The 1st and Ten Blogathon – Trouble Along the Way (1953)


This is my 4th of 6 submissions for the The 1st and Ten Blogathon being run by J-Dub over at Dubism and Quiggy of The Midnite Drive-In

Tnx for letting me take part!

“You’ll find the answer in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 15. [the other priests look at one another] Well, well? Is there a Bible in the house, or do you have to go to a hotel?” – Father Burke

Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Sep 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A former down on his luck football coach is hired by a priest to help turn around the football team at a Catholic college that is faced with having to close down unless they find a way to finance the school.

My Take on it –  This is another football themed film that I had never heard of before choosing it for this blogathon, but its cast of John Wayne, Donna Reed and Charles Coburn gave me ample reasoning to watch it.

This is a nice football themed film that is able to mix together some great themes in order to allow the characters to flourish.

Wayne is great in the lead role and despite it being far from the kind of role that we are use to seeing him in, he does a nice job with things here.

His chemistry with Reed is fun to watch even if it isn’t perfect.

Coburn tho is the best character in the film and manages to steal every scene he is in largely due to his character’s demeanor and the way he delivers his line perfectly.

It’s so enjoyable watching him in this role.

The film isn’t a pure football film because it focuses more on the drama in the character’s lives than on the sport itself, yet it still finds a way to give off a feeling of being in a sports atmosphere.

The film’s dialogue is written quite crisply and they allow us to get a clear idea of what has happened to these characters before the story and eventually brought them to this point in time.

We also can understand why they need one another in order to find something better for each of their own futures.

Bottom Line – Nice football film that is able to mix together some great themes in order to get the best out of the various characters. Wayne is quite good in the lead role that is somewhat different from the kind of heroic roles we are use to seeing him in. Coburn tho steals every scene he is in and is so delightful to watch him in this story.  The film focuses more on the dramatic aspects of these characters lives than on the football games themselves, but it still manages to have the sports feeling throughout. The dialogue is crisply written and allows us to get a clear idea of all of the events that occurred that brought things to this point and also why each of the characters needs the others in order to get to where they need to be. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Carol Williams, in this 1953 film, credits her dad Steve (John Wayne) with saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Vincent Lombardi was recorded as saying something like that in 1959 when he coached the Green Bay Packers. For years, many sportswriters wrongly attributed the source of the remark to Lombardi. The real source of the quote was UCLA Bruins coach Red Sanders. A former sportswriter for the Los Angeles Herald and Express, Bud Furillo, said he first heard Sanders say it after UCLA lost their 1949 game to USC, which was then coached by the film’s technical advisor Jeff Cravath. No doubt the writers for this movie remembered having read or heard the phrase, so they included it in the screenplay for “Trouble Along the Way.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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2 thoughts on “The 1st and Ten Blogathon – Trouble Along the Way (1953)

  1. Pingback: The “1st and 10” Movie Blog-A-Thon Is Here! | Dubsism

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