Make us your home page

30 years old this week: Tom Cruise's 'All The Right Moves'



All The Right Moves might be the best football movie of the '80s. Maybe one of the top football movies of any decade, outside of Rudy. Oh, and the one about the field-goal-kicking mule. And Tom Cruise's opus to high school football turns 30 years old this week.

Released Oct. 21, 1983, All The Right Moves follows Stefen Djordjevic (Cruise), a Pennsylvania steel-town high schooler who's gifted both in the classroom and the gridiron. He has an understanding girlfriend (Lea Thompson) and an impatient coach (Craig T. Nelson), and all of them would love to book the next bus outta town for better opportunities. If Stefen could just put a nice showing in the big Walnut Heights game, he'll be set. Knock on wood.

Sadly, the movie has only a 53 percent "fresh" rating at It's criticized for being sugar-coated and cliche-ridden, but if you ask me, it's still one of the most honest potrayals of high school football. Here are five things you probably didn't know about the movie.


1. The town of "Ampipe" is fictional (based on the equally fictional American Pipe and Steel Co.), but it's probably based on Ambridge, a real town just northwest of Pittsburgh, which is based on American Bridge Co.

2. The uniforms and team colors of Cruise's team -- the Ampipe Bulldogs -- are the actual uniforms from Ferndale Area High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where the film was made.

3. Thompson and Cruise went undercover to high schools to research their roles. Cruise was discovered almost immediately -- he was recognized from the movie Taps. Thompson survived much longer, got asked out on dates and was even caught smoking.

4. The coach of the rival team Walnut Heights was an actual football coach in the area and served as technical consultant on the film.

5. The soundtrack is largely forgettable. The main theme song -- All The Right Moves -- was performed by Jennifer Warnes and Chris Thompson. Warnes is probably best known for Up Where We Belong, her duet with Joe Cocker from An Officer and a Gentleman.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:05pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours