‘Rudy’ Making Movie About Wayne Newton Shrine

Norm Clarke of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL has some delightful news about Rudy Ruettiger, the walk-on Notre Dame football player who inspired the feature film, “Rudy”.

Wayne Newton and Rudy Ruettiger


Clarke reports, “Ruettiger has been involved in shooting a documentary of the transformation of (Wayne) Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah ranch into a Graceland-style tourist attraction.


You heard Norm right, Ruettiger apparently has a television “production company” in place to film Newton’s quest to establish his 38-acre Vegas estate as a local landmark - which the entertainer announced to his bewildered neighbors seven days ago.

The LAS VEGAS SUN also reports that a week ago Newton met with residents of his posh neighborhood to sell the concept on them, and that “a documentary crew from Rudy Ruettiger’s production company recorded the meeting. Ruettiger, of ‘Rudy’ film fame and a Henderson resident, has been working on a Newton doc over the past few months.

Of the project, the Sun added:

His home is in a rural neighborhood preservation area. Though final plans haven’t been submitted, County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said that, based on a meeting with Newton and others, plans could include a dinner-theater for 300 people and a souvenir shop. The theater and shop would go on the land north of Sunset Road.

As Sisolak said it was described to him, a bus would take tourists to the property north of Sunset, then shuttle over to see Newton’s expanse — Newton’s team called it “Graceland West,” but the commissioner wasn’t sure if that is an official name. Afterward, tourists would shuttle back for dinner and a Wayne Newton show.

A “rural neighborhood preservation area” is code for very, very rich people who want complete privacy. The same people Newton was confronted with last week.

So how did the meeting go? You won’t have to wait for Rudy’s epic feature film presentation to find out, thanks to the Sun.

When Kennedy noted that small buses would be driving along Tomiyasu and entering on the west side of the property, a groan went up as residents envisioned dozens of buses each day entering the north entrance of that road.

As one homeowner told Newton representative Jay Brown of Brown & Partners, “I invested $9 million in my home. I don’t want to live next to a museum.”

When a questioner asked for a show of hands of those who supported the project, none went up.

When he asked for those who opposed it, the vote was a landslide for “no.”

Never fear Wayniacs, as the land adjacent to Newton’s home was already *somehow* zoned for commercial use - so the show, and Rudy’s movie, must go on!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t dredge up Joe Montana’s maddeningly accurate, recent comments on the Dan Patrick Show about the overblown legend of Ruettiger wrought by the movie about the man.

From what I personally heard from a prominent Notre Dame player on that particular team well before Montana’s comments, the former ND quarterback went pretty light on the self-promotion-obsessed Ruettiger - which is precisely the reason you didn’t hear Ruettiger shouting from the rooftops about the inaccuracy of Montana’s claims.