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Contemporary reviews indicate that the role of "Coach" was loosely based on Notre Dame's legendary Knute Rockne, who died in a plane crash on March 31, 1931. Many actual Notre Dame football players appeared in the film, among them the renowned "Four Horsemen" of the winning mid-1920s Notre Dame team. Because of this film, M-G-M changed the locale of their 1931 film Huddle from Notre Dame, the source novel's location, to Yale. A news item in Hollywood Reporter indicates that Universal was planning a sequel to this film with Mel Brown as director and Florabel Muir and Henry Johnson as screenwriters. In 1940, Warner Bros. made a film based on Rockne's life, Knute Rockne, All American (see below), and in 1962 another version was produced for television by M-G-M-TV.