Watch the documentary ‘Harvard Beats Yale 29-29’ here
Starting today, Metro will be teaming with Distrify, an online film distributor, to bring you new films to watch online or buy through the service.
Distrify allows viewers to rent or buy films. For rented movies, patrons have 30 days to watch their selection up to five times. Can’t finish the movie in one sitting? The player will remember where you left off.You can also discuss the film right here, in our comments section. Let your opinion of the film be known, start debates, request more information, harangue us for our allegedly terrible taste, and whatever else you’d like (but keep it civil.)
Our first offering is “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29,” a 2008 documentary that examines what is called “the most famous football game in Ivy League history.” On Nov. 23, 1968 — that is, 45 years ago this Saturday — Yale and Harvard met to duke it out. Until the final moments Yale was killing Harvard. But then, in just 42 seconds, Harvard made a ridiculous 16-point comeback.
Even for a documentary, how do you stretch less than a minute of action into 105 screen minutes? Director Kevin Rafferty — who co-directed the hilarious documentary “The Atomic Cafe,” which unearths Cold War propaganda films warning about Communism and nuclear attacks — went to Harvard at the time, and he brings the era back to life. Mostly he talks to those who were there as well.
That includes Tommy Lee Jones. You probably know that Jones was Al Gore’s roommate. What you might not know is that Gore used to play “Dixie” on his touch-tone phone. Also news to you may be that Yalie Gary Trudeau based his “Doonesbury” character B.D. on quarterback Brian Dowling. Ditto that another player shared a room with George W. Bush. (Rafferty is also his cousin.)
This isn’t a slick film. Raffery cuts between talking heads and footage of the game itself, mostly shot from a far remove. There is no manipulative score to make it palatable. There’s just words and a 45-year-old game. But you’ll emerge with more information than you perhaps required.
A streaming rental is $2.99; DVDs are priced at $25, Blu-rays $31.