Leatherheads is such an appropriate title for a movie that deals with the beginning days of professional football.
The year is 1925 and the fledgling professional football league plays second fiddle to college football all across America. The Duluth Bulldogs just learned that their major sponsor is dropping them which simply translates that the team itself will undoubtedly fold in a matter of days.
The Bulldog's quarterback and team leader is Jimmy "Dodge" Connolly He is played by George Clooney who also directs.
Admittedly, Connolly is playing the game he loves much past his prime. However, Leatherheads is set in a time when rules did not exist and trickery could replace talent and athletics.
Connolly comes up with a plan that convinces Princeton football star Carter "The Bullet" Rutherford (John Krasinski) and his shrewd agent (Jonathan Pryce) to put his schooling on hold and play for the Bulldogs. The very first professional game Rutherford plays in for the Bulldogs is a sellout, and his football skills quickly become legendary.
Rutherford is also a well-known hero from the "war to end all wars" - as the story goes he single-handedly forced a platoon of German soldiers to surrender.
Lexie Littleton (Renee Zellweger), a sassy apprentice reporter for a major Chicago newspaper, and her editor think the heroics surrounding the war story may have been exaggerated. She sets out to find the truth, and during her quest is drawn romantically to both Connolly and Rutherford.
There are numerous scenes staged remarkably well that provide the visual image for how the Midwest must have appeared in the roaring 20s. Examples include the sparse Chicago skyline in the distance behind the football stadium; the sound and smoke as the larger than life railroad steam engines leave the station. A touching scene is one which follows a bar room brawl between some soldiers and football players where they are all gathered around a piano singing the well known WWI tune "Over There" (the piano player is famed composer Randy Newman).
Overall the musical soundtrack with classics from that era is excellent.
The first half of Leatherheads plods along and drags in some parts.
The second half pulls together the various concurrent stories and sets the stage for the big game.
Leatherheads is fun movie with terrific bantering between the cast, it is worth a see.