Well, it’s not very often that you see the same film in more version. But it’s the case of “The Longest Yard” aka “The Mean Machine”. The original 1974 version was a classic and inspired two remakes, one British and one American.
So, what’s was so special about the movie. The story is simple: former football star (career ended after selling out on his team) goes to jail where he puts up a team of convicts to play against the guards’ team. A comedy that you’ll like no matter if you’re being a sport fan or not. The original 1974 version stars Burt Reynolds as Paul Crew, ex professional American football player.
Now let’s see what’s so special about the remakes.
Mean Machine (2001), starring Vinnie Jones as Danny Meehan, ex member of England’s National Team. The game is football, soccer for all who think that football means grabbing the ball with both hands. Jason Statham (The Transporter) is a notable appearance as The Broadhurst Monk.
The Longest Yard (2005), with Adam Sandler playing Paul Crew. The game is American Football (some kind of rugby but a bit rougher). Burt Reynolds (star actor of original version) does a special appearance as Coach Nate Scarborough.
Both movies follow pretty much the same story line but while the American version sticks close to the original version, the Brits have stepped a bit outside the lines. Both are enjoyable enough but if you liked Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells, then go for the Brits!
It was a lot of fun watching the same thing done in two versions. I for one liked the European version, it just adds a bit more flavour.