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Harvard Beats Yale 29-29

Scores in nearly every department
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  November 24, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars

HARVARDYALE-INSIDE.jpg


Kevin Rafferty's 40th-anniversary documentary about the fabled Game of 1968 — when both teams were unbeaten and Harvard, after being completely outplayed by the 16th-ranked Elis, scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds to "win" — has no designs on being innovative: contemporary interviews with the players are intercut with slightly fuzzy but quite acceptable footage of the game. But it scores in every other department.

More than 40 players appear on camera; Yale running back and future Dallas Cowboys star Calvin Hill is the notable absentee. The big names are Harvard offensive guard Tommy Lee Jones and Yale quarterback Brian Dowling, but there's so much more: Harvard DB Pat Conroy talking about being a Vietnam vet; Yale fullback Bob Levin talking about dating Meryl Streep; Yale linebacker Mike Bouscaren talking about being a hit man; Yale defensive back J.P. Goldsmith lighting up every subject he touches.

Throw in Doonesbury, rooming with Al Gore and Dubya, the Yale band taunting Harvard with "The Mickey Mouse March," and the wildest final minute in the history of football and you have a movie that's easier to follow than Quantum of Solace, and lots more exciting. Harvard back-up-quarterback hero Frank Champi has the last word, and he gets it right: "I think we all won."

105 minutes | Brattle: Through November 27

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