Harvard Beats Yale 29-29

Directed by Kevin Rafferty
Year: 2008
Running Time: 105 minutes
Country: U.S.

Harvard Stadium — November 23, 1968. With Vietnam raging, Nixon in the White House, and issues from civil rights to women's lib dividing the country, Harvard and Yale, both teams undefeated for the first time since 1909, meet for the annual climax of the Ivy League football season. On the blue-blooded Yale campus, gridiron fever has made local celebrities out of a Yale team led by quarterback Brian Dowling, who hadn't lost a game that he finished since the 7th grade, and who was the role model for Doonesbury's "B.D." At civil unrest scarred Harvard, a melting pot team of working class players, antiwar activists, and a decorated Vietnam vet set aside their differences for the Big Game. Together, Yale and Harvard stage an unforgettable football contest that baffled even their own coaches. Using vintage game footage and bracingly honest contemporary interviews with the players from both sides, including Harvard lineman and future Oscar® winner Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men), Rafferty crafts an alternately suspenseful, hilarious, and poignant portrait of American lives, American sports, and American ideals both tested on the playing field and transformed by turbulent times.

“WONDERFUL…
An irresistible human story and as fine a documentary
about football as “Hoop Dreams” was on basketball”
Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times

“THRILLING…
Not just a great sports movie, HARVARD BEATS YALE captures a pivotal moment in our recent history.”
Steven Rea THE PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER

“AN EPIC STORY…”
J.R. Jones THE CHICAGO READER

“A GOLDEN MOMENT…
makes a movie lover feel the way a devoted reader does when dipping into a magnum opus.
Michael Sragow THE BALTIMORE SUN

"PREPOSTEROULY ENTERTAINING...
pulses with the artful exciting beats of a thriller"
Manohla Dargis NEW YORK TIMES

“**** CLOSE TO PERFECT…”
Rafferty’s look at the most (in)famous college football game ever is close to perfect. Folks who don’t have any inkling what an “I formation” is will still find themselves sucked into the film’s vortex.”
David Fear TIME OUT NEW YORK

“THE BEST FOOTBALL MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN…
A particular day in history becomes a moment out of time.”
J Hoberman VILLAGE VOICE
   
“THE GREATEST FOOTBALL GAME YOU PROBABLY NEVER SAW ”   
Allen Barra THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 
A TOUCHING EXCITING FILM…Critic’s Pick
a look at the bittersweet nature of time and memory
Bilge Ebiri NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“A FACINATING FEAT OF CULTURAL ARCHEOLOGY”
Richard Brody THE NEW YORKER

 “A NAIL-BITING SPORTS STORY …
highlighted  by personal stories, famous faces
 and the backdrop of the tumultuous '60s.”
Rafer Guzman, NEWSDAY

“SO MUCH FUN … WITTY, FUNNY AND REFLECTIVE…
An extraordinary football game, played at a time when the country was a political powder keg.
John Anderson, VARIETY

“SUPREMELY WONDERFUL…
One of the most exciting pigskin encounters of all time.”
 Doris Toumarkine, FILM INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL


Cast
Vic Gatto
Brian Dowling
Tommy Lee Jones

Crew
Composed by Greg Smith
Directed by Kevin Rafferty