New York Times - 11/04/1988
"...Bittersweet....Unexpected degrees of intelligence, perspective and talent..."
Los Angeles Times - 11/04/1988
"..By sheer force of performance, Jessica Lange and Dennis Quaid make us care. These are among the most full-blown and seductive accomplishments of either actor's career..."
USA Today - 05/26/1989
"...Sentimental, even corny, in just the right way; director Taylor Hackford, who did AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, definitely has a flair for this kind of movie-movie..."
Premiere - 06/01/2005
"[H]ighlighted by Quaid's skillful portrayal..."
Gavin "the Gray Ghost" Gray (Dennis Quaid), is a Louisiana football legend. There's never been a better, faster ball player, and everyone knows the hero is headed for pro football. To no one's surprise, Gavin marries his sweetheart, beauty queen Babs, who is at college majoring in "Gavin and me." He's a first-draft pick in the pros, as expected, and the two begin their family. Their seemingly ideal marriage begins to come apart, though, when Gavin is drawn away from his initial acceptance of his limited time on the gridiron and can't deal with the loss of the glory he had in his youth. From being an accessory to Gavin's life in the spotlight, Babs is now forced to find the strength to keep the family above water. Their journey is witnessed throughout the years by Gavin's nephew Donnie (Timothy Hutton), also known as "Cake," who seems to be the only one who can see what the limelight is doing to their once-idyllic love. Set against a background of the civil rights movement, the film, based on the novel by Frank Deford, spans decades.
A legendary college football player marries his homecoming queen sweetheart and embarks on a professional career fraught with trials as well as glories. Hackford directs Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange to moving, memorable portrayals of a pro football hero and his beauty queen wife, and their journey together over the decades. Strong supporting performances by Timothy Hutton and John Goodman make the story much more than just a jock film.
Director Taylor Hackford had cast members watch actual NFL games and then mimic the plays they'd seen.
For his progression to a middle-aged man, Dennis Quaid's body was padded with "Brandos," devices specially formulated for Marlon Brando in THE GODFATHER.
Singer Aaron Neville and Jeb Quaid make brief appearances in the film.