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Any Given Sunday is a 1999 film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, consisting of Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and legendary football players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor.

The film also featured archive footage of many American football players including Dick Butkus, Y.A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Barry Switzer, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens.

Plot

The film deals with the Miami Sharks, a once-great team now in turmoil and struggling to make the playoffs. It examines many different aspects of American football, including the players, staff, front office, politicians, and press, and the pressures that they face.

In the opening scene both the starting quarterback Jack "Cap" Rooney and the second-string quarterback Tyler Cherubini are injured and forced to leave the game. This leads to a recurring theme of the movie that "on any given Sunday, anything can happen." The ailing and increasingly desperate Miami Sharks are forced to call upon third-string quarterback and former sixth round draft pick Willie Beamen. Beamen is visibly nervous and he makes a number of errors illustrating his lack of knowledge regarding the team's playbook. During one play he lines up under the guard instead of the center, and he later in the game he audibles to a play which does not exist. He throws up in the huddle, which begins a ritual that he follows every game, reminiscent of Hall of Fame Buffalo Bill's quarterback Jim Kelly.

Beamen begins to gain a comfort for the game and quickly learns the playbook. However, he dislikes the Sharks' conservative offense and much to the dismay of both coach Tony D'Amato and offensive coordinator Nick Crozier he begins to change the plays in the huddle. Beamen displays his raw athletic talent and starts to run and pass extremely successfully, resulting in a growing narcissism and arrogance in Beamen. He becomes the poster boy for the fictional AFFA and receives numerous lucrative advertisement deals, including a music video.

In the final game shown on screen, Miami manages a come-from-behind win in the final seconds against the Dallas Knights, winning the first round of the playoffs. Off-screen, Miami beats Minnesota in conference championship, but loses to San Francisco in the Pantheon Cup Championship.

At D'Amato's (Al Pacino) final press conference as head coach, all feuds have been resolved or at least put on hold and he leaves on a positive note, being thanked by owner Christina (Cameron Diaz) and the media for his contributions to the team. D'Amato is then expected to announce his retirement, but then drops a bombshell and announces that he has been hired as head coach and general manager of the expansion Albuquerque Aztecs. Then he says he just signed Willie Beamen as his starting quarterback and franchise player. Despite the initial hysteria among the media and owners, the general consensus that this is the best solution because D'Amato and Crozier (Aaron Eckhart) (backed by Christina) cannot co-exist. As the scene ends, Christina and the other executives are angrily asking Crozier how he could have let Beamen finish the season without re-signing him to a longer contract for the Sharks.

Cast

Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato – The head coach and general manager of the Miami Sharks. Having held his position for decades and given much autonomy by the elder Pagniacci, he is widely respected for leading his men to great successes, including two Pantheon Cups, the championship for the film's imaginary football league that runs along side the NFL. He gave most of his time to the team, and it led him to lose his wife and children. However, despite his legacy, D'Amato's traditional and old-fashioned methods have come under fire for poor results during the last seasons, including missing the playoffs several times. During the last few years, he also resents the hands-on-approach or "interference" of Christina Pagniacci, who succeeded her father as team owner.

Cameron Diaz as Christina Pagniacci – The owner of the Miami Sharks who inherited the team from her father. Given the team's poor results in the last few years, which she attributes to Coach D'Amato's "old-school methods", she attempts to take a more hands-on approach to the team, including bringing in an innovative offensive coordinator Nick Crozier. She has hinted several times that D'Amato will not return after his contract expires, adding to his distractions. She also begins political maneuvers that cause confrontation with the AFFA Commissioner and the Mayor of Miami.

Dennis Quaid as Jack "Cap" Rooney – The starting quarterback of the Miami Sharks. A favorite of Coach D'Amato, the two have been credited with the team's greatest on-field successes. However, Rooney is now an aging veteran who is losing motivation and faces conflicts with team personnel and his own family. Relations have soured between himself and his wife Cindy (Lauren Holly) who consistently goads him on without sympathy to his physical or mental situation, mercilessly browbeating him when he even mentions retiring (it is implied that Cindy married Jack only because he was a well-paid athlete and she is a gold-digger; at the very least she has grown accustomed to their lifestyle and her position as Quarterback's Wife and is unwilling to lose the social standing). He eventually is injured in a game and is replaced but tries to make a comeback later on.

James Woods as Dr. Harvey Mandrake – The team physician for the Miami Sharks. He is a crooked doctor who risks the injury of players to enable the team to have a better shot at winning. He is later fired after his practices are discovered by the team internist.

Jamie Foxx as "Steamin'" Willie Beamen – The third-string quarterback for the Miami Sharks who takes over as starter after an injury to Rooney, and then an injury to the backup quarterback. Though surprisingly successful, Beamen causes tension among staff and teammates, as he frequently changes the plays the coach calls, or just calls his own. He begins a singing career and even asks the attractive team owner for a date when she enters the locker room after a game which is full of mostly naked players. He later begins to listen to his coaches and teammates, and is greatly inspired by Cap Rooney's gutsy performance in the Sharks' first playoff game.

LL Cool J as Julian "J-Man" Washington – The starting running back for the Miami Sharks. He is a very good back but becomes increasingly angry at Beamen for his cockiness and tendencies to call plays away from him. He is motivated by incentive clauses in his contract, and Coach D'Amato refers to him as a "merc" (mercenary) "who will be gone before next season."

Lawrence Taylor as Luther "Shark" Lavay – The captain of the Miami Sharks' defense. Mandrake has concealed that Shark is suffering from a previous injury, a broken neck that did not heal properly. If he suffers a serious hit again, he may be killed or permanently disabled. The team's intern doctor informs him and D'Amato of the situation, and Shark says he will lose over a million dollars if he does not make his incentive pay because he retires as the intern doctor suggests. He also has an earlier confrontation with Willie Beamen over the role of offense vs. defense in football(which culminates with him cutting Beamen's Chevrolet Suburban in half with a circular saw during a party when fed up with Beamen's attitude). He later gives the younger player a quiet but impassioned speech about playing with 100% emotion.

Jim Brown as Montezuma Monroe – The Defensive Coordinator of the Miami Sharks. He is vocal and brings high intensity to the defense and to the rest of the team in general. Tony D'Amato personally confides in Montezuma several times. Monroe states at one point he would like to return to high school coaching where the game is "pure".

Aaron Eckhart as Nick Crozier – The Offensive Coordinator of the Miami Sharks. Nick is an offensive guru brought in from Minnesota by Christina Pagniacci. Highly tech-savvy (making use of a laptop computer while calling plays), he is highly critical of Tony's offensive play calling, Willie's changing the plays in the huddle, and Julian's playing for contract incentives. Despite the tension between himself and head coach D'Amato, the latter recognizes Crozier's abilities and he is named the new head coach, after D'Amato departs to lead an expansion franchise in New Mexico.

Matthew Modine as Dr. Oliver "Ollie" Powers – The intern doctor for the team and Harvey's nephew. He discovers Harvey covering for players who are suffering from near-career-ending injuries but are overdosing on painkillers, steroids, and hormones to cover the pain. He faces his own dilemma in the need to relieve the players' pain vs. prescribing too much medication at the insistence of the addicted players.

John C. McGinley as Jack Rose – An abrasive and prominent sports reporter with his own cable show; a thinly disguised impression of Jim Rome. He shows an incredible distaste for all things D'Amato.

Production

Development

Oliver Stone developed a script called Monday Night written by Jamie Williams, a former tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, and Richard Weiner, a sports journalist. Stone separately acquired the spec script On Any Given Sunday, by John Logan. Stone later amalgamated a third screenplay, Playing Hurt by Daniel Pyne, into the project.

As of May 1, 1999, the screenplay's cover page listed the following writers: original draft by Jamie Williams & Richard Weiner, John Logan, Daniel Pyne; subsequent revisions by Gary Ross; revisions by Raynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans; revisions by John Logan; revisions by Lisa Amsterdam & Robert Huizenga; latest revisions by Oliver Stone.

The Writers Guild of America ultimately awarded screenplay credit to Logan and Stone, with "story" credit to Pyne and Logan. Williams and Weiner went uncredited for their original screenplay, but were credited for their work on the film as technical consultants.

The screenplay was also based in part on the book You're Okay, It's Just a Bruise: A Doctor's Sideline Secrets by Robert Huizenga. Huizenga was the intern doctor for the L.A. Raiders in their 1980s heyday, working under Dr. Rosenfield, who dismissed many players' injuries with the phrase, "You're okay, it's just a bruise." James Woods' character was based on Rosenfield, and his first diagnosis of "Cap" Rooney's career-threatening injury at the beginning of the film is "you're okay, it's just a bruise." Huizenga left the Raiders in the early 1990s, disgusted at the way the medical advice was kept from players and Rosenfield being allowed to continue treating them after several mishaps, one of which is closely mirrored in the film—Shark's neck injury and risk of sudden death, based on the real-life Mike Harden case.

Casting

Director Oliver Stone's first two choices to play Tony D'Amato were Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Although De Niro declined the role, Pacino had already accepted. Henry Rollins was offered a role as a football player but turned it down as he felt he did not have the size to make the portrayal believable. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs was cast as Willie Beaman, but dropped out because of scheduling conflicts with his recording career. According to Cuba Gooding Jr., he met with Oliver Stone about playing the role of Willie Beamen but Stone turned Gooding down because he had already played a football player in Jerry Maguire (1996).

Five NFL Hall of Fame Players made cameo appearances as opposing head coaches. Bob St. Clair, with Minnesota, the first game. Y.A. Tittle, for Chicago, the second game. Dick Butkus, with California, the road game. Warren Moon, with New York in the rain soaked game. And finally, Johnny Unitas with Dallas, in the finale.

James Caviezel played Tony D'Amato's estranged son, but his scenes were cut. They can be seen in the extras of the Oliver Stone Collection DVD. Tom Sizemore also had a role in the film, but it too was cut.

Principal photography

The film was shot in Miami, Floridamarker and Irving, Texasmarker. Miami's Orange Bowlmarker stadium represents the home of the fictitious American football team, the Miami Sharks. When the team traveled to California, the stadium used was actually Pro Player Stadiummarker, which is located in Miami. Texas Stadiummarker is used for the home of the fictitious Dallas Knights.

Director Oliver Stone tried and failed to get the National Football League's permission to use real NFL team logos and stadiums for the film. The fictional Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) was used instead.

For the scenes during a football game, production asked local schools to participate as extras for the film, including Lake Stevens Middle School in Miami, Florida. For each shot the crowd was asked to move around so that each section looked filled, in empty seats cardboard cutouts were placed in seats with balloons attached to them so that they would seem in motion.

A scene in the film was shot at Villa Vizcayamarker. Dennis Quaid's character's house is really Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's house.

Director's Cut

When released to home video on VHS and DVD, a new director's cut by Oliver Stone was used. Due to the packaging listing "6 minutes of previously unseen footage" and a running time of 156 minutes, many assumed that the theatrical cut was 150 minutes, and that Stone had added six minutes of footage. In actuality, the theatrical cut ran 162 minutes; 12 minutes was deleted for the Director's Cut, and six minutes of new footage was added. Stone said these changes were made to help with the film's pacing. The differences between the two versions are discussed on IMDb's entry for the film.

Soundtrack

A soundtrack containing hip hop, rock and R&B music was released on January 4, 2000 by Atlantic Records. It peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200 and #11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Oliver Stone wanted to use the music of the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor and actually filmed a scene using their music, when he later asked for permission, the band said no, so Stone was forced to redo the scene without the music.

References

  1. TELEVISION & FILM HELMETS
  2. Movie/TV helmets


External links




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