Trouble Along the Way

Watch Trouble Along the Way

"Wild, Wayne and Wonderful All The Way!"
  • Approved
  • 1953
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.8  (2,137)

Trouble Along the Way is a dramatic sports comedy movie released in 1953, directed by Michael Curtiz and featuring an impressive cast including the legendary John Wayne, well-known as an American icon, as well as Donna Reed and Charles Coburn. This classic movie is set in the world of American football, against the beautiful backdrop of Washington D.C.

The movie follows Steve Williams, a former college football coach who goes through some severe family issues that force him to abandon his career and gives him little choice but to come up with alternative ways to make a living. He soon begins working as a bookkeeper who bets on sports and gradually becomes notorious in the area for his talent in building football teams, although he never coaches them directly.

When his friend and associate Father Malone tells him about a struggling Catholic college, St. Anthony's, that is facing serious financial issues and is left with no choice but to close down its doors, Steve concocts a plan. He proposes to help the college raise some funds by building the ultimate football team, one that will bring in a fortune in revenue and attract the attention of football fans nationally. However, in doing so, he puts his morals and ethics, as well as his relationship with his estranged wife and daughter, on the line.

As Steve works hard behind the scenes, recruiting some unusual players and trying to keep the team together despite opposition from the school's Board of Trustees, he faces numerous challenges. His biggest obstacle, surprisingly, turns out to be Caroline, the school's principal and Steve's estranged wife, who is not particularly fond of Steve's unconventional ways, dubious tactics, and questionable integrity. In addition, Steve is also concerned with the wellbeing of his daughter, Carol, which is understandably foremost on his mind, even causing him to put his profession on hold to deal with her custody battle.

The movie is well-constructed, and the plot develops smoothly, allowing each character to grow organically as the drama unfolds. The pace of the story is perfect, with the right balance of light-hearted moments and tense emotional scenes. The characters are well-defined, and their motivations are believable, allowing the audience to empathize with some and despise others whole-heartedly as they manipulate and scheme to achieve their ends.

John Wayne, in his usual charismatic and reliable style, plays Steve Williams with great charm, creating a complex and interesting character who can create cheer light up an entire stadium. He brings the same personality that audiences know and adore to this character as well, making Steve Williams the real hero of this movie.

Opposite Wayne is Donna Reed, who portrays Caroline, Steve's estranged wife, with grace and poise. She manages to balance her own emotional turmoil while acting as a vital ally to the struggling school. The two actors have great chemistry on screen, given their performance roots in romantic-comedies.

Charles Coburn, a Hollywood veteran, portrays the benevolent Father Malone, who looks up to Steve, given his previous football success, and helps him to build a team that can save the school. Coburn's presence is key to many of the more serious moments of the film, proving that he is more than just a mere comic relief in this movie.

In summary, Trouble Along the Way is an entertaining, dramatic and funny sports comedy movie, featuring some of the best actors of its time, who manage to weave a tale that combines personal struggles with the soaring story of a footballer who genuinely wants to make a difference. It is a classic movie that showcases the depth and breadth of talent of the actors involved and remains beloved even today.

Trouble Along the Way is a 1953 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

Trouble Along the Way
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (2,137)