Inspired by the showing of ‘Rudy’ at Notre Dame Stadium for the annual Flick on the Field! event, here’s a few facts and behind-the-scenes trivia that may surprise even the most diehard fans of the quintessential Indiana football film.
Before the filming of ‘Rudy’, the only other movie filmed on the Notre Dame campus was a Knute Rockne, All-American in 1940, which starred a young, up-and-coming actor named Ronald Reagan.
This marked the film debut of actor Vince Vaughn as obligatory team naysayer Jamie O’Hara.
To help get ‘Rudy’ made, Coach Dan Devine allowed the producers to make him one of the film’s antagonists, although he was largely supportive of Rudy Ruettiger’s efforts to get on the team. However, when Devine watched the famous scene in which the players place their jersey’s on his desk in a show of solidarity, Devine was furious; if any player EVER tried that, he said, he’d immediately have kicked them off the team.
Rudy Ruettiger wasn’t the only famous name fighting for Notre Dame in 1975. A new quarterback had begun making a name for himself on the team during that same season by performing well under pressure, and would go on to become one of football greatest quarterbacks in history: Joe Montana.
Part of the film’s success is attributed to the realism on the field. This isn’t an accident. Director David Anspaugh enlisted actual NFL camera crews to film the scenes, wanting them to look at real as possible.
When the film was released in 1993, Rudy Ruettiger was the only football player ever carried off the field at Notre Dame Stadium.
In real life, Rudy Ruettiger now works as an author, motivational speaker, coaching mentor and businessman and can be contacted at his website, Rudy International.