The film begins with views of the University of Notre Dame (:06-:24). Knute’s life is explored, beginning with helmeted young boys in Chicago who huddle together and play football in a field. (:25-:41). The post office (:42) is where he earned enough money at 22 to go to Notre Dame in 1910. Photos of the University are shown (:43-:56). A photo is shown of Knute in 1913 as a track team star (1:01) and one as captain of the football team (1:03). Next is of Knute as a Chemistry instructor (1:08), and an assistant football coach (1:10-1:15). A 1914 photo shows Knute and his new wife, Bonnie Skiles (1:20). A 1918 photos shows him as head coach (1:22). Knute is shown training players (1:27-1:52). His star player, George Gipp, “the Gipper” is shown in a photo and on the field. The team is untied and undefeated in 1919 and in 1920 (1:55-2:15). Gipp dies of streptococcal throat infection and pneumonia in his senior season (2:16-2:25). The next photo shows Rockne with his “Four Horseman” as he tries to rebuild the team (2:28). The four were quarterback Harry Stuhldreher (2:32), fullback Elmer Layden (2:34), right halfback Jim Crowley (2:38), and left halfback Don Miller (2:40). The four are shown on horseback (2:46). A touchdown in 1923 is shown, followed by one in 1924 (2:52-3:19). The Rose Bowl field has the Notre Dame logo shown by a group of students with signs (3:21). A touchdown in the 1925 win against Stanford is shown (3:23-3:34). A packed parade follows in South Bend (3:35-3:46). In the winter of 1925, Knute visited Columbia University in New York City (3:47-4:00). Even though the newspapers claimed he was quitting Notre Dame, he did not and is shown in an interview (4:01-4:22). 1928 begins a new season, as the team runs to him. Knute is shown talking to them (4:34-4:30). The team drills for the game against West Point (4:31-4:46). 80,000 people attend the game at Yankee Stadium. Kickoff is shown. (4:48-5:16). Knute watches from the sidelines as his team struggled (5:17-5:32). In the dressing room at half time, Knute is shown talking. He tells of George Gipp’s dying wish; that if the boys were ever down, to go out and “win one for the Gipper.” The team returns to the field and the tying touchdown is shown (5:33-6:21). A forward pass to Johnny O’Brien, who’d been sent it for this single play, was a touchdown to win the game (6:22-6:36). Rockne is shown giving a speech defending football (6:37-7:06). 1929’s team stars included John Law (7:23), Marty Brill (7:25), Frank Carideo (7:30), who travel by train to Southern California to defeat the Trojans (7:32-8:30). Another celebration awaits the team at South Bend (8:31-8:39) but Knute reminds his players to study (8:40-8:59). March 31, 1931, Knute boards a TWA Fokker F-10, shown taking off. The wreckage is shown, killing all aboard (9:00-9:32). The funeral is well-attended and he is buried on campus grounds (9:33-10:19).
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