The Mean Machine (The Longest Yard) Review

A former pro-quarterback is tasked with training a team of cons to take on the prison guards, knowing the guards will use it as an excuse to “accidentally” injure as many of him team as possible.

by Emma Cochrane |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Mar 1974

Running Time:

121 minutes



Original Title:

Mean Machine (The Longest Yard), The

Released as The Longest Yard in the States – and recently re-made as a ropey Adam Sandler vehicle with Burt Reynolds cameoing – this is probably the most brutal sports movie set outside the boxing ring.

          In the first 15 minutes floundering ex-footballer Paul beats up his girlfriend, steals a car – which he destroys  - before pummeling some cops and ending up behind bars. Mr. Nice Guy he ain’t.

          But before the end of the film you’ll be rooting for him and his team of rapists, murderers and career criminals as they take on a team of the most corrupt guards imaginable.

          What laughs there are are of the blackest kind and the match itself – taking over a third of the running-time – is completely compelling, thanks in no small part to half the cast being former college players, including Reynolds himself who regularly took the field for Florida State.

Pretty damn violent but it defies anyone to not get caught up in the sporting drama.
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