George Gipp and fiery halftime speeches do not figure in this film. Rather, what is fascinating about it is to hear a bunch of 60-somethings, Ivy League football players whose athletic careers mostly concluded on a Saturday afternoon in 1968, talk intelligently about what an exciting game with a story-book ending meant to them in the context of those times. The interviews are excellent, with an overlay of retrospection and introspection totally missing from post-game interviews on, say, Fox Sports today. The game footage that we see interspersed between those interviews -- undefeated Yale, ranked an unheard-of sixteenth in the country, played its traditional rival Harvard, also undefeated, in the final game of the season -- is interesting enough but not likely to hold the attention of non-sports fans. Of course, 1968 was a watershed year in a tumultuous decade, before "women were invented," as a Yale player puts it, so the game could not be played without accounting in some way for Viet Nam, student protests, ROTC on campus, political assassinations, class differences, sex, the fleeting nature of fame, and the necessity and unexpected results of growing up. Oddly enough, the words of Tommy Lee Jones, who played guard for the Harvard team and roomed with Al Gore, are among the least insightful. Producer, director, interviewer, and cinematographer Kevin Rafferty is a cousin of George W. Bush, but you would not know it from his film. There is something of the spirit of "The Fog of War" in this documentary which I greatly enjoyed. Full disclosure: I graduated from Harvard College in 1966, will never wax nostalgic about my years there, and remember Harvard football as a laughable excuse to enjoy autumn sunshine in New England.
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) 1080p YIFY Movie
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) 1080p
Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 is a movie starring Don Gillis, Bruce Freeman, and Ted Skowronski. On November 23, 1968, Yale and Harvard's undefeated football teams met in Cambridge, with Yale heavily favored. Contemporary interviews with...
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The Synopsis for Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) 1080p
On November 23, 1968, Yale and Harvard's undefeated football teams met in Cambridge, with Yale heavily favored. Contemporary interviews with 30 men who played that day mix with game footage (with instant replay). Led by Brian Dowling and Calvin Hill, Yale goes up 22-0. With less than one minute to play, Yale leads 29-13. For Harvard, the end is exhilarating; for Yale, supreme confidence gives way to a life lesson and to being a small part of football history. Adding context are comments about the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution, Garry Trudeau's Yale cartoons, and players' friendships with George W. Bush (Yale), Al Gore (Harvard), and Meryl Streep (Vassar).
The Director and Players for Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) 1080p
The Reviews for Harvard Beats Yale 29-29 (2008) 1080p
Not the Knute Rockne StoryReviewed byGeneSiskelVote: 9/10
In the spectrum of potential audience size, Kevin Rafferty's moment by moment review of a 40+ year old Ivy League college football game must be close to the lowest end. Game footage from Harvard's television station accounts for somewhere between 3/5ths to 2/3rds of the documentary's run time with men in their late 50's talking about the game accounting for all of the remainder. Now it helps that one of these men was former Harvard offensive lineman and current movie legend Tommy Lee Jones who seems oddly somber and off put about having to discuss the game despite the fact that his team is Rocky Balboa to Yale's Apollo Creed. It also helps that some of the discussion involves future Presidents, Vice Presidents and other screen legends. Beyond the shine of celebrity, the proceedings also benefit from the darkness of war, specifically the Vietnam war and the coming together on a sports team of veterans of it with active protesters of it. However, women, residents outside the Northeast United States and those born after the Beatles broke up will struggle to find relevancy in this tale of an old football game. In short, see Rafferty's "Atomic Café" instead, an absorbing study of just how crazy the cold war got.
I'm not interested in football, so I expected to be bored by this film. Moreover, 1968 was a year of spectacular events world wide, from human cultural evolution to political revolution, so why should some football game between two private elitist universities matter? But wow! -- what a riveting and unforgettable story! The story of the game is recalled by the players on both sides -- many of whom are highly articulate, interesting characters to watch. We get the "7-Up" effect (only the age jumps between, say, 21 and 56) where we can see in the older men the same distinct personality and character of the young men they are remembering. For example, we see Brian Dowling, the demigod-like undefeated Yale QB, remind the audience, with visible irritation, that the 29-29 game was not a defeat but a tie -- he's still attached to his undefeated status all those years later. It's hard to describe why the story of this one football game feels so archetypal and earth-shattering. I felt like I'd just seen a remake of the Trojan War, or something on that epic and mythic scale, where the warrior heroes are reflecting back on battlefield highlights. No exaggeration.