Saturday's Hero

Saturday's Hero is a 1951 American film noir drama sports film directed by David Miller. It is also known as Idols in the Dust, and stars John Derek and Donna Reed.[2][3][4] Saturday's Hero was the first film for Aldo Ray, who was still going by Aldo DaRe, but it was released after his second acting job in My True Story (1951). The film was also the debut score of Elmer Bernstein.

Saturday's Hero
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Miller
Produced byBuddy Adler
Screenplay bySidney Buchman
Millard Lampell
Based onThe Hero
1949 novel
by Millard Lampell
StarringJohn Derek
Donna Reed
Sidney Blackmer
Alexander Knox
Music byElmer Bernstein
CinematographyLee Garmes
Edited byWilliam Lyon
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 10, 1951 (1951-09-10)
Running time
111 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,150,000 (US rentals)[1]


Steve Novak, a Polish-American immigrant from a small New Jersey mill town, decides to go to a college in Virginia to play football. He becomes a star player as a freshman, but hears stories of teammates receiving money for their play.

Steve falls for Melissa (Donna Reed), the daughter of one of the school's rich benefactors, TC McCabe. When he suffers injuries on the field, Steve realizes that a college education will mean more to his future than football will. He also tries to win Melissa's love, over her father's strong objections.



Columbia bought the novel specifically as a vehicle for John Derek.[5]

The film was known in production as The Hero.The shoot went for 80 days including 35 days of football sequences.[6]


  1. 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
  2. "Saturday's Hero". AFI. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  3. "Saturday's Hero". FilmAffinity. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  5. Schallert, E. (1948, Nov 23). Adler to-produce 'hero' with derek starred; ross to rival lassie. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  6. By Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian,Science Monitor. (1950, Aug 04). John derek and donna reed to star in football story. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File) Retrieved from
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