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Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Richard Donner
Oliver Stone
Dan Halsted
Lauren Shuler Donner
Clayton Townsend
Screenplay by John Logan
Oliver Stone
Story by Daniel Pyne
John Logan
Based on On Any Given Sunday 
by Pat Toomay
Starring Al Pacino
Cameron Diaz
Dennis Quaid
James Woods
Jamie Foxx
LL Cool J
Music by Richard Horowitz
Paul Kelly
Cinematography Salvatore Totino
Edited by Stuart Levy
Thomas J. Nordberg
Keith Salmon
Stuart Waks
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • December 22, 1999 (1999-12-22)
Running time
162 minutes
(Theatrical cut)
156 minutes
(Director's cut)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $55 million[1]
Box office $100.2 million[1]

Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American 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, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and legendary 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 (also used in the film) that a team can win or lose on "any given Sunday", said by the fictitious coach Tony D'Amato.

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.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Development 3.1
    • Casting 3.2
    • Principal photography 3.3
  • Release 4
    • Reception 4.1
    • Soundtrack 4.2
    • Director's cut 4.3
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The Miami Sharks, a once-great American football team, are now in turmoil and struggling to make the 2001 Associated Football Franchises of America (AFFA) playoffs. They are coached by 30-year veteran Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino), who has fallen out of favor with young owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), who inherited the team, and offensive coordinator Nick Crozier (Aaron Eckhart), who is expected to succeed D'Amato as head coach.

In the 13th game of the season, against the Minnesota Americans, both the Sharks' starting quarterback, Jack "Cap" Rooney (Dennis Quaid), and the second-string quarterback, Tyler Cherubini (Pat O'Hara), are injured and forced to leave the field. The desperate Sharks call upon third-string quarterback and former seventh-round draft pick Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). Beamen is visibly nervous and makes a number of errors, illustrating his lack of knowledge regarding the team's playbook. He vomits in the huddle, which begins a ritual that he follows every game. Although the Sharks lose this game by a small margin, Beamen, despite his initial struggles, plays well and gains confidence. Rooney, in pain because of a lower disc problem, vows to make it back by the playoffs and asks D'Amato to not give up on him. D'Amato reciprocates the love, stating "i'll fight for you till the day I die".

The next day, D'Amato is called into a meeting at Pagniacci's house, and they argue about the direction of the team. Pagniacci wants to move in the direction of Crozier, who she spent a lot of money to obtain, and to eventually cut Rooney and Lavay, who is their defensive captain that has a history of concussions. D'Amato, defending his veteran players, argues that Pagniacci's father, the previous owner, would never mettle in his team; to which, Pagniacci rebuffs that her father would be as disgusted as she is if he saw the way the team is. This argument shows how at odds Pagniacci and D'Amato are, and D'Amato eventually leaves.

During the next game, against the Chicago Rhinos, a terribly playing Cherubini is replaced by Beamen, who at this time has quickly grasped the team's offense. Much to D'Amato's chagrin, Beamen disregards the team's conservative offense and changes the plays in the huddle, not realizing the disrespect this shows to his coaches. Beamen displays his raw athletic talent and starts to run and pass extremely successfully, much to the chargin of D'Amato and other fellow players. The media starts to see Beamen's play and beams him as the next model of quarterback.

Beamen's play as of late in effect is leading the Sharks to the playoffs after winning three of the last four games of the season including a road win against the California Crusaders, in Los Angeles. Beaman's new-found success results in growing narcissism and arrogance. He becomes "Steamin'" Willie Beamen, the new poster boy for the AFFA, and receives lucrative advertisement deals, including a music video. His newfound success leads to him breaking up with his longtime girlfriend and outstaging his fellow teammates, seeing himself as above everyone now that he is in the spotlight.

Beamen's inability to handle his success leads to tension with players and coaches. D'Amato invites Beamen to his home for dinner to confront Beamen. D'Amato and Beamen have a conversation as to why Beamen has been changing the plays. Beamen feels that the playbook is too slow and that he should improvise on the field, which D'Amato takes as disrespect to the people who have come up with the plays. A philosophical difference on how the two look at football and life in general leads to a rift between D'Amato and Beamen. D'Amato demotes Beamen back to the bench, while picking Rooney to lead the Sharks during the playoffs, telling Beamen just how far he still has to go to fulfill his potential as the team's lead player. Beamen, lacking confidence in his coach after his hard college career, and afraid of going back to anonymity, berates D'Amato that he is the reason that the Sharks are winning and that Rooney and D'Amato are past their time. D'Amato labels Beamen as immature and stupid as Beamen storms out D'Amato's home. Beamen then alienates the rest of the team at a party at Lavay's home to the point that he gets his car sawn in half by Lavay after disrespecting the team and the defense.

Later, after Beamen's interview that he is the reason the Sharks are winning, the Sharks refuse to play for Beamen and are effectively blown out at home in a game against the New York Emperors that could have given them home field advantage in the playoffs. Beamen gets into a brawl with Julian "J-Man" Washington (LL Cool J) after Washington mocks Beamen with a line from one of his interviews. An irate D'Amato expresses his embarrassment at his team before leaving. Beamen contemplates and amends his self-centered behavior. He adopts a small boy from Malawi.

As the playoffs come around, Beamen and Lavay have a conversation in the sauna, with Lavay reminding Beamen that even though he made it into the league, there are hundreds that never make it, to not be so arrogant, and to find a life outside of football. Lavay gives him veteran advice, to no avail. Later, D'Amato berates Rooney at his home when Rooney starts to second-guess his health and his availability for the playoffs (after D'Amato went to bat for him with Pagniacci, further dissolving their working relationship and leading to Pagniacci demeaning D'Amato in front of Crozier, going as far as to state that her father could have left D'Amato in charge but thought he got too old and the game passed him by).

In the first round of playoffs, Miami goes to Dallas to face the Knights, one of the league's strongest teams. Before the game, D'Amato gives a speech to his divided players about working as a team to get the victory, and using his own failures in life to get through to his players that football is his life. Beamen, who earlier mocked D'Amato for giving the same tired speeches, takes this speech to heart, and the team rallies behind its coach. Rooney returns as starting quarterback. He plays strongly, until being injured with a concussion after scoring a touchdown in the end of the first half, and Beamen needs to replace him. During the game, Pagniacci makes amends with her mother after being confronted with the commissioner of the AFFA (after her illegal inquiries about obtaining a Los Angeles franchise, which was against the rules).

During halftime, Rooney gives D'Amato his blessing to let Beamen finish the game, as he is unable to continue. As D'Amato is telling Beamen that he is going in the game, Pagniacci storms into the locker room, demanding D'Amato put in Beamen. They go into the coaches' office and an argument ensues between the two, with Beamen going in the office and telling Pagniacci that D'Amato told him he was going in the game. Willie apologizes to his teammates during a huddle for his actions and leads the team to win the game. He dedicates the next game to Rooney, to D'Amato's amusement that the magnitude of this win did not go to Beamen's head.

Off-screen, Miami beats Minnesota for their conference championship but then loses to San Francisco in the Pantheon Cup Championship 32-13.

At D'Amato's final press conference as the Sharks' head coach, he is thanked by owner Pagniacci for his contributions to the team. D'Amato is then 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 the ungrateful Sharks owner by adding that he has signed Beamen to be his starting quarterback and franchise player, the Sharks having refused to extend Beamen's expiring contract when they had the chance.[2]


  • Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato: Head Coach of the Miami Sharks. Having held his position for decades and given much autonomy by the team's 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. D'Amato's 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, D'Amato resents the hands-on "interference" of Christina Pagniacci, who succeeded her father Arturo as team owner. D'Amato's character was partly inspired by Tom Landry, longtime coach of the Dallas Cowboys. His last name comes from legendary boxing trainer Constantine "Cus" D'Amato.[3]
  • Georgia Frontiere.
  • Dennis Quaid as Jack "Cap" Rooney: Starting quarterback and team captain. Seen like a son to D'Amato, the two have been credited with the team's 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.[3]
  • James Woods as Dr. Harvey Mandrake: The 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 methods are discovered by the team internist.[3]
  • 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 D'Amato. D'Amato respects Beamen's 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. Beamen's antics on and off the field eventually get him demoted to the bench by D'Amato, who firmly believes that a quarterback's 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" Rooney's gutsy performance in the Sharks' first playoff game.
  • LL Cool J as Julian "J-Man" Washington: The 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 D'Amato 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.
  • Lawrence Taylor as Luther "Shark" Lavay: Starting middle linebacker and the captain of the defense, nearing the twilight of a very successful career. Held in high esteem by D'Amato 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 team's internist informs him and D'Amato of the situation, but "Shark" says he will lose over a 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 Beamen's 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 million dollar incentive.
  • Jim Brown as Montezuma Monroe: The Defensive Coordinator. He is vocal and brings intensity to the defense and to the team in general. A longtime friend of D'Amato, 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."
  • Aaron Eckhart as Nick Crozier: The 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 Tony's old-fashioned ways, as well as Beamen's changing the plays in the huddle and Julian's playing for contract incentives. Despite the tension, D'Amato recognizes Crozier's talent. He is named D'Amato's successor after the coach departs to lead an expansion franchise in New Mexico.
  • Matthew Modine as Dr. Oliver "Ollie" Powers: The team's 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.
  • 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 D'Amato. This leads to D'Amato physically assaulting Rose near the end of the regular season, but no charges are pressed after D'Amato makes a public apology. In spite of their rivalry (or even because of it) he confesses that he will miss D'Amato when he retires. Inspired by Jim Rome.
  • Lela Rochon as Vanessa Struthers
  • 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 husband's health and well being.
  • Ann-Margret as Margaret Pagniacci
  • Elizabeth Berkley as Mandy Murphy
  • Charlton Heston as Commissioner
  • Clifton Davis as Mayor Tyrone Smalls

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 D'Amato.



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 screenplay's 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 You're Okay, It's Just a Bruise: A Doctor's Sideline Secrets by Robert Huizenga. Huizenga was the intern doctor for the L.A. Raiders in their 1980s heyday, working under Dr. Rosenfield, who dismissed many players' injuries with the phrase, "You're okay, it's just a bruise." James Woods' character was based on Rosenfield, and his first diagnosis of "Cap" Rooney's career-threatening injury at the beginning of the film is "you're okay, it's just a bruise." Huizenga left the Raiders in the early 1990s, disgusted at the way the medical advice was kept from players and Rosenfield being allowed to continue treating them after several mishaps, one of which is closely mirrored in the film—Shark's neck injury and risk of sudden death, based on the real-life Mike Harden case.


Director Oliver Stone's first two choices to play Tony D'Amato 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 NFL Hall of Fame Players made cameo appearances as opposing head coaches. Bob St. Clair, with Minnesota, 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. And finally, Johnny Unitas with Dallas, in the finale.

Jim Caviezel played Tony D'Amato's 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.

Principal photography

The film was shot in Miami, Florida and Irving, Texas. Miami's Orange Bowl stadium represents the home of the fictitious American football team, the Miami Sharks.[4][5] 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 League's 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 use they baseball arena Homestead Sports Complex.

The film also used Arena Football League players such Pat O'Hara, who played for the Tampa Bay Storm and now coaches the Orlando Predators and Connell Maynor, who also played for the Orlando Predators and spent time as both a player and coach for the Philadelphia Soul.

A scene in the film was shot at Windmill Ranch. Quaid's character's house is really Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's house.



Time Out New York 's Andrew Johnston wrote: "It's 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 Stone's 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 Stone's 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."[6]

Conversely, Richard Schickel for Time criticized the story as being "standard" and stated "(a)lmost 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."[7] Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail wrote that the story was "(c)hoc-a-bloc with manly blather about sacrifice and honour and rugged individuals pulling together for the greater glory of the team."[7] And, elaborating on many critics' shared observations[7] 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 50% from 115 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.[8]


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, so 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.[9]

Director's cut

When released to home video on VHS and DVD, a new director's cut by Oliver Stone was used. Due to the packaging listing "6 minutes of previously unseen footage" and a running time of 156 minutes, many assumed that the theatrical cut was 150 minutes, and that Stone had added six minutes of footage. In actuality, the theatrical cut ran 162 minutes; 12 minutes were deleted for the Director's Cut, and six minutes of new footage were added. Stone said these changes were made to help with the film's pacing. The differences between the two versions are discussed on IMDb's entry for the film.[10]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d Euegene Novikov. "Any Given Sunday". Film Blather. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  4. ^ "Television & Film Helmets". Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  5. ^ "Movie/TV helmets". Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  6. ^ Time Out New York, Dec. 30, 1999-Jan. 6, 2000, p. 87
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ "Any Given Sunday". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  9. ^ RHCD 01, 1999 (Any Given Sunday at
  10. ^ "Any Given Sunday (1999) - Alternate versions". Retrieved 2008-11-28. 

External links

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