The Longest Yard is a 1974 movie starring Burt Reynolds, that was later remade in 2005 starring Adam Sandler. It combines the two things men care the most about: prisons and football.Former NFL quarterback Paul "Wrecking" Crewe, who had been kicked out of football for shaving points off a game, finds himself on the wrong side of the law and is sent to a state penitentiary (Citrus State Prison in the original film, Allenville in the remake). The prison is known for having a semi-pro football team made up entirely of prison guards, but their team has fallen on hard times. The warden wants Crewe to help turn things around, by assembling a team made up of fellow inmates to serve as a tune-up game for the guards.However, this game becomes Serious Business for the convicts, who are seeing this as an opportunity to get back at the guards for all the abuse they've been getting over the years. With a former Heisman trophy winner (played by Reynolds in the remake) as the team's coach and a connection for sports equipment from the outside (played by Chris Rock in the remake), the "Mean Machine", as they come to be called, end up making a game out of it.
The remake contains examples of:
Actor Allusion: Rob Schneider plays one of the good behavior inmates allowed to watch the game from the stands. He cheers on the team at one point by saying "You can do it!" like his character in The Waterboy. Which was another movie where Adam Sandler played a football player, oddly enough.
All-Star Cast: While not as grand as some examples, the remake is loaded with professional wrestlers and hip-hop artists. And some former NFL players.
Blackmail: In the end, to make sure the guards win, the warden attempts to blackmail Crewe by threatening to pin Crewe as an accomplice to Caretaker's murder.
Apparently, this was also the reason for the point-shaving in Crewe's backstory, as he was "in a bad way with some worse people," apparently involving gambling debts. Crewe claims that he wishes they'd have killed him instead after he went through with it. Apparently, they meant business.
Bring My Brown Pants: In the remake, Switowski lays out the Guard's running back, Dunham, with a clothesline tackle so epic it makes him shit himself.
Buffy Speak: When asked by guards to report on the inmate team's progress, all Unger has to say about the speedy Meggett is "He's fast... he's so fast, he makes fast people look... not fast..."
Busman's Vocabulary: Cheeseburger Eddy in the remake. "Hey, man, you're acting like a real McAsshole!"
Camp Gay: Bradley, who loved Charlie's underwear commercials and thinks he's in love after the car chase scene at the beginning of the film.
Also a couple of sportswriters, including Peter King
Chase Scene: Crewe goes back to prison for leading the police on a high-speed chase in a car he stole from his girlfriend with whom he had a falling out. He ends the chase by slamming on the brakes, causing every car chasing him to slam into the car, destroying it.
Crewe:[in remake, on TV after wrecking his girlfriend's car] Hey, Lena! I think we should start seeing other people! [drunken laughter]
Cool Old Guy: Nate Scarborough and Skitchy. "He's been here so long, he knows where everything is."
"That ain't necessarily a good thing, now is it?"
Composite Character: A few of the inmates in the remake are amalgamations of inmates from the original. Swatowski, for instance, is a combination of Sonny and Samson
The Danza: According to the remake's credits, guards Papajohn and Holland are respectively played by Michael Papajohn and Todd Holland.
Dark Is Evil/Dark Is Not Evil: Both tropes are played straight during the big game at the climax of the film. To the viewer, it's obvious that Crewe and his team are the good guys, and the guards are pretty much 100% evil pieces of shit. Dark Is Not Evil (or Light Is Not Good) is played straight in this instance, as the convicts' uniforms are black, while the guards wear white.
However, in-universe, when both teams take the field, the crowd watching the game gives the guards' team a standing ovation and boos the convicts. Thus, from their perspective, Dark Is Evil (or Light is Good) is being played straight.
The Dreaded: Connie Shokner in the original. Even the guards are afraid of him.
Dumb Muscle: Sonny Tanner in the original, and Swatowski in the remake
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Cheeseburger Eddy and Caretaker. Cheeseburger Eddy's Mean Machine uniform literally has "Cheeseburger Eddy" on the back, but Caretaker's mugshot reads "Farrell, AKA Caretaker." Nate Scarborough's jersey also reads "Coach" on the back.
Everything Is Big in Texas: The remake is set in Texas, because, as the warden puts it, Texans take two things very seriously: prison and football.
Face-Heel Turn: Crewe invokes this trope at halftime, when the warden threatens to frame Crewe for conspiracy to murder Caretaker. His ultimatum— receive an additional 25 years on his sentence, or throw the game. Crewe reluctantly chooses the latter. To start the 3rd quarter, he throws several bad passes, and one inexplicably poor toss to his running back. His teammates realize what's happening and verbally berate him on the bench as the guards begin to dominate the game.
Foreshadowing: Deacon's warning that "You know MVP (Crewe) sold his own teammates out... what do you think he's gonna do to you fools?"
Gag Penis: Battle in the remake. Battle jokes he could probably kill a guy by hitting him over the head with that "hammer," and his specially ordered jockstrap is the subject of a memorable visual gag.
Deacon: I still don't think that's big enough!
Gory Discretion Shot: In the remake, at least. When Caretaker sets off the radio bomb meant for Crewe, the scene cuts to outside the cell, where we see the explosion.
Groin Attack: In the original Crewe nails the guards' main hatchet-man in the groin on two consecutive plays to take him out of the game. Crewe nails a biased referee in the groin in the remake (on two consecutive plays) to get him to call the game fairly.
Hey, It's That Guy!: As well as Adam Sandler we get Farmer Hoggett as the prison warden, Burt Reynolds from the original film, Stone Cold Steve Austin as a guard and Bill Goldberg as an inmate.
There's also Chris Rock as Caretaker, Tracy Morgan as "Ms. Tucker," Eddie Bunker as Skitchy, and Cloris Leachman as Lynette the secretary. In addition to Stone Cold, you have Kevin Nash, Bill Romanowski, Brian Bosworth and quintessential Hey, It's That Guy! William Fichtner as guards. Joining Goldberg on the cons' side, you have Terry Crews, Bob Sapp, rapper Nelly, wrestler Dalip "Great Khali" Singh, and Michael freaking Irvin. Oh, and Unger was T-Bird in The Crow.
Heel-Face Turn: Crewe himself, formerly playing this game only so the warden won't pin more hard time on him, eventually develops a relationship with the team that becomes so strong that, in the end, he refuses to abandon them.
In the remake Englehart, one of the guards, gradually has one after the cons secretly switch his steroids with estrogen tablets. While he still plays for the guards' team, he bears no ill will towards the inmates and even joins the "girls" in cheering at one point.
At the end of the game, Captain Knauer acknowledges Paul Crewe's intestinal fortitude for not throwing the game (and winning, on top of that) in the face of extreme adversity. He and Crewe shake hands as Knauer agrees to make sure Caretaker's murder is not pinned on Crewe.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Only one black player (other than Swatowski) agrees to play in the game. The guards see this one player as a threat and taunt him with racist comments and other bullying while he cleans up in the library, hoping he will strike a guard and not be able to play, eliminating him as a threat. However, other black inmates witnessed the harassment this one player received at the hands of the guards and, wanting to get back at the guards, agreed to play with Crewe, thus giving Crewe a much better chance of winning than he'd had with just the original black player.
Another player joins after a guard screws him out of the last 15 minutes of his TV time, while another (the 7'1" tall Turley) recalls guard Papajohn taunting him, and agrees to play when he learns that Papajohn will be on the guards' team.
Honor Before Reason: In the remake, Crewe challenges inmate Deacon Moss (former NFL receiver Michael Irvin) to a basketball game. If Crewe wins, Deacon joins the football team. Deacon wins, Crewe walks away. During the game, Moss commits numerous fouls that would get you thrown out of the game at any level of organized basketball. Crewe, however, never calls for the violation on any of Deacon's cheap shots.
Finally, on the "Next point wins" possession with the ball in Moss' hands, Crewe strips him cleanly and Deacon calls a foul. Crewe relinquishes the ball despite the horribly fallacious call, and Moss ends the game with an emphatic slam dunk— Crewe doesn't bother to defend, knowing he could never win.
In this case, it works. Since Crewe took the beating and just kept coming (all while refusing to argue or complain about the unfairness), Earl Meggett joined Crewe's team, wanting to see what he could do in a contact sport.
Crewe's loss went even further in working out for him later in the film. After the guards find out that Meggett has joined the team, they attempt to provoke him into a physical altercation, using racial slurs and verbal taunting as he cleans the library. Deacon Moss and Cheeseburger Eddy witness the entire incident, and this convinces them (as well as the other inmates in "The Jungle," as Deacon called it) to join the team.
Jail Bake: In the remake Caretaker receives Meggett's spikes (and implicitly all of the other items he procures for other inmates) in this manner.
The Man They Couldn't Hang: According to Caretaker, three attempts at using the electric chair to execute inmate Turley (played by wrestler Dalip Singh Rana, AKA "The Great Khali") were all failures.
The Mole: Unger, an inmate, serves as this, leaking information about Crewe's training and recruiting to the guards, and eventually planting a small-time bomb (intended for Crewe) that ends up killing Caretaker.
Although they are all well aware that he's doing this.
His lack of playing talent, however, helps the Mean Machine get the ball back after one of his lousy kicks was tipped by a guard and became a live ball. The Cons recovered and that set up the final drive of the game.
Real Men Wear Pink: Torres, one of the inmates in the remake, loves watching The View. Not that he's a fan of the show itself necessarily— he just thinks Joy Behar is absolutely hilarious.
Redemption Equals Affliction: After Crewe sincerely has a change of heart about throwing the game at the end of the film, his offensive line decides to send him a message and refuse to block for him on two consecutive plays, resulting in Crewe taking two (painful) sacks in a row. He realizes that not only will they never win like this, but he has to prove to the team that he honestly is on their side. On 4th and 22, Crewe utilizes a QB draw and manages to beat the entire guards' team single-handedly to pick up a first down (without his helmet, no less). He takes a hard hit after gaining around 25 yards, when he could have easily let the team punt the ball away, and his redemption is earned.
Remake Cameo: Burt Reynolds, who starred in the original, as Nate Scarborough in the remake - an unusually large part for this trope.
Ed Lauter, who played the guard captain in the original, has a cameo as Warden Hazen's golfing buddy who's proud that his wife once had a fling with Crewe
The Silent Bob: Joining Chris Berman in covering the game is inmate Babyface Bob, who doesn't talk very much during the broadcast. When he does talk, it's because he's getting into the game.
Situational Sexuality: Brucie in the remake, who actually has a wife on the outside, is at one point caught on camera getting intimate with one of the "girls."
Brucie: [as he's about to kick off towards the end of the game] Jesus Christ, my savior... if you help me out with this one, I promise to stop cheating on my wife with black guys. Amen.
There's also this little exchange in the remake when Caretaker first meets Paul:
Paul: What about the lovable, beautiful woman?
Caretaker: Well, you're gonna have to lower your standards on the "beautiful" part, and on the "woman" part. *points at the "girls" table (all effeminate male inmates, one of whom smiles, waves lovingly and says "Heeeeey.")*
Paul: Let's just stick with the cheeseburgers.
Caretaker: Oh, they ugly now, but in eight months, she gonna like Beyonce.
Paul: No, thanks.
Throwing the Fight: In Crewe's backstory, he was banned from football for point shaving, which he did to cover gambling debts. The warden tries to get him to throw the big game by hanging Caretaker's murder over him. Crewe decides not to go through with it after a talk with Skitchy — see Was It Really Worth It? below.
Unnecessary Roughness: Oh yeah. Justified in this case, as most of the inmates are playing just to get back at the guards. They end up wasting their first offensive series by hurting their least favorite guards instead of running the plays as called.
The guards' team gets rough, too, due to being ordered by the warden to beat the inmates into submission after they've acquired a 3 TD lead.
Up to Eleven: Swatowski, a very large, very strong inmate who's more Gentle Giant than Scary Black Man (see Scary Black Man above), participates in a strength drill in which the inmates run full force into a heavy bag, attempting to move it as much as possible. Most of the inmates can move it somewhat, but none of them stand out. Swatowski lines up, charges at the bag, rips it off the chain, then carries it for about three or four more steps as the entire structure collapses behind him.
Was It Really Worth It?: Pop in the original, and Skitchy in the remake, ended up having 20 years added to his sentence for punching a guard who ended up becoming the warden. When asked this question, Pop/Skitchy's response is, "It was worth every goddamn minute."
Who Needs Overtime: At the end of the game, the Convicts chose to go for two points and the win instead of just kicking the extra point to send the game into overtime.
This is discussed in the movie. As they put it "We're convicts. We always go for it all."