11 Winning Facts About Rudy

TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures

Ah, Rudy. It's like 100 cc of inspiration injected directly into your crying heart. It's the movie people turn to when they need to get off the couch and achieve. And it goes beyond being a mere football film; it’s a story about perseverance paying off, if only for 17 glorious seconds.

Based on the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger’s drive to play college football for Notre Dame, the movie teaches us to refuse to give up on a dream—even when the thousandth person tells us it’s never going to happen. Its cultural legacy is tied up in making the steeliest cinephiles tear up, debating whether Rudy was offside (he wasn’t), and a GIF of Charles S. Dutton slow-clapping awkwardly (it’s difficult with winter gloves on, okay?).

For Rudy’s 25th anniversary, let’s cheer on some interesting facts about the film.

1. IT WAS VINCE VAUGHN’S MOVIE DEBUT.

Vince Vaughn did a car commercial, appeared on TV’s China Beach, and did a crowd scene in the 1991 Bette Midler movie For the Boys, but playing tailback Jamie O’Hara was his first credited film role. Vaughn’s character is a smarmy player who bashes Rudy (Sean Astin) in the beginning, but by the end pushes the team to defy their head coach’s play-calling so that the defense (and Rudy) can get on the field. Plus, this is the first movie to feature Vaughn and Jon Favreau, who would make Swingers together in 1996 and launch themselves into stardom.

2. IT’S FROM THE TEAM THAT MADE HOOSIERS.

It seems obvious once you know it. Rudy may as well be a spiritual sequel to the college basketball drama, what with the shared grit, drive, and Indiana shooting locations. Angelo Pizzo wrote the script for Hoosiers, and David Anspaugh directed. While it took some convincing to get Pizzo on board with another Indiana-set sports movie, he and Anspaugh collaborated to make a second iconic, uplifting movie.

3. TOM CRUISE ACCIDENTALLY HAD A HAND IN GETTING IT MADE.

After Hoosiers, Anspaugh and Pizzo were developing a movie about the Indy 500 for Orion Pictures, but it got axed after a year’s worth of work when Tom Cruise signed up to make Days of Thunder. The cancellation left the screenwriter and director open to other ideas, one of which was Ruettiger’s story.

4. IT GOT MADE BECAUSE SOMEONE EAVESDROPPED IN A HOTEL.

Robert Mora, Getty Images

Just how did Anspaugh and Pizzo catch wind of Ruettiger’s story? It wasn’t a newspaper article or a feature on TV. The brother of their friend from college was at a hotel when he overheard a guy telling an epic tale about achieving his dream to play for Notre Dame. The guy turned out to be Ruettiger, and after listening in, the eavesdropper told him he knew the filmmakers behind Hoosiers. Naturally, Ruettiger jumped at the chance to have them tell his triumphant story.

5. NED BEATTY HAD A CONNECTION TO SEAN ASTIN'S FAMILY.

The legendary Ned Beatty played Sean Astin’s dad in Rudy, and a year earlier he’d played husband to Astin’s real-life mother, Patty Duke, in the supernatural romance Prelude to a Kiss.

6. THE REAL RUDY IS IN THE STANDS AT THE END.

While the crowd erupts in the final seconds of Notre Dame’s game against Georgia Tech, and Rudy’s dad bursts with joy at the sight of his son finally taking the field, the man cheering along behind him (in a blue coat with a rocking fur lapel) is the real-life Daniel Ruettiger, who was on set every day as a consultant.

7. JOE MONTANA WAS ON THE TEAM, BUT NOT IN THE MOVIE.

Joe Montana started his college football career at Notre Dame in 1974 and was there as a back-up quarterback in the 1975 season that features Rudy’s single appearance on the field. But he’s not a character in the film because all of the players’ names and characteristics are fabrications. The three-time Super Bowl MVP is also open about the film’s fictional liberties, once saying, “[Rudy] worked his butt off to get where he was … but not any harder than anybody else.”

8. THE JERSEY SCENE NEVER HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE.

The Hollywoodification Montana and others most like to point out is the scene where the players all threaten to quit by dropping their jerseys on Coach Dan Devine’s desk unless Rudy gets to play, which never happened. The scene shifts Devine from crusty obstacle to full-on villain, needing a bold gesture to force him to let the scrappy Rudy suit up when, in real life, Devine announced that Rudy would dress for the game days before kickoff. Devine has publicly spoken against his characterization in the movie, saying, “There’s not an iota of truth in it.”

9. RUDY DOESN’T HAVE A BROTHER NAMED FRANK.

Beyond the jerseys, the biggest fabrication of the film is Frank, a person who simply does not exist in real life. Played by Scott Benjaminson, Pizzo invented Rudy’s big brother Frank as a human symbol of all the people who discouraged Rudy.

10. THERE IS ONE REAL NOTRE DAME PLAYER ON THE MOVIE’S TEAM.

TriStar Pictures

NCAA rules prevent college players from being in movies, but Notre Dame defensive lineman Peter Rausch had already completed his NCAA eligibility by the time the movie started filming. He can be seen wearing the number 75, starting the “Rudy” chant from the field. His character’s name is “Steve.”

11. THE GAMES FEEL REAL BECAUSE OF THE CINEMATOGRAPHY.

If you find yourself thinking the games in Rudy look exactly like the football you watched every Saturday and Sunday in the '90s, it’s because NFL Films shot them. Instead of adding an epic sheen to the bouts with impossible close-ups and swooping pans that make each tackle look like a war movie, the team opted to shoot plays from the sidelines. The result is a naturalistic style that still puts you right into the huddle.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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11 Fast Facts About Jordan Peele's Get Out

Daniel Kaluuya stars in Get Out (2017).
Daniel Kaluuya stars in Get Out (2017).
Universal Pictures

Trekking beyond his Key & Peele sketch comedy roots, Jordan Peele surprised a lot of people by making his debut feature a horror film. And while there are a few uncomfortable laughs to be found in Get Out, the bulk of the movie is a descent into madness that proves its main character, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), is right to be paranoid.

The film follows Chris as he visits his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) wealthy, white parents at their home, where Chris begins to suspect that something’s not right. Spoiler alert: He’s super correct, because the Armitage family is trying to sell his body to the highest bidder.

1. Get Out was inspired by an Eddie Murphy routine.

Jordan Peele points to the classic bit in Eddie Murphy: Delirious where Murphy asks why white people don’t just leave a house when a ghost shows up as one generation point for the film. “In The Amityville Horror the ghost told them to get out of the house,” Murphy riffs. “Now that’s a hint and a half for you a**. If a ghost said ‘get the f*** out,’ I would just tip the f*** out the door.”

2. Chance the Rapper gave away free tickets to Get Out's Chicago opening.

Obviously a massive fan of the movie, Chance the Rapper purchased every ticket for every opening day showing of Get Out at the Chatham Theater on 87th in Chicago, and urged his Twitter followers to claim a ticket at the box office on his dime.

3. 'The Sunken Place' in Get Out represents the marginalization of Black Americans.

The metaphor is nuanced and multi-layered, but the main theme of the film’s horror is the real-world concept of a system silencing you no matter how loudly you shout. On the Blu-ray, Peele also explicitly stated that it is “a metaphor for the marginalization of the black horror movie audience. We are a loyal horror movie fan base, and we’re relegated to the theater, not on the screen.”

4. Get Out is also about the Holy Grail.

In the opening scene when Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) abducts Andre (Lakeith Stanfield), he’s got a Knight’s Templar helmet, which is one small element of a detailed backstory Peele gave to The Red Alchemists Society, the secretive group that comes together to bid on black bodies to inhabit.

“They believe they are destined for immortality and deity status,” Peele said. “And over hundreds of years they have worked to figure out through science a way to achieve the power of the Holy Grail.”

5. Jordan Peele did impressions while directing Get Out.

When you’re known for impersonating President Barack Obama (with an anger interpreter by your side), why not bring that into the mix when you’re giving your actors notes? Peele’s on-set impressions included Obama and comedian Tracy Morgan.

6. Jordan Peele has voice cameos as a deer and in a commercial in Get Out.

As demonstrated in the video above, Peele provided the moan of the dying deer at the beginning of the film, as well as the voice of the narrator for the United Negro College Fund PSA, who keeps insisting that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

7. Get Out has been taught in universities.

In the fall of 2017, author Tananarive Due taught “Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic” at UCLA. Peele even dropped by the class to expand on, among other things, the film’s metaphorical connection to the modern prison industrial complex.

8. You should re-watch Get Out to see what Rose does.

Justin Lubin, Universal Pictures

When Rose stops the cop from checking Chris’s license, it’s not to stand up for him against a racist act; it’s to ensure there’s no paper trail connecting Chris with her family. This is only one of many duplicitous acts Rose pulls off during the story, and Peele encourages fans to watch the movie again to see how Rose’s hidden intent plays.

9. Get Out was the first February release since The Silence of the Lambs to score a Best Picture Oscar nomination.

And The Silence of the Lambs went on to win. Peele notes the Jonathan Demme classic as partial inspiration for the film, citing the scene where Hannibal Lecter is calmly waiting at the end of the prison hospital hallway as a model for how he introduced Georgina (Betty Gabriel). Want one more Get Out/The Silence of the Lambs connection? They’re two of a very small number of horror films to be nominated for Hollywood’s highest honor.

10. Get Out's original ending was a downer.

Justin Lubin, Universal Pictures

The ending we all feared was initially the one Peele wanted for the film. He planned on having the police show up to arrest Chris for the carnage at the Armitage house, with Rod (LilRel Howery) visiting Chris in jail and hinting that he’d get life in prison with the system stacked against him.

11. Jordan Peele made Oscar history with Get Out.

In 2018, Jordan Peele won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out—making him the first Black filmmaker to earn the honor.