Rudy The Movie
In 1993, “Rudy” the movie was shown in movie theaters but was not a box office smash at the time Over the years, in the sports world and beyond it has become a favorite movie to many including myself. The movie is about a young man from Indiana who had dreams of playing football for Notre Dame. He was one of 14 children from an Irish Catholic family of little means. He would watch television alongside his Dad as a kid cheering on “the Irish” football team with hopes of one day playing for the team. Only problem was, the family was working class and had little money to send their kids to college. From a young age Rudy was told, he was a too small and not athletic enough to play for such a great college football team. This did not stop him from dreaming about one day playing football for Notre Dame
The movie was a low-budget film. The screenplay was by Angelo Pizzo, Directed by David Anspaugh and music by Jerry Goldsmith. Most notably, the star the movie was Rudy himself played by actor Sean Astin. Other actors included: John Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Ned Beatty, Charles S. Dutton and Lili Taylor. When the movie came out in 1993, I had not seen it in movie theaters, but had watched on the many plays it had on television in the years to come. It is probably my favorite movies mostly for it’s “underdog” and “never say die” theme which is so helpful in the grand scheme of life.
Themes to Help
I have found this movie to be so helpful when it comes to overcoming difficulties.
Here we have a young man with almost no familial support. He wants to go off to Notre Dame, but from the time he was a young boy he was told he is not smart enough, athletic enough or “good" enough to go to such a college. There is a scene from his high school days where the teacher, a Catholic priest, makes fun of him in class for not knowing the answers to civics questions during class discussion. The priest takes his book and slams it down on Rudy’s desk saying, “you see ladies and gentlemen, dreamers are usually not doers…when it comes to actually doing what they need to do…they fall short”. This scene stands out in my mind as we have a prominent Catholic priest humiliating Rudy in front of all his peers in class. The teacher also announces to the class that Rudy is failing Civics class and he is “just a dreamer and not a do-er”. I think we all can empathize in one way or another this type of humiliation. Whether at home, work or on the job, it doesn’t feel good when a snobby higher-up humiliates us in front of everyone. Our Lord knows how it feels to be humliliated in this way.
Other key scenes are when Rudy decides at age 24 to finally pursue Notre Dame after working in a factory with his other family members. He hops on a bus and goes to Notre Dame with no money or acceptance into the school. A Catholic priest invites him in thinking he is interested in becoming a priest himself. Rudy laughs and say, “No offense Father, but I came here to play football for the Irish. I’m not interested in becoming a priest.” With that Father Cavanaugh helps him get into a nearby junior college with hopes of someday becoming a student at Notre Dame.
As the story goes, Rudy does absolutely everything he can to be a good student, work hard so he can get into Notre Dame. The story is amusing and funny at times especially when Rudy goes to great lengths to get into Notre Dame and do a great job as a football player. He finally gets the opportunity to be a member of the team, but toward the end of the movie, he may not have the chance to play in the final game. If he makes one play during the season, he will go down in history as being a full-fledged member of the team. Toward the very end, his teammates come through to get him on the Rossiter to be listed as part of the team for a game. Thankfully, he is present for the game, but not until the very end does he get the opportunity to go on the field and make a play. The crowd shouts out his name, “Rudy” with large chants. He makes one tackle at the end of the game, they win and get goes off the field being lifted by the other players. Never in the history of the team had anyone ever been lifted and carried off at the end of a game. Rudy’s family and friends were there cheering him on. It is one of those scenes that you cry because after all the “heck” he went through, his dream comes true. He made it.
Lessons Learned from “Rudy”
This low-budget film from the 90’s is a treasure mostly because I think it has a great message for every person. Despite what anyone may think of us, God knows our dreams and he cares! Rudy did not give up on his “dream” even in adversity. Even though he had no family support, few friends, a low-grade point average and littler resources, he made it to Notre Dame. Lesson learned is with prayer, sacrifice and believing in the power of God in your life, you can overcome many odds. The Lord is with your always even if other don’t value your goodness. Even if influential and seemingly “important” people do not see your value, God does.
How the Movie Can Inspire Your Faith
If you haven’t seen “Rudy” I would recommend it. Although there are some scenes with cursing, aside from those scenes, the lessons learned outweigh that. There are moments when Rudy prays in front of lit candles, prays in Church and seeks answers from priests, which are inspiring times. He also develops deep friendships with others including a high school friend who dies and the janitor at Notre Dame who helps to keep going despite the odds. At one moment the janitor tells him, “not to let them get the best of you”, referring to those in life who bring you down”. He encourages him to keep moving ahead toward his dream. He does just that and continues to the final game.
Whether you have a health crisis, family difficulty or lack of friends in life, this movie is for you. It has greatly inspired my faith especially with some of the Catholic themes in the movie such as moments of prayer and talks with priests for encouragement. Remember that despite any odds, God loves you and he will help you make it through this life. The Lord loves you more than you will ever know. God bless you always.