Rudy (Astin) is an all-American dreamer: he wants to play football for Notre Dame, but, as everyone keeps telling him, 'Notre Dame is not for everyone.' The son of a steelworker, he has only a mediocre academic record, a slight build, and he's not a great natural athlete. At 22, after four years in the steel mill, the death of his best friend moves Rudy to re-evaluate his life. He goes East and enrolls in a junior college, determined to make the grade. Eventually, he does - but surely all the guts and determination in the world can't make him a varsity football star? Underdogs are the grist of sports movies; even so, it's unusual to find a hero so ill-equipped for the task at hand. Directed with composure, but no great fervour, the film's conspicuously uninterested in American football, and much concerned with testing the limits and the resilience of the American dream.