This 1993 gem is only the second film to be shot on the Notre Dame campus (following Knute Rockne: All-American in the 1930s) and it follows Rudy's struggle to overcome dozens of obstacles and realize his abbreviated dream of playing for the Fighting Irish football team.
The plot and dramatic music can get schmaltzy at times, but the campus shots are beautiful and captures a bit of the Notre Dame mystique visitors and alumns claim to feel when walking under the Golden Dome. Rudy is persistent in his struggle, and Sean Astin masterfully plays him so he remains sympathetic without becoming annoying. Look for appearances by former Notre Dame president Fr. Ted Hesburgh, a young Vince Vaughan and Lili Taylor and a great big Jon Favreau as Rudy's pal. The football game scenes during the film's climax capture a bit of the gameday atmosphere in South Bend; more importantly, they capture Rudy's focus and realization that he has reached his life's goal.
I was disappointed in the selection of extras included on the disc. I enjoyed the impressive mini documentary interview with the real Rudy Ruettiger (which debunked some of the critiques I heard comparing the film with the real story), but I was disappointed that scenes of the film's premiere in South Bend were left off (they were included on some "Special Editions" of the VHS tape).
Second, where was the trailer for the film? I can't believe that the disc's producers included irrelevant trailers for "Brian's Song" & "Jerry Maguire" (the only connection I can see here is that they also deal with football and redemption, but that's it) and left off the "Rudy" trailers.
Perhaps in 2003 the producers will release a 10-year anniversary edition of the DVD and correct some of these omissions and unnecessary additions.