 4K arrives at the perfect time now, before the holidays, either as a gift for a loved one or for your own collection, to watch over Thanksgiving or Christmas break.
Eventually, neither me nor my two sisters attended Notre Dame, but we still cherish the memory of that trip and RUDY is a film that we'll always hold in a special place in our hearts.