Hoosiers (1986)

Hoosiers (1986)

An old school basketball underdog story with memorable turns from Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper

7.1

Movie

United States of America
English
Drama, Family
1986
DAVID ANSPAUGH
Barbara Hershey, Chelcie Ross, David Neidorf
114 min

What it's about

Failed college coach Norman Dale gets a chance at redemption when he is hired to coach a high school basketball team in a tiny Indiana town. After a teacher persuades star player Jimmy Chitwood to quit and focus on his long-neglected studies, Dale struggles to develop a winning team in the face of community criticism for his temper and his unconventional choice of assistant coach: Shooter, a notorious alcoholic.

The take

Bearing pretty much every trademark you've come to expect from a sports drama, Hoosiers might not bring as many surprises to the formula but it still makes all its moves with a surplus of heart. Elevating the already entertaining basketball footage is Gene Hackman's uncommonly hotheaded coach and (Oscar-nominated) Dennis Hopper's town drunk—both of whom deepen this film's story of hometown pride into one of midlife redemption. Hickory, Indiana comes to life as a character in itself, where local sports are treated with as much reverence as politics and religion, which makes every basket feel that much more like a victory lap.

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