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Film / Leatherheads

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A 2008 sports comedy film about the Duluth Bulldogs, a struggling pro football team in 1925. In order to revive the team, World War I hero Carter "The Bullet" Rutherford (John Krasinski) is recruited to the team, at the suggestion of team captain Jimmy "Dodge" Connelly (George Clooney).

This appears to be working until a reporter, Lexie (Renée Zellweger), uncovers the truth: Carter's war hero status was a fluke rather than true heroics.

Meanwhile, Dodge's attempts to get football legitimized backfire on him when the newly formed football league starts outlawing improvised tactics and enforcing rules.


This film provides examples of:

  • Artistic License-History: The plot of the movie is loosely based on pro football player and coach George Halas signing college athlete Harold "Red" Grange to the Chicago Bears in 1925. Also the Bulldogs in real life were based in Canton, Ohio. The name of the team based in Duluth, Minnesota at the time was called the Eskimos.
  • Big Game: Although the game is finally won by "improvisational tactics" (read: cheating).
  • Betty and Veronica: Dodge and Carter to Lexie.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: Dodge successfully makes pro football a legitimate sport with Carter's help. However, in doing so a new set of rules and regulations were put into place outlawing many (if not all) of Dodge's tactics and when Dodge blatanly cheats to win in his game against Carter, he is kicked out of professional football by the new commissioner. The movie does end on a happy note as Dodge rides off into the sunset with Lexie and we see a photo of the two getting married during the credits.
  • Advertisement:
  • Intrepid Reporter: Lexie
  • Love Triangle: Between Dodge, Carter, and Lexie.
  • The Roaring '20s
  • Romantic Comedy: A throwback to the Screwball Comedy variety common in the 1930s.
  • Trailers Always Lie: All of the TV spots advertising the film were careful to avoid any hint that it might involve American football, instead making it look like a romantic comedy with a very weird title.

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