Tuesday 18th January 2022

Leatherheads (PG)
Directed by: George Clooney
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

George Clooney's third film as director seems to have been receiving some bad press from over the pond, but ironically, I found this film about 1920's American Football extremely appealing.

Steve's suggestion to switch to pink uniforms was met with contempt from his team mates
Steve's suggestion to switch to pink uniforms was met with contempt from his team mates

Clooney stars as Dodge Connelly, the semi-washed up star of a small professional football team, back in the days before an organised league was established with a governing body and those pesky rules that everyone has to obey. However, with small crowds and not much investment around in the post-war depression, teams are folding left, right and centre.

However, one young football star (and war hero), Carter Rutherford, is drawing 40,000 strong crowds to his college football games, and so Clooney hatches a plan to save his team by paying Rutherford (John Krasinski aka Jim from the US Office) $10,000 per game to play for his side.

Meanwhile, Renée Zellwegger plays a real 1920's career girl, with plenty of moxie as the best journalist at a well known newspaper. She is assigned to run a flattering story on the young Rutherford, but then expose him as a fraud following a tip-off that his war-time antics weren't so heroic after all.

Generally, the whole story is enjoyable, screwball stuff that's not terribly original, but provides a superb vehicle for the different aspects of this film to shine. The dialogue is punchy, witty and quite often hilarious, while the characters are all loveable and entertaining. The actors all give great performances too, with a little bit of Clooney showing through in all of them.

It's clear that in his choice of projects and his directorial style, Clooney has picked up a lot from his time working with the Coen brothers, and that is nothing but a good thing. For my money Leatherheads is funny, enjoyable and intensely charming. I don't think there's anything better to see at the moment than this homage to 1920's screwball comedies.

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Length: 114 minutes
Certificate: PG
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 11th April 2008

Top Five Rating: 80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0% (80.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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