Leatherheads Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
It’s 1925 and the concept of professional football is sputtering along like an ill-running Model T. Teams such as the Duluth Bulldogs are dogged by slow ticket sales, insufficient sponsorships and a general lack of interested fans.
What the league needs is someone to save them—-someone with clout or better yet celebrity status. In Dodge Connelly’s (George Clooney) mind, Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski) is that man. The decorated war hero is one of Princeton’s finest football front men and a huge crowd pleaser. Offering Carter a chance to play along side him with the Bulldogs, Dodge is convinced that the university squad member can pull the league out of it’s slump and send it down the field for a touchdown.
Covering the conversion from collegiate play to pro is Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger), a feisty female reporter who has her eye on the editor’s desk. However with notebook in hand, the tough-minded correspondent wants to do more than report final scores. Like every ambitious journalist, she digs for scandal and finds it. But what she isn’t counting on is the ruckus the exposure causes or the sideline plays both Dodge and Carter make to attract her attention.
With plenty of verbal sparring and a haze of cigarette smoke, the comedy is like watching the keystone cops take to the field amid allegations of bribery, speakeasies and drunken brawls. Unfortunately it’s a combination that is hard to maintain for long. While the slapstick is entertaining in doses, it doesn’t always mesh well with the more serious storyline.
In an era when women were pushing the limits of their opportunities and celebrities hawked smoking products along with household items, the frequent use of alcohol, chewing tobacco and cigarettes (including a child smoking) may not have been unusual. Yet for today’s parent, the role models are anything but ideal.
Still given the amount of talent on screen, the film could (and should) have offered so much more. Instead these characters skirt around the truth of the past and artfully dodge any real scoring chances with audiences as the pigskin passes from the days of football free-for-alls to the rule-bound rigors of the modern sport.Starring George Clooney, Rene Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce.. Running time: 114 minutes. Theatrical release April 3, 2008. Updated April 29, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Leatherheads rated PG-13? Leatherheads is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for brief strong language.
Set in the 1920s, this story has frequent depictions of cigarette, cigar and chewing tobacco use, as well as a child smoking. Liquor is the liquid of choice and numerous figures (including the three main characters) all drink until drunk. One character has his clothes catch fire while under the influence of alcohol. Several people imbibe on the job. Before a raid on an illegal watering hole, a child is shown in a bar with a beer in hand. During drunken brawls, men are hit, bit, and smashed over the head with bottles. Fistfights and rough football play take place outside of the bar. A single gunshot is fired during a police raid. The script also contains terms of Deity, vulgarities, sexual innuendo and some crass comments.
Page last updated April 29, 2009
More parents' guide for Leatherheads after the break...
Leatherheads Parents' Guide
How are events inflated in this film? Who is responsible to establish the truth? What happens when a story grows bigger with each telling?
Does a society need heroes? Why? Are celebrities and heroes the same thing?
How do advertisers use famous faces to promote their products? How is that evident in today’s product promotions?
The most recent home video release of Leatherheads movie is September 22, 2008. Here are some details…
Leatherheads kicks off on DVD with an audio commentary by actor/director George Clooney and producer Grant Heslov, deleted scenes and the featurettes: George Clooney: A Leatherheaded Prankster, Visual Effects Sequence, No Pads, No Fear: Creating the Rowdy Football Scenes and Footballs’ Beginning: The Making of Leatherheads. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in English (SDH), French and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
The early days of sport are often a far cry from what we see today. As WWI rages in Europe, a small town schoolteacher introduces the newly invented game of basketball as one way to unite his students and bring an end to the recess brawls in The Basket. In the 1960s, collegiate basketball is rattled when a Texas university coach puts an all-Black first-string squad on the hardwood in Glory Road.