Rudy Movie Poster

Trivia for Rudy

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  • One of only two movies shot on Notre Dame's campus. The other was Knute Rockne All American (1940).
  • John Whitmer (the athletic trainer) was one of the actual Notre Dame football athletic trainers. Likewise, the scene with him is shot in the actual training room in the Joyce Center at Notre Dame.
  • Dan Devine was upset about the scene in which several players laid down their jerseys on his desk as a form of protest for not letting Rudy suit up for the upcoming Georgia Tech game. According to Devine, that incident never took place and if it had, the players involved would have been booted off the team.
  • The crowd scenes during Rudy's final game were filmed during halftime at a real game between Notre Dame and Boston College during 1992. You can tell by the colors that the Boston College fans wear.
  • In the scenes from the game in which Rudy actually plays, the jerseys of the players have the names of actors and crew.
  • Many of the priests and miscellaneous Notre Dame employees in the movie are actual Notre Dame employees.
  • The first dress list is for the Notre Dame versus Air Force game, an away game played in Colorado Springs, not at home. This game was one of Joe Montana's first great comeback games, down 10-30 in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame won 31-30. All forty-nine players dressing for the game received a game ball.
  • The real Rudy can be seen playing a fan in the stands at the end of the movie.
  • In the middle of the film, during the scene in which Father Cavanaugh speaks to Rudy in the Basilica, Notre Dame President Emeritus Father Theodore Hesburgh and Edmund (Ned) Joyce, Hesburgh's Vice-President, makes a cameo appearance. They are seen at the beginning of the scene walking in the Basilica to the right side of Father Cavanaugh's character. Father Hesburgh was President when the real Rudy Ruettiger attended Notre Dame. The Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center, on the Notre Dame Campus, was named after Ned Joyce.
  • There is a sign above the stairs to the Notre Dame locker room that lists the national championships won through the years. A sign that omitted the 1977 and 1988 championship references was substituted for the movie.
  • Names shown on the dress list are real players names from the 1974 team. The list includes some typographical errors.
  • The football scenes have an added sense of realism because director David Anspaugh never filmed any scenes with a camera on the field. As with a broadcast of a real game, all football scenes were filmed with off-field cameras.
  • Rudy runs his fingers down the list in a close-up two times. The first time he starts on one name, the second time he starts on another name. The two names he starts his finger on are the actual names of the two players who picked him up and carried him off the field.
  • According to Rudy, he has no brother named Frank in real life. The character of Frank is all of the people who told Rudy he couldn't do it rolled into one person.
  • The game film that Coach Parseghian (Jason Miller) is watching when Rudy (Sean Astin) walks in to ask if he could dress is actually from the game in which Rudy played.
  • In the movie, Rudy is portrayed as having largely gone into the steel industry after graduating high school. In reality, he served four years in the U.S. Navy as a yeoman on a communications ship, which is never mentioned.
  • While visiting the radio broadcast booth during a Giants baseball game, Sean Astin noted that the poster photo of him as Rudy wearing the suit with the duffel bag was shot on the field at Stanford University.
  • Credited movie debut of Vince Vaughn.
  • While Rudy's real-life service in the U.S. Navy is not mentioned in the film, the military duffel bag he carries in numerous scenes is stenciled with his name and "U.S.N."
  • Having worked previously with director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo on Hoosiers (1986), Jerry Goldsmith was always first choice to score the film.
  • In 2008, Senator John McCain used the track "Take Us Out" from Jerry Goldsmith's score as his official anthem in his Presidential bid.
  • First movie in which Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn appeared together.
  • In the movie, the players and coaches of Rudy's Joliet Catholic High School football team were made up of real high school players and coaches from Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago, Illinois. The two schools were brother schools formed under the same order of priests and have had an on and off rivalry since the 1920's. They also are the two winningest state championship teams in Illinois, and at the time of filming were both coming off championships. The irony that players from Mt. Carmel were dressed in their rival's jersey and then had to act the scene out on the turf of their bitter rival's field (St. Rita), might have to suffice for players from Joliet Catholic who weren't asked to be in the movie, even though they play thirty miles from the filming location. Also, you can hear the coach telling the players at the last practice that they'll need to get ready for the Mt. Carmel Caravan.
  • The crowd scene when Rudy is cheering in the stands is a real game between Notre Dame and Penn State, which was played in the snow during the 1992 season. You can even see fans with Penn State hats sitting around Rudy.
  • In real life, Dan Devine was very supportive of Rudy and elected to put him in the game on his own. Because Devine considered Rudy a friend, he volunteered to play a villain in order to get the film greenlit.
  • In the scene where the players pay their jersey's on Dan Devine's desk, the jerseys have the players names on the back. In reality, Notre Dame does not put the names of the players on the back of the jerseys except when required by the NCAA. This is because Notre Dame does not want to portray that any one player is bigger than the university.
  • In the final scene, Notre Dame sports information director Roger Valdiserri is honored with his name on the back of a player's jersey.
  • During the Georgia Tech versus Notre Dame game, Rudy is the only one without a name on the back of his jersey so he can be easy to spot.
  • Ned Beatty plays Sean Astin's father. The year before, he appeared in Prelude to a Kiss (1992), in which he played the husband of Astin's real-life mother, Patty Duke.
  • According to the real Rudy, the character of Fortune (Charles S. Dutton) was a combination of three different people that were helping him realize his dream of playing football for Notre Dame.
  • Although it's often been considered that Rudy was unathletic and a poor football player who only made the team due to his work ethic, this may not have been the case. The real Daniel E. "Rudy" Ruettiger was a four-year letterer and three-year starter at Joliet Catholic High School and was believed to have broken his team's all-time tackling record. Even real-life Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian recalled that Rudy had "great tackling form" and could "get around blockers better than some others". This could also explain why Rudy was able to get around multiple linemen and sack a scrambling quarterback in his only play, a feat that a truly unathletic scrub may not be able to perform against a top-ranked Power Five D1 offense.
  • The film aired on Fox in 1996. Notre Dame was winless on the network (losing the 2007 Sugar Bowl, and three straight season finales against Stanford or USC from 2013-15) until winning at Michigan State in 2017.
  • UFC Hall of Famer Dan "The Beast" Severn was an extra in this movie as a player doing drills. This was right after he had finished college at Arizona State University.
  • The real "D-Bob" plays a bartender in the movie.
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