ⓘ Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

ⓘ Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American sports drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and NFL players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor. It is partly based on the novel On Any Given Sunday by famed NFL defensive end Pat Toomay; the title is derived from a line in the book that a team can win or lose on "any given Sunday", said by the fictitious coach Tony DAmato.

Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer.


1. Plot

The Miami Sharks, a once-great American football team, are struggling to make the 2001 Associated Football Franchises of America AFFA playoffs. They are coached by thirty-year veteran Tony DAmato Al Pacino, who has fallen out of favor with young team owner Christina Pagniacci Cameron Diaz and offensive coordinator and DAmatos expected successor Nick Crozier Aaron Eckhart. In the thirteenth game of the season, both starting quarterback Jack "Cap" Rooney Dennis Quaid and second-string quarterback Tyler Cherubini Pat OHara are injured and forced to leave the field. The desperate Sharks call upon third-string quarterback Willie Beamen Jamie Foxx to replace them. Beamen played college ball at the University of Houston. While a nervous Beamen makes a number of errors and fails to win the game for the Sharks, he plays well and gains confidence. Rooney vows to make it back by the playoffs, with DAmato promising to not give up on him.

The next day, DAmato and Pagniacci argue about the direction of the team. Pagniacci favors Crozier and wants to eventually cut Rooney. DAmato argues that Pagniaccis father, the previous owner, would never meddle in his coaching plans. During the next game, to DAmatos chagrin, Beamen disregards the teams conservative offense and changes plays in the huddle. As the media hails Beamen as the next model of quarterback, the new-found success feeds his growing narcissism and leads to tension with teammates and coaches. During a confrontation with Beamen, DAmato demotes him back to the bench. After Beamen gives an interview taking sole credit for the Sharks winning streak, the other players refuse to perform for Beamen and consequently lose a home game. After Beamen gets into a brawl with Julian "J-Man" Washington LL Cool J, an irate DAmato expresses his embarrassment at his team before leaving. Beamen contemplates and amends his self-centered behavior.

As the playoffs come around, Sharks middle linebacker Luther Lavay Lawrence Taylor reminds Beamen how lucky he is to be in the league and to find a life outside of football; his words fall on deaf ears. DAmato worsens his relationship with Pagniacci and berates Rooney for second-guessing his availability. Before the game, DAmato gives a speech urging team unity that Beamen takes to heart. Rooney returns as starting quarterback, but is injured with a concussion after scoring a touchdown. Rooney and Pagniacci urge DAmato to let Beamen finish the game, which after an argument he allows. Beamen apologizes to his teammates for his actions and leads the team to win. He dedicates the next game to Rooney.

The Sharks eventually lose the championship final known as Pantheon Cup to San Francisco. At DAmatos final press conference as head coach, he is thanked by Pagniacci. DAmato is expected to announce his retirement, but he instead drops a bombshell and announces that he has been hired as head coach and general manager of an expansion team in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Aztecs. He further infuriates Pagniacci by adding that he has signed Beamen to be his starting quarterback and franchise player.


2. Cast

  • Charlton Heston as Commissioner
  • Aaron Eckhart as Nick Crozier, offensive coordinator. Nick is an offensive guru brought in from Minnesota by Christina Pagniacci. Young and tech-savvy making use of a laptop computer while calling plays, he is highly critical of Tonys old-fashioned ways, as well as Beamens changing the plays in the huddle and Julians playing for contract incentives. Despite the tension, DAmato recognizes Croziers talent. He is named DAmatos successor after the coach departs to lead an expansion franchise in New Mexico.
  • John C. McGinley as Jack Rose, an abrasive and prominent sports reporter. On his own cable show, Rose displays an incredible distaste for all things DAmato. This leads to DAmato physically assaulting Rose near the end of the regular season, but no charges are pressed after DAmato makes a public apology. In spite of their rivalry or even because of it he confesses that he will miss DAmato when he retires. Inspired by Jim Rome.
  • Dennis Quaid as Jack "Cap" Rooney, starting quarterback and team captain. Seen as being like a son to DAmato, the two have been credited with the teams greatest on-field successes. Rooney is now an aging veteran who faces injuries and conflicts with team personnel. Pagniacci wants to dump him. Relations have soured between Rooney and wife Cindy Lauren Holly, who goads him without sympathy for his physical or mental situation, mercilessly browbeating him when he even mentions retiring. He is injured during a game and is replaced, but is determined to make a comeback. Rooney recovers in time for the first round of the playoffs, wherein he plays well until suffering a hard hit while scoring a touchdown before halftime.
  • Lela Rochon as Vanessa Struthers
  • Al Pacino as Anthony "Tony" DAmato, head coach of the Miami Sharks. Having held his position for decades and been given much autonomy by the teams owner, "Tony D" is respected for great successes, including two Pantheon Cups, the championship for this fictional professional football league. He devoted so much time to the team, he became estranged from his wife and children. DAmatos traditional methods have come under fire from management and the media for recent failures, including missing the playoffs. Bitter that he was never promoted to general manager, DAmato resents the hands-on "interference" of Christina Pagniacci, who succeeded her father Arturo as team owner. DAmatos character was partly inspired by Tom Landry, longtime coach of the Dallas Cowboys. His last name comes from legendary boxing trainer Constantine "Cus" DAmato.
  • LL Cool J as Julian "J-Man" Washington, starting running back. He is very good but becomes increasingly angry at Beamen for his cockiness and tendencies to take plays away from him. He is motivated by incentive clauses in his contract, and DAmato refers to him as a "merc" mercenary "who will be gone before next season." Washington later redeems himself to the team by running out-of-bounds in order to stop the play clock while his team was attempting an offensive drive with little time left.
  • Lauren Holly as Cindy Rooney, wife of Cap Rooney. It is heavily implied that she is no more than a trophy wife, caring more for her wealth and social status than for her husbands health and well being.
  • Lawrence Taylor as Luther "Shark" Lavay, starting middle linebacker and the captain of the defense, with a cortisone addiction and is nearing the twilight of a very successful career. Held in high esteem by DAmato for "revolutionizing" his position by being highly skilled in both pass rushing and defending against the run. Mandrake has concealed that "Shark" is suffering from a previous injury, a broken neck that did not heal properly. If he suffers a serious hit again, he may be killed or permanently disabled. The teams internist informs him and DAmato of the situation, but "Shark" says he will lose over one million dollars if he does not make his incentive stats or retires as Powers suggests. He also has a confrontation with Beamen over the role of offense vs. defense which culminates with him cutting Beamens Chevrolet Suburban in half with a circular saw during a party. While making a hit, Shark gets knocked unconscious. He awakens and is hauled off on a stretcher, satisfied that he made his one million dollars incentive.
  • Matthew Modine as Dr. Oliver "Ollie" Powers, the teams internist. He discovers Dr. Mandrake covering for players who are suffering from near-career-ending injuries but are overdosing on painkillers, steroids and hormones to cover the pain. Powers faces his own dilemma in the need to relieve the players pain vs. prescribing too much medication at the insistence of the addicted players.
  • Elizabeth Berkley as Mandy Murphy
  • Jim Brown as Montezuma Monroe, defensive coordinator. He is vocal and brings intensity to the defense and to the team in general. A longtime friend of DAmato, who personally confides in Montezuma several times. Monroe states at one point he would like to return to high school coaching where the game is "pure."
  • James Woods as Dr. Harvey Mandrake, the unscrupulous team physician. He risks serious injury to players to enable the team to have a better shot at winning, often at the direction of Pagniacci. He is later fired after his unethical methods are discovered by the conscientious team internist.
  • Clifton Davis as Mayor Tyrone Smalls
  • Cameron Diaz as Christina Pagniacci, owner and general manager. She inherited the team from her father and boasts a Cornell MBA. She attributes the teams disappointments to Coach DAmatos "old-school methods" and takes a more hands-on approach, bringing in innovative new offensive coordinator Nick Crozier as his eventual successor. She hints that DAmato will not return after his contract expires, adding to his distractions. She also threatens to move the franchise if the city refuses to build a new stadium, causing a confrontation with the AFFA Commissioner and the Mayor of Miami. Her character is based upon Jerry Jones and Georgia Frontiere.
  • Ann-Margret as Margaret Pagniacci, Christinas mother and the widow of the Sharks original owner Arturo.
  • Jamie Foxx as "Steamin" Willie Beamen, the third-string quarterback. Beamen has a history that eventually led him to distrust his coaches. In particular, while playing for a previous franchise, Beamen was made into a defensive secondary player for having "fast feet" and was eventually injured while making a tackle. Beamen initially believes that racism played a major role in his history of being denied opportunities he desired, using an alternative of "placeism" to describe a lack of African-American quarterbacks and head coaches in pro football. He takes over as starter after injuries to Rooney and the backup quarterback. Though surprisingly successful, Beamen causes tension among staff and teammates. He frequently changes the plays the coach calls, or just calls his own. These acts create major tension with DAmato. DAmato respects Beamens athletic ability and acknowledges his talents warrant him to be a quarterback, but heavily criticizes his lack of leadership skills and intangibles. He begins a singing career and even asks owner Pagniacci for a date when she enters a postgame locker room full of naked or partly dressed players like himself. Beamens antics on and off the field eventually get him demoted to the bench by DAmato, who firmly believes that a quarterbacks most important role is to lead the team and help keep them confident, both of which Beamen took a clear disregard for. Beamen later matures and is inspired by "Cap" Rooneys gutsy performance in the Sharks first playoff game.

Director Oliver Stone appears uncredited as an announcer at the stadium, and his caricature portrait can be seen at a bar with other caricatures of noted sports people, including DAmato.

Actor Jim Caviezel appears uncredited as DAmatos estranged son, but the scene was cut from the theatrical release. The deleted scene is available on the DVD release.

Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens is featured in the final regular season game against the Dallas Knights catching a touchdown and scoring another touchdown on a reverse. He had no speaking lines and his first name is never said, but his last name is shown to be Owens.


3.1. Production Development

Oliver Stone developed a script called Monday Night written by Jamie Williams, a former tight end for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and later the San Francisco 49ers, and Richard Weiner, a sports journalist. Stone separately acquired the spec script On Any Given Sunday, by John Logan. Stone later amalgamated a third screenplay, Playing Hurt by Daniel Pyne, into the project.

As of May 1, 1999, the screenplays cover page listed the following writers: original draft by Jamie Williams & Richard Weiner, John Logan, Daniel Pyne; subsequent revisions by Gary Ross; revisions by Raynold Gideon & Bruce A. Evans; revisions by John Logan; revisions by Lisa Amsterdam & Robert Huizenga; latest revisions by Oliver Stone.

The Writers Guild of America ultimately awarded screenplay credit to Logan and Stone, with "story" credit to Pyne and Logan. Williams and Weiner went uncredited for their original screenplay, but were credited for their work on the film as technical consultants.

The screenplay was also based in part on the book Youre Okay, Its Just a Bruise: A Doctors Sideline Secrets by Robert Huizenga. Huizenga was the intern doctor for the Los Angeles Raiders in their 1980s heyday, working under Dr. Robert T. Rosenfeld, who dismissed many players injuries with the phrase, "Youre okay, its just a bruise." James Woods character was based on Rosenfeld, and his first diagnosis of "Cap" Rooneys career-threatening injury at the beginning of the film is "youre okay, its just a bruise." Huizenga left the Raiders in the early 1990s, disgusted at the way the medical advice was kept from players and Rosenfeld being allowed to continue treating them after several mishaps, one of which is closely mirrored in the film - Sharks neck injury and risk of sudden death, based on the real-life Mike Harden case.


3.2. Production Casting

Director Oliver Stones first two choices to play Tony DAmato were Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Henry Rollins was offered a role as a football player but turned it down as he felt he did not have the size to make the portrayal believable. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs was cast as Willie Beamen, but dropped out amidst rumors he could not throw a football convincingly. Publicly Combs dropped off the project because of scheduling conflicts with his recording career. According to Cuba Gooding Jr., he met with Oliver Stone about playing the role of Willie Beamen but Stone turned Gooding down because he had already played a football player in Jerry Maguire 1996. Chris Tucker turned down the role of Willie Beamen.

Five Pro Football Hall of Fame Players made cameo appearances as opposing head coaches. Bob St. Clair appears as the coach for Minnesota in the first game. Y. A. Tittle, for Chicago, the second game. Dick Butkus, with California, the road game. Warren Moon, with New York in the rain soaked game. For the final game in Dallas, Johnny Unitas appears as the coach.

Jim Caviezel played Tony DAmatos estranged son, but his scenes were cut. They can be seen in the extras of the Oliver Stone Collection DVD. Tom Sizemore also had a role in the film, but it too was cut.


3.3. Production Principal photography

The film was shot in Miami, Florida and Irving, Texas. Miamis Orange Bowl stadium represents the home of the fictitious American football team, the Miami Sharks. When the team traveled to California, the stadium used was Pro Player Stadium, which is located in Miami Gardens. Texas Stadium is used for the home of the fictitious Dallas Knights.

Director Oliver Stone requested, but did not receive, the National Football Leagues permission to use real NFL team logos and stadiums for the film. As a result, the fictional Associated Football Franchises of America AFFA was created not to be confused with the real AFA. The AFFA apparently exists alongside the NFL, since the Miami Dolphins are mentioned.

For the scenes during a football game, production asked local schools to participate as extras for the film, including Lake Stevens Middle School in Miami, Florida. For each shot the crowd was asked to move around so that each section looked filled. In empty seats cardboard cutouts were placed in seats with balloons attached to them so that they would seem in motion.

On Google Earth, using the "historical imagery" button and setting the date to 2/20/1999, the Orange Bowl displays "Sharks" at each end zone.

For the practice scenes they used the baseball arena Homestead Sports Complex.

The film also used Arena Football League players such Pat OHara, who played for the Tampa Bay Storm, later coached the Orlando Predators and is now an assistant coach with the Tennessee Titans, and Connell Maynor, who also played for the Orlando Predators and spent time as both a player and coach for the Philadelphia Soul. Bjorn Nittmo, then with the AFLs Buffalo Destroyers, was the Sharks placekicker. Matt Martinez, a former Gurkha & ex-husband of Niki Taylor and linebacker for the AFLs Miami Hooters, played himself, #31 for the Sharks.

A scene in the film was shot at Windmill Ranch. Quaids characters house is really Dolphins quarterback Dan Marinos house.


4.1. Release Box office

Any Given Sunday was a financial success; made on a budget of $55 million, it went on to earn $100.2 million worldwide.


4.2. Release Reception

Time Out New York s Andrew Johnston wrote: "Its often been said of films about sports that smaller balls equal better movies. Any Given Sunday explodes that theory, and not just because of the incredible intensity of its gridiron action. Oliver Stones best movie in many years - and one of his finest ever - looks at the world of professional football from almost every conceivable angle, but it never tries to be the definitive statement on the subject. A surprisingly balanced film that merges Stones hyperkinetic style with a character-centric narrative approach reminiscent of John Sayles and Robert Altman at their best, Sunday proves that powerful human drama and MTV visual pyrotechnics actually can coexist after all."

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times also gave the film a mostly positive review, awarding it 3 out of 4 stars, but criticized its length: "I guess I recommend the movie because the dramatic scenes are worth it. Pacino has some nice heart-to-hearts with Quaid and Foxx, and the psychology of the veteran coach is well-captured in the screenplay by Stone and John Logan. But if some studio executive came along and made Stone cut his movie down to two hours, I have the strangest feeling it wouldnt lose much of substance and might even play better."

Conversely, Richard Schickel of Time criticized the story as being "standard" and stated "almost three hours of this jitter deteriorates from bravura filmmaking to annoying mannerism, and Any Given Sunday ends up less than the sum of its many, often interesting parts." Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail wrote that the story was "choc-a-bloc with manly blather about sacrifice and honour and rugged individuals pulling together for the greater glory of the team." And, elaborating on many critics shared observations that the movie was "hyperkinetic", Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News states that "the sensation we get from the blizzard of images and teeth-jarring sound effects is of having our head used as the football."

The film received an aggregated score of 52% from 122 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, Any Given Sunday has an aggregated score of 52% based on reviews from 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".


4.3. Release Soundtrack

A soundtrack containing hip hop, rock and R&B music was released on January 4, 2000 by Atlantic Records. It peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200 and #11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Oliver Stone wanted to use the music of the Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor and actually filmed a scene using their music; when he later asked for permission the band said no, and Stone was forced to redo the scene without the music.

Film composer Richard Horowitz, who supplied the original score, published his complete music for the film on a promotional CD.