A comedy about two football players and their mutual girlfriend. Includes many spoofs and parodies about various self-help groups and personal self-improvement seminars that were wildly popular during the 1970’s.

Also Known As: Semi Tough, El... ella... y él, Kahden miehen morsian, Superprofis trumpfen auf West, Un gioco da duri, Наполовину мерзотник, A Disputa dos Sexos, Zwei ausgebuffte Profis, Alle kneb gælder, Dos más uno... igual a dos, Les faux-durs, El amante audaz, Semi-Tough, Крутой наполовину Soviet, Zwei ausgebuffte Profis West, Epikindyno htypima, Halv-Tøff, Brud för två, Majdnem futball, Bara tre kan leka så..., Meia bola e... força

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  • ciril-bajc
    ciril bajc

    Looking for a comedy about missed romantic opportunities told through a juxtaposition of rough-housing and inner reflections? Then watch “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream”. Essentially “Semi-Tough” sells the pain of misdirected love by chasing the emotions down with a shot of football-player toughness and religious/spiritual ineptness. Compare that approach to juxtaposition of the rowdy Nick Bottom and boisterous Puck to pining Helena and Hermia. Semi tough even one-ups Shakespeare by taking using the same characters to embody these disparate virtues.In biting off this challenge, however, the movie strays from the characters and into lapses of football games and farcical “individual awareness” training. Only Puckett’s character manages to be mildly interesting, yet he fails to take center stage in the action – which is muddled by distractions. Kristofferson’s character quickly becomes 1 dimensional, leaving me indifferent to the final climax. And the closing dialogue begs the question, “where did the title come from?”

  • erna-gutknecht-b-a
    erna gutknecht b a

    This was “based” on a very funny book, one of the most enjoyable I have ever read. But as other reviewers have said, the producers gutted the story and replaced it with something utterly different. Didn’t work for me, at all. And I usually liked Burt Reynolds and Jill Clayburgh, and didn’t mind Kris Kristofferson in a couple of other movies.

  • john-forbes
    john forbes

    Very much of its time – and not only because it focuses on a number of dippy US 70s fads like est (beat here) – when viewed today Semi-Tough is something of an oddity. Early on, a minor character enquires of Reynold’s amiable football-playing jock something about why he plays and his answer (something to do with black men and showers that would probably be enough to get my IMDb account deleted were I to repeat it verbatim) was actually quite shocking. Now I’m not sure whether this is because of its content or because it’s a throwaway line spoken by the ‘hero’ in a mainstream Hollywood movie. I’m not saying thoughtless racial references are to be missed, but it made me quite wistful for a time when people weren’t so quick (and seemingly keen) to be offended. It was certainly the only time my interest was piqued.Apparently the film is based (loosely) on a laugh-a-page novel. If that’s the case, most of the laughs obviously stayed on the printed page because they definitely didn’t make it to onto the screen. I smiled once or twice, but that was it. Jill Clayburgh seems to be completely out of her depth (if the word depth can be applied to a film like this) and there’s something a little disturbing about hearing those Anglo-Saxon expletives issuing from her demure features. She certainly doesn’t seem the flighty type to inflame the passions of such macho characters as Reynolds and Kristofferson.Kristofferson is outshone in every department by good-ol’-boy Burt, which is a pretty damning statement when you think about it. There just doesn’t seem to be any vitality about the man, and he mostly drifts through his scenes with an expression of serene disinterest – an expression I shared with him for most of this film’s running time, especially the overlong est-whitewashing sequence which appeared to be one long run-in to Reynold’s mildly amusing peeing-in-a-flask gag.

  • xat-una-xuc-ishvili
    xat una xuc ishvili

    OK, the movie isn’t that great. The plot was confusing and the character’s relationships weren’t too clearly explored. Also, it wasn’t particularly funny nor entertaining and the sub-plot was rather typical and plain. On the whole, not a movie I would sit down for entertainment.But what has got me about this film is the way Burt Reynolds character becomes; laid-back, relaxed, unjudgemental, wise and very respectable. That in itself gave me the image of who I want to be, a man who is laid-back, honest and unjudgemental, a man who is wise and respectable. No doubt, I will try to spend my life becoming that man.

  • munmijeong

    I didn’t think this movie was good at all. I expected it to be a lot better. Some parts were okay but it just didn’t make a lot of sense. Burt did better in the movies he did before this movie even. Some parts were funny like when he smiled almost evily but other than that, not that good. 2/5

  • ileana-stanescu
    ileana stanescu

    This is one of the worst abominations to come out of Hollywood during the 70’s. Not even Burt Reynolds can save the script of this forgettable drivel. I lost all respect for the author of the book, Dan Jenkins, for allowing this thing to be made. The book BTW is hilarious, and has no resemblance to the film. Want to watch a football movie try the Longest Yard or North Dallas Forty. 1/10

  • kuzmina-nadezhda-sviatoslavovna
    kuzmina nadezhda sviatoslavovna

    The time lapse involved between reading the Dan Jenkins book and catching this picture is now closing in on about forty years for me. My best recollection is that the book was hilarious, one of those stories that you don’t stop reading until you’re done. The difference between this film and the novel are palpable, even after four decades. I didn’t get that much of a charge out of the flick.So calling this a football movie would be a misnomer, there’s really very little game action in the story. The main idea here was sending up all those self help seminars of the Seventies meant to get one in touch with one’s self. I had a college prof once who took a similar approach, asking the class to position themselves (in our desks) in a manner meant to convey how in touch we were with him and the rest of the students. For a liberal school, I couldn’t sit far enough away. But we read a lot of R. Crumb – keep on truckin’ dude! So with all the ‘being where it’s at’, ‘getting it or not getting it’, and the whole business about mixed marriages, this flick got a little tedious after a while. Jill Clayburgh was the perfect casting call for the role of Barbara Jane. I’ve seen her in a few other films and she’s got the tedious thing down pretty well pat.Reading some of the other reviews I see the film has it’s share of adherents, but if it’s a ‘real’ football movie you want, along with Burt Reynolds, your best bet is to head on over to 1974’s “The Longest Yard” or the 2005 remake of the same name – Reynolds is in both.

  • popova-sofiia-gennadevna
    popova sofiia gennadevna

    Director Michael Ritchie was known for comedies but made one of the best sports movies of the 1970s, Downhill Racer about a selfish, self obsessed Olympic skier played by Robert Redford.Semi-Tough is a satirical light romantic comedy. Billy Clyde (Burt Reynolds) and Shake Tiller (Kris Kristofferson) are football stars who are both involved in a relationship with Barbara Jane (Jill Clayburgh) the daughter of their team owner.Inspired by a self help guru Friedrich Bismark (Bert Convy) it is Shaker who gets engaged to Barbara Jane which makes Billy Clyde realise that he also loves her.This is an engaging look at two egocentric men, the influence of lifestyle gurus. There is a scene where an argument between two rival football players ends up being a discussion between rival self help courses.Ritchie brings an almost anarchic style to the film yet has a cutting edge on the lifestyles of the rich and famous sports stars.There is a famous scene where Billy Clyde gets involved in a 48 hours intensive find yourself seminar run by Bismark in a locked hotel room. Participants cannot leave even to go to the toilet but Billy Clyde has attached a device where he could relieve himself.Burt Reynolds gives an engaging fun performance. Bert Convy is also effective as the shallow guru. He is a hoot when he discusses mixed marriages with Shaker. He always reminded me of Tom Jones when I was a kid. It must have been the perm.

  • cynthia-walker-dvm
    cynthia walker dvm

    I know that’s bold talk but currently “Semi-Tough” is my favorite Burt Reynolds movie. This movie is historic in my family. My mother took us to see this movie when we were young (I was 13 and my brother was 11). She must have left the theater with an ulcer. In the first two minutes there’s a full male shower scene. After the movie she swore that she would never take us to see other R rated movie again. That said, “Semi-Tough” is a wildly funny movie with a surprisingly sweet love story. Burt has never been better. His supporting cast is almost as strong. “Semi-Tough” covers so much ground it’s hard to call it a “football” movie. Great stuff all around. Honorable mention: Robert Preston.

  • filip-zhamkoch-yan
    filip zhamkoch yan

    I remember when Burt Reynolds being Burt Reynolds was enough to carry a movie. I don’t think that’s a concept that aged particularly well. I don’t feel like this movie much went anywhere, but maybe I missed the point. I doubt it, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

  • solvej-bech
    solvej bech

    It’s too bad Michael Ritchie died of prostate cancer in 2000. So there’s no opportunity for a commentary track unless Reynolds, Kristofferson and Clayburgh decide to get together to do it, which would be an excellent idea. Bert Convy who played a caricature of Werner Erhard named “Frederick Bismark” died in 1991 at the age of 57 of a brain tumor. An unfortunate loss; his performance, one of his few in films is superior and worth the price of the disc. He’s remembered as a game show host, but he earned his acting chops from 1958 in television dramas. Carl Weathers, who would have a major role as Apollo Creed in three Rocky movies, has a small role here. Jill Clayburgh’s best work is arguable, but for someone who got her start in soaps in th 60s and whose movies include Portnoy’s Complaint, Gable and Lombard and Hanna K., Semi-Tough has to be a highlight. It’s difficult to think of someone who might have been better in this role. Robert Preston is one of those actors who hasn’t been replaced. The movies he made, for the most part, can’t be remade because there’s nobody like him. From 1938 until his death in 1987: This Gun For Hire, Whispering Smith, The Bells of St. Mary”s, How the West Was Won, The Music Man, S.O.B.,Victor, Victoria. His performance as the football team owner is priceless. Lotte Lenya has a small role as Clara Pelf, in a not-to-be-missed scene as a masochistic masseuse by this great actress. True, it’s not a great movie, but for those of us who were there or who’d like to know about the excesses of the 70s, this movie is very hard to beat for laughs and a sometimes painful look at the way we were.

  • p-aylak-misakyan
    p aylak misakyan

    People don’t seem to know how to respond to this movie. The people whowant “Smokey and the Bandit” think it’s weird and not funny; the peoplewho want “Scenes from a Marriage” think it’s sophomoric. Well, it isweird and occassionally sophomoric, but it is very, very funny in anunderhanded, ironic way – and also in an over-the-top goofball way. Youbetter be prepared for different kinds of jokes coming at youunexpectedly. This obviously big-budget studio comedy has more in commonwith discursive satires like “Smile” or “Nashville” than other studiocomedies of the period, although it is far more well-made and plottythan either “Nashville” or “Smile”: I think it’s the best of both worldssatire and spontaneity wrapped up in a comfy old-fashioned romanticcomedy. Think “My Man Godfrey” with four letter words and football. It’strue the characters do not have exactly novelistic depth, but surelyCarole Lombard’s character in “Godfrey” was as thin as a pancake – butit didn’t matter because Lombard was playing her, and she made up indizzy star-power what the writers left out. Here Jill Clayburg is theLombard part, a real star at the top of her game, radiating star-poweredcharm. Matching her watt for watt is Burt Reynolds, perfectly cast, andable to make the odd-ball anti-intellectualisms of the writing soundperfectly effortless. Kris Kristofferson is in the Ralph Bellamy part -the guy whose job it is to get jilted – but he oozes a full-bore sexualmagnetism that makes the heroine’s confusion perfectly understandable.This is real neglected gem – you shall recognize it for the dunces arein a c

  • afonso-machado
    afonso machado

    I loved the book, but failed to heed warnings to steer clear of the film. The script is hackneyed. Reynolds, as Billy Clyde Puckett, gives his usual smirking performance, while Kristoffersen devil-may-care mien of his character, split end ‘Shake’ Tiller, and Dennehy adequate captures the man-child, T.J. Lambert. However, the script does little justice to Clayburgh’s character, Barbara Jane, who was the best developed and most interesting character in Jenkins’ novel.

  • lala-engibarov
    lala engibarov

    Lively satire that demolishes pro football and self improvement ads. The three stars work quite well together as a platonic menage a trois. The film also features Carl Weathers, Brian Dennehy and Robert Preston.

  • ulugbey-akcay
    ulugbey akcay

    Supposedly based on the book of the same name, the only similarities are the characters’ names — SOME of the characters. Some of the best ones, such as Elroy Blunt, greatest country/western singer ever to warble a tune, were left out completely. The whole thing is a shame, because this was by far the funniest book I ever read. I remember eagerly anticipating the forthcoming movie back in 1977. Then I heard that Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson and Jill Clayburgh were the stars and thought “oh-oh.” Still, I went to see the movie — just awful. Watched it again a couple of years ago with the hope that time might have taken the edge off. Wrong; it was worse than ever. While I respect the “favorable” reviews given by some above, it’s obvious that they didn’t read the book. I’d invite them to do so, then watch the movie again and see how they’d rate it again.

  • destiny-savage
    destiny savage

    Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson team up to play a pair of amiable pro-football players in Semi-Tough a good natured comedy about these two and the owner’d daughter. Sounds like you should be waiting for punchline and in a sense the whole film is one.Jill Clayburgh is the owner’s daughter, the owner being Robert Preston who is a flamboyant Texas millionaire and owner of the Dallas football team which for copyright reasons is never referred to as the Cowboys.Having grown up with the team Clayburgh is on a first name basis with all the players and they treat her with due deference. She’d like a little more going with either Reynolds or Kristofferson, but can’t make her mind up which one. It’s almost like Crosby/Hope/Lamour without any songs.Some nice performances will be found from masseuse Lotte Lenya, fake motivational speaker Bert Convy, and also the best from Brian Dennehy as a defensive end who’s really abusing the steroids. It’s from Dennehy that we get some potentially serious moments in an easy going film.Fans of the leads should appreciate Semi-Tough.

  • damir-kaucic
    damir kaucic

    Rascally Billy Clyde Puckett (a fine and engaging performance by Burt Reynolds) and laid-back Marvin “Shake” Tiller (a supremely amiable portrayal by Kris Kristofferson) are a couple of professional football players who are involved in an offbeat (and platonic!) menage a trois relationship with the sassy Barbara Jane Bookman (splendidly played with spunky aplomb by Jill Clayburgh). Complications ensue when Shake decides to marry Barbara Jane and Billy Clyde realizes he truly loves her. Director Michael Ritchie, adapting a sharp and biting script by Walter Bernstein and Ring Lardner, Jr., pokes wickedly spot-on fun at silly 70’s self-help programs and the quintessential all-American emphasis on winning while showing a genuine warmth and affection for his three endearingly flaky main characters. Reynold, Kristofferson, and Clayburgh all do sterling work in their roles, with excellent support from Robert Preston as irascible, eccentric good ol’ boy owner Big Ed Bookman, Bert Convy as smarmy, pretentious self-help guru Friedrich Bismark, Roger E. Mosley as the hip Puddin Patterson, Sr., Brian Dennehy as the rowdy T.J. Lambert, and Carl Weathers as fearsome rival team captain Dreamer Tatum. The dialogue is often snappy and profane; the banter between the three leads in particular is quite funny and delightful. Comic highlights include Shake doing a deodorant TV commercial, Billy Clyde visiting a brutal physical therapist (Lotte Lenya in an inspired cameo), a protracted forty-eight hour self-help seminar, and a climactic wedding which degenerates into a wild brawl. Charles Rosher, Jr.’s polished cinematography gives the film an attractive sunny look. Jerry Fielding’s lively, tuneful score likewise does the trick. Gene Autry’s country songs on the soundtrack further enhance the movie’s considerable quirky charm. A nice film.

  • baranov-georgii-evstigneevich
    baranov georgii evstigneevich

    If you’d read the book and then went to see the movie, you probably ran screaming from the theater, vowing revenge on the @$$hole writers, director and producers who ruined one of the funniest sports books ever written. The thinly-veiled send-up of “est” was funny enough, but who the heck made that up? It sure wasn’t the author of “Semi-Tough”, sportswriter Dan Jenkins. I understand the compromises that must often be made when bringing a book to the screen, I understand that cuts and character deletions are necessary to squeeze a good-sized novel into a 2-hour (or so) movie) – but why rewrite the whole damn thing? Big Ed Bookman as the team owner? Where did that $h!t come from? Nothing about what they did to this movie made a lick of sense. Do yourself a favor – instead of trying to track down a copy of this movie on DVD (it’s out there), get a copy of the book (it’s been recently re-released in trade paperback format) and laugh yourself silly – then track down copies of “Life Its Ownself” and “Rude Behavior” (they’re both a bit harder to come by – for reasons I can’t fathom), the 2 follow-ons to “Semi-Tough”, and laugh some more.Then – go find copies of every book by Dan Jenkins that you can lay your hands on and read them all: “Baja Oklahoma”, “You Gotta Play Hurt”, “Dead Solid Perfect” (the “Semi-Tough” of golf, featuring Kenny Lee Puckett, another Fort Worth native. This book also had an unfortunately mediocre movie made out of it – but with the minor thrill of seeing the luscious Corinne Bohrer (who usually plays squeaky-clean suburban mommies) as the lascivious and uninhibited Janie Ruth Rimmer (Kenny Lee’s 3rd ex-wife-to-be), walking full-front naked down the hallway in a British hotel to fill the ice bucket – the shocked middle-aged couple who spot her are author Dan Jenkins and his wife, June, in a quick cameo appearance).More of Jenkins’ books that are must-reads: “The Money-Whipped, Steer-Job, Three-Jack Give-up Artist” (‘nother golf book, with another – different – Texas golfer) and its follow-up, “Slim and None”. Find these books and read ’em – do it – do it now! You’ll be glad you did.

  • kristina-doncevic
    kristina doncevic

    The world of professional football players (though not necessarily the sport itself) is given a ribbing in this loose adaptation of the popular book of the same name by Dan Jenkins. Reynolds and Kristofferson are players on a fictional Miami team who share an unorthodox relationship (not to mention living arrangement) with the team owner’s daughter Clayburgh. It’s a sort of platonic threesome, which is thrown off kilter when Clayburgh begins to fall for one of the men. The triangular love story plays out against the sometimes-bizarre backdrop of locker room shenanigans, commercial endorsements, road-trip sexual escapades and, most notably, the world of self-improvement guru Convy, based on a real-life entrepreneur named Werner Erhard, founder of the “est” program. Weighing in with his own thoughts on his daughter’s lifestyle and the lifestyles of his players is her bigger-than-life father Preston, he himself deeply involved in various new age systems and treatments. The film starts out promisingly disarming and saucy, with some startling dialogue and some skin-baring locker room shots, followed by an amusing deodorant commercial shoot and some good work by Catlett as a sexually desperate groupie and Lenya as a no-nonsense physical therapist. Eventually, however, the film becomes mired in the not-too-involving aspects of the love story and the then-topical, now tiresome jabs at self-help. Reynolds has appeared in a lot of junk over the years, but is woefully underrated when it comes to his ability to convey subtle emotion through his charm on the screen. He adds immeasurably to this film with his skilled, more thoughtful than may be immediately visible, laid-back performance. He is saddled with a worse coiffure than usual, but rises above that to give a charming, sincere and mostly appealing performance. Kristofferson is less impressive by comparison, but still offers up sufficient appeal for the bulk of his screen time. Clayburgh, an actress who enjoyed several successes during the notably male-dominated 1970’s cinema, is solid in all but two ways. Her Texas accent isn’t particularly convincing and she seems at bit ill at ease with all the cursing her part requires. Otherwise, her typical offbeat warmth and amiability shine through rather nicely. Preston manages a few showy moments here and there, but isn’t utilized as much as he could have been. Convy, in visibly heavy makeup for some reason, has a good handle on his role (and went to a similar seminar in real life in order to prepare.) Lenya has just the one scene and is well cast in her role. Masur is dependably shifty as the team’s business manager. Catlett gets a rare chance to show an array of emotions in her role as a pudgy sexual doormat. Other familiar faces include “Magnum P.I.’s” Mosley as a teammate, Weathers as a player on an opposing team, Silver (of all people!) as a non-English-speaking kicker and Dennehy as the team lunkhead (whose first appearance has him running around with his behind showing, wearing a jockstrap on his head!) Game show host and broadcaster McKrell appears briefly as a smarmy publisher. The music of Gene Autry is heavily featured throughout. Oddly, for a film featuring the after hours exploits of a football team, there is almost no female nudity, just one brief, gratuitous topless scene during a mêlée in a church. This became a very short-lived TV series and doubtlessly inspired some of the plot lines on “1st & Ten” as well.

  • nath-lopes-lamy
    nath lopes lamy

    Jenkins’s novel is one of the funniest books ever written, and THE funniest sports novel. The movie is a total trashing of Jenkins’s work. It retains only the title, the names of a few of the characters, none of the book’s plot, and none of its humor. The storyline bears absolutely no resemblance to the book. Billy Clyde’s diary of the week leading to the Super Bowl, with all its hilarity, has been replaced by a silly look at self-improvement fads and crazes and Gene Autry music. Reynolds and Kristofferson are not believable as professional football players, although Kris would have been a great Elroy Blunt, had that important character been retained from the book. The problem was that Jenkins lost control of the scriptwriting. When the scene in which Billy Clyde and Shake are discussing their rating system for women was written, it used the Dudley Moore scale of 1-10, with 10 being tops. Jenkins informed the director that in the book, the scale went the other way, with a “1” being the top vote. He was informed, “This is the movie!”I give this one a “1”, using the movie’s scale.

  • panas-onufriienko
    panas onufriienko

    Advertised as a sexy comedy about pro-football players and their women, this Michael Ritchie film, based on the book by Dan Jenkins, instead takes aim at fads and other eccentricities of the 1970s, using the sports world as a backdrop. It wasn’t the big commercial hit some were predicting, though it garnered good notices for Burt Reynolds, doing another of his amiable walk-throughs. Jill Clayburgh, just prior to her breakthrough in “An Unmarried Woman”, plays the daughter of the football team’s owner, and her rapport with Reynolds is surprisingly instantaneous. Kris Kristofferson, on the other hand, ends up playing straight man to her and pal Reynolds, and the third-wheel position subdues low-keyed Kristofferson even further (he evaporates). There are some funny potshots at the EST craze, with Bert Convy well-cast as a self-help guru, but the romantic comedy at the heart of the piece never quite takes off. Ritchie puts all his sting into the absurdities happening around the principals, a move which consequently leaves the finale seeming half-baked. ** from ****

  • roger-voisin
    roger voisin

    The majority of Michael Ritchie’s early films focused on the competitiveness and ruthlessness of a then contemporary United States. Be it “Downhill Racer” (1969), “Bad News Bears” (1976), “Smile” (1975) or “The Candidate” (1972), all his films during this period are explicitly about competition, American institutions and individuals who put their personal goals (and/or profits) before a team, community or group (or vice versa).One of Ritchie’s weakest films, “Semi Tough” is a shapeless and abrasive satire which focuses on the world of American Foodball. Ritchie takes aim at obsessions with winning, self-help programmes, health fads and the vanity and vacuity of the self-obsessed. His overall target, though, is a more generalised form of “self-improvement”. American capitalism itself hinges on a certain unquenchable, existential lack. The consumer is always unfulfilled, always in need of completion, an anxiety which capitalism incessantly creates desires to exploit. Failures to attain contentment are then transfered back to the subject, leading to guilt and an escalation of transfered desires; maybe the next hit will bring completion. Elsewhere the film watches as children of the 1960s struggle in their search for meaning a decade after vague promises of liberation collapsed. What they latch onto is essentially a New Age cult which mixes narcissism and individualism with corporate maxims. Other Ritchie themes are brought up – the costs and violence of winning, exacted on both winners and losers etc – but it all feels forced, Ritchie trying too hard to be the next Altman. Tonally, the film struggles to juggle comedy, satire and drama.”Semi Tough” is criticised for being smug and abrasive, but that’s understandable, considering it’s populated by smug, abrasive and self-obsessed characters. The film would begin Ritchie’s slide into more mainstream, forgettable territory. Robert Altman’s similarly themed “HEALTH” was released one year later.5/10 – Worth one viewing.

  • tonje-anita-ali
    tonje anita ali

    Well, I loved the book – absolutely LOVED it! This film is a sort of decent stab at adapting Dan Jenkins great book, but, mainly due to language and Political Correctness, it ends up falling flat. Much of the humor in the book is racial (both directions, by the way), sophomorically sexual or otherwise politically incorrect. Since much of that had to be dropped from the film, a good bit of the books’ humor is lost. And, as with many films, there is less room for character development than in a book. Still, with Burt Reynold and Jill Claiburgh, it has some considerable charm and humor. The story line is pretty faithful to the book, although there are a couple of changes that I wish hadn’t been made to the story. Kris Kristofferson offers up a surprisingly good performance, and he’s never impressed me as an actor before (nor singer either, for that matter). Overall, not a bad film, but you’d probably like the book better – I do!

  • aleksandar-kranjc
    aleksandar kranjc

    Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristhofferson play two pro football players who are interested in the the daughter of the owner of the team. This movie is actually humorous. It shows what these two guys will do to try to win over the girl who is playing these guys off against each other and enjoying every second if it. Two men competing for the girl, and willing to make total fools of themselves in the process, until the Burt Reynolds character wises up, steps back, examines the situation objectively and then plots his strategy to gain the girl’s attention. It’s not the greatest movie, and it’s definitely not a sports movie, but it’s worth watching, has funny moments, and shows what a guy is willing to do to get a woman.

  • wyatt-phillips
    wyatt phillips

    “Semi-Tough” has got to be one of the best comedies of all time. The casting is perfect, and the acting is very understated. You could really identify with Kris Kristofferson, Bert Reynolds, and Jill Clayburgh as lost children of the 1960s looking for the answers to life in the 1970s. They parody to a “T” some of the self-help and consciousness raising scams of the times.I especially loved the thinly disguised “BEAT” which closely paralleled “est” (Erhard Seminars Training, and they always wrote the acronym in lower case) which attracted many followers. I had the misfortune that year of working for a boss who was an est graduate (they called themselves “estholes”) and two ex-hippie co-workers. est was their life, almost like a religion to them, and they were always pressuring the other workers on the team to take est. They had their own language — e.g. “I’ll take responsibility for that,” “We have an agreement,” and especially “I got it.” (meaning I understand it). While Kris Kristofferson “got” the training, Jill Clayburgh did not. Since they wanted to get married they were afraid of a “mixed marriage.” Fortunately Burt Reynolds also takes BEAT training and pretends to “get it” although you later learn he saw right through it from the beginning. Burt Convy as the seminar leader bore a striking resemblance to Warner Erhard, the founder and leader of est.For your $300, the training consisted of two weekends spent in a hotel ballroom from about 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM both days. There were no breaks even to eat or go to the bathroom (no kidding!) The stunts in the movie paralleled the real est training, with things like lying on the floor hugging your pillow while kicking your feet in the air. After the training you were supposedly a changed person, free of your old hang-ups. Fortunately, I found another job where I was not subject to “estual harassment.”Robert Preston, the Team Owner, played his role perfectly too. To a background of Gene Autry records which matched his own view of the world, he tried many other psychic movements, including crawling around on the floor rather than walking. They also tried “Pelfing,” a thinly veiled send-up of Rolfing. In fact, one other football player was a devotee of “pyramid power,” proudly wearing a pyramid from a necklace.This movie has been on TV but not recently. It would be fun to see it again. Interesting that the IMDB poll for this movie shows that viewers over 45 enjoyed it much more than the kids under 18. Yeah, they weren’t around during those happy days of Disco, Leisure Suits, disaster movies, gas lines, est, Lifespring, Rolfing, Pyramid Power, and of course, “Happy Days.”If you enjoyed “Semi-Tough,” another film you’d like is “Serial.”