AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Knute Rockne--All American
Director: Lloyd Bacon (Dir)
Release Date:   5 Oct 1940
Duration (in mins):  97
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Cast: Pat O'Brien  (Knute Rockne)
  Gale Page  (Bonnie Skiles Rockne)
  Ronald Reagan  (George Gipp)
 

Summary: In 1892, Lars Knutson Rockne leaves Norway for America, in search of a better life for his family. The Rockne family settles in Chicago, where little Knute becomes fascinated by football. Years later, now grown to manhood, Knute finally saves enough money to enroll in Notre Dame, where he excels in chemistry and football. With his roommate Gus Dorais, Knute develops the famous football strategy of the forward pass and defeats the Army team. After graduation, Knute stays on at Notre Dame, teaching chemistry and coaching football to earn enough money so that he can marry his sweetheart Bonnie Skiles. After three years, Knute decides to give up chemistry and make coaching his life work. The legendary Notre Dame team finally comes together when Knute finds his half-back in freshman George Gipp. However, tragedy dims the team's triumph when Gipp is stricken with a fatal illness. After Gipp's death, Knute revolutionizes football with the backfield shift of his "Four Horsemen," thus winning further glory for his school. Later, crippled by phlebitis, Knute is forced to coach from a wheel chair, but never loses his team spirit. The real threat that Knute must face is not his phlebitis but the allegation of scholastic favoritism in college football. While flying to a hearing in California to defend his beloved sport, Knute tragically loses his life in a plane crash, but his good works live on in the sport that he strove so hard to build. 

Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Director: Lloyd Bacon (Dir)
  Jesse Hibbs (Asst dir)
  Don Alvarado (Asst dir)
  Frank Anthony (Asst dir)
Producer: Hal B. Wallis (Exec prod)
  Robert Fellows (Assoc prod)
Writer: Robert Buckner (Orig scr)

Subject Major: Athletic coaches
  College sports
  Football
  Football players
  Knute Rockne
  University of Notre Dame
 
Subject Minor: Airplane accidents
  Chemists
  Chicago (IL)
  College life
  Family life
  Immigrants
  Incurable diseases
  Norwegians
  Roommates
  Sportsmanship
  Teachers

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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