Knute Rockne, All American

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Knute Rockne, All American is a 1940 biographical film which tells the story of Knute Rockne, perhaps the most famous of all of the football coaches at Notre Dame, one of the most successful football programs in history.

Directed by Lloyd Bacon and written by Robert Buckner.
A Lot Of The Things That Made America Great Came From This Man! taglines

Knute Rockne

  • Now I'm going to tell you something I've kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew George Gipp. He was long before your time, but you all know what a tradition he is at Notre Dame. And the last thing he said to me, "Rock," he said, "sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock," he said, "but I'll know about it and I'll be happy."
  • We haven't got any use for gamblers around here. You've done your best to ruin baseball, and horse racing, and this is one game that's clean and is gonna stay clean.

George Gipp

  • Rock, someday when the team's up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, ask 'em to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, but I'll know about it. I'll be happy.

Father John Callahan

  • Who can say for certain what a man was really born to be? That's God's will. Someday Knute will find his right place in the world, and when he does, whether it be science or not, I have a feeling it will be the one he was meant to do.


  • Newsreel Announcer: [Newsreel film of Notre Dame using the backfield shift] What is this new miracle that Rockne has wrought? This bolt of Irish lightning, that strikes from all sides with such blinding speed and fury! A 'shift' they call it. Yes, but Heisman at Georgia Tech also has a shift, so has Tad Jones at Yale. But theirs are simple tunes compared to Rockne's symphony! For this shift is music, the music of a master's hand! Knute Rockne, whose ingenious brain perfected the forward pass, has brought a great new thrill to football and its millions of followers!


Knute Rockne: Coach, let us use the forward pass, I know it'll work.
Notre Dame Coach Harper: I'm not so sure. We've never seen it in a game.
Knute Rockne: Neither has the Army, what can we lose?

Knute Rockne: Father, I've decided to take up coaching as my life's work.
Father John Callahan: Hmmmm.
Knute Rockne: You think I'm making a mistake, don't you?
Father John Callahan: Anyone who follows the truth in his heart never makes a mistake.

Glenn 'Pop' Warner: But we've got to answer them somehow, Rock. You, Spaulding, Stagg, Jones and myself - we've given the best years of our life to this game. We can't stand by now and do nothing.
Howard Jones: We've come here from all over the country, Rock - hoping you'd go to New York with us, and face this committee.
Alonzo Stagg: It's for the boys - millions of boys throughout the country! It's their game we're fighting for.
Bill Spaulding: Pop Warner is right - we can't ignore their charges. Have you read all they've said about us?
Knute Rockne: Sure - I've read every word of it. Public educators, huh? Never read such a lot of lies in my life.
Alonzo Stagg: Yes, Rock - we know that. But they don't know it. They're not really vicious men - they're simply misled.
Knute Rockne: The public is never misled by this kind of stuff.
Father John Callahan: The public believes anything it reads in the newspapers, Knute - unless it's denied in type just as large, and preferably larger.

Committee Member: Mr. Rockne, couldn't football be replaced by some other game? Something less violent?
Knute Rockne: Well, what game would you suggest?
Committee Member: Well, hockey, for instance.
[This answer is greeted by raucous laughter in the committee room]
Knute Rockne: Why, as a matter of fact, I suggested that very idea to Father Callahan, our president. He was downright interested until we came to the use of sticks, and then he threw up his hands. He said, "No... , that game is not for our university. Notre Dame will never endorse any game that puts a club in the hands of an Irishman."

Bonnie Skiles Rockne: [George Gipp is visiting the Rockne home rather than attending a post-game press conference] You're a strange person, George. Here you are at this very minute the biggest news of any boy in America. And yet you deliberately run away from all that fame and publicity. Why?
George Gipp: Oh, I don't like people to get too close to me.
Bill Rockne - Age 5: Nobody got close to you today, George!
[Gipp laughs]
Bonnie Skiles Rockne: George, Knute and I often talk about you. We'd like for our two boys to grow up and be just like you someday.
George Gipp: You mean to play football?
Bonnie Skiles Rockne: No, not just that. To... to have your poise, and thoughtfulness. And your intelligence.
George Gipp: Did, uh... Rock say that?
Bonnie Skiles Rockne: Yes. He said those qualities are rare in a boy your age.
George Gipp: No Bonnie, Rock's the rare one, not me. There'll be new fellas coming along year after year, a lot of 'em much better football players than I ever was. There'll never be but one Rockne, here at Notre Dame or anywhere else. He's given us something they don't teach in schools. Something clean and strong inside. Not just courage, but a right way of living that none of us will never forget. Um... don't tell Rock I said that Bonnie, he'd think I was an awful sap.
Bonnie Skiles Rockne: That's funny George, he said the same thing about you. There'll never be but one Gipper, not here or anywhere else.
[Gipp coughs]

Knute Rockne: We're gonna beat the Army, Gus!
Charles 'Gus' Dorais: Aw, Rock!
Knute Rockne: No, we're gonna beat 'em. I got an idea. Y'see all these eastern teams like the Army, they're all power, knock you down, roll over you like a steamroller. Alright, when you can't go around a steamroller you go over it. [speaks rapidly] No team has ever used the forward pass as the major threat of it's offense, consequently no team has ever had a good defense against it! Gus, we're gonna pass the Army, we're gonna pass 'em dizzy! Gimme that ball!
Charles 'Gus' Dorais: Rock! If that works it'll make history!


  • A Lot Of The Things That Made America Great Came From This Man!



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