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A movie directed by Taylor Hackford

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  • Mar 12, 2000
Pros: Good old fashioned movie

Cons: Sorry to loose Goodman :(

This oldie starring Jessica Lange, Dennis Quaid, Timothy Hutton and John Goodman is an account of the 'Grey Ghost' (Quaid) who is the football hero of a small southern town. Jessica is his girlfriend turned wife, aka The Magnolia Queen. Goodman is his team mate, friend and protector. Hutton -- hmmm, former friend, former team mate, eternally in love with Jessica.

The story starts with Jessica being crowned yet again for yet another beauty spot and Quaid as her hero type football player boyfriend. Goodman is a loveable, funny and troubled friend. Good player but bad gambler. Hutton is always on the sidelines, following Jessica around like a lost puppy. Lange and Quaid marry, he goes on to professional ball, she goes on to pregnancy. Again and again and again. She is eternally pregnant in this movie.

They of course are continually in debt, profusely in love and always at odds. She just never seems to grow out of the beauty queen role and he never grows out of the star of the football team. Hutton moves on to become a successful writer. Goodman crosses the wrong people and is killed, but not until he puts up one Hell of a fight in true Goodman fashion. Quaid doesn't really mean to be a rude neglectful husband but home life just doesn't have the same rewards as the 50 yard line.

Quaid retires from pro ball and becomes a commercial junkie (not the word I wanted but they wouldn't let me use it - smile) but realizes this isn't the life for him. He gets an opportunity to reenter the pro ball field and takes it, much to Lange's dismay. The shots of "The Ghost" as an old football player up against the much younger bucks in the game, his realization that he isn't #1 anymore are very poignant.

You know, or hope, that Lange and Hutton will end up together in some kind of tryst simply because Quaid is always pushing them together. Frankly you want to slap Quaid up side the head for the way he treats Lange.

This movie extends through these players lives over the span of several decades. The hair styles, clothing, music are all true to each era they move into. Not a bad movie to watch. Except for the demise of Goodman - no violence, no swearing, no nudity (except for some bare butts in the locker room).


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


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...
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Cast: John Goodman
Director: Taylor Hackford
Release Date: 1988
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Warner Home Video (January 20, 2004)
Runtime: 2hr 7min
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