David Anspaugh's "Hoosiers" is a film about the passion to excel in sports. It's also about a man's comeback to the game after a rough patch in his own life. "Hoosiers" is a timeless film that will look good after years of its release because it speaks to us about how someone can inspire a group of people to do their best, as they become confident in what they are trying to accomplish. The film was lovingly written for the screen by Angelo Pizzo.Coach Norman Dale gets a reprieve in life when he is hired to coach the Hickory basket ball team in rural Indiana. <more>
Basketball is the game where most people in that state take an unusual interest. Their passion for the sport is evident. The new coach is looked with suspicion because he is an outsider and he believes in teamwork. He wants everyone to participate equally, which doesn't make for excitement in the court. The coach doesn't want anyone overshadowing another, that's why he insists in total involvement. Needless to say, his method clashes with the parents and towns people from the start.The coach's past comes to haunt him when Myra Fleener, one of the teachers, discovers an article that reveals an incident Mr. Dale would like to forget. At the same time, Myra realizes the goodness in the coach's heart by involving the drunken Shooter into helping him with the team.Gene Hackman has one of the best opportunities of his distinguished career with his portrayal of Coach Dale. He is splendid in the film and he wins us with his decency and by sticking to his principles, which he passes on to the team members. Barbara Hershey is also good as Myra, the young woman who falls in love with Dale. Dennis Hopper plays Shooter, the father of one of the kids in the team who has a drinking problem."Hoosiers" is an inspiring film that ought to be seen by young people because of its message about team spirit and how to interact with one another in peace and harmony.
In Inspiriing Story Of Second-Chances (by ccthemovieman-1)
What makes this one of the most popular sports films of all time isn't just the sport, it's because it's such a human-interest film, such a wonderful story of giving people second chances in life. Add a true-life David beat Goliath story and you have an appealing film.It doesn't hurt that Gene Hackman is the star, either. He may not have that celebrity appeal or the looks of Clark Gable or Bratt Pitt, but this man can flat-out act! He makes a very believable high school basketball coach who is tough-but-fair on the outside and soft-and-compassionate on the inside.The story of <more>
an extremely tiny school defying the odds and becoming a state champion in dramatic form was so inspiring that this film has played thousands of times for 20 years now by high school coaches to their kids for motivation.But the key to the story is the coach getting a second chance in life to do what he loves and does best and he, in turn, giving others a second chance such as the alcoholic here played by Dennis Hopper. There are great lessons on teamwork, patience, tolerance and a whole bunch of other qualities. In one of the DVD documentaries, both Hackman and Hoppper comment on how many times people have approached them and THIS is the movie they mention that meant so much them. That says a lot since both men have made many famous movies.An unsung hero of this movie is the cinematography. Man, this is beautifully filmed and the rural Midwest has never looked so pretty and appealing. It paints a beautiful picture of this part of the United States. It also paints a fond remembrance of the early 1950s. You get an honest-to-goodness feel of what it's like to be part of a basketball in this area during that time, Basketball meant an awful lot - and still does - to these folks. If you are sports fan in particularly, this movie will bring a tear or two to your eyes. However, this story is for everyone who believes people deserve chances to overcome previous mistakes. Few films, whatever the topic, have the "heart" this movie demonstrates.
Everybody, especially those who live in the Midwest, will love this movie about an intense coach Gene Hackman with a questionable reputation who finds himself in a small Indiana town faced with the unenviable task of turning around tiny Hickory High's 8-man basketball team. Basketball fans will appreciate the movie for its authentic portrayal of small-town high school basketball in the 1950's. ALL viewers will enjoy this fun film for its triumphs and its classic, feel-good story of David and Goliath. This movie is not about a basketball team. This movie is about an entire community <more>
that comes together and rallies around the one thing they can all share - the Hickory High Huskers. 10/10
A superb time-capsule of mid-century, mid-western Americana. (by dimension04)
This movie is authentic nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the mid-west in the 50's and 60's. It's what life looked like when I myself "came down to this planet" in the late 1940's and experienced my teens in the 60's.The old school with high ceilings and gleaming wooden floors, the gyms with the gold-toned wall-tiles, even the hospital scene with the nurse in her starched white uniform -- all evoke a peculiar beauty that you no longer find today.There is even a scene where a young teen girl yells "NO!" to an unjust referee call, and her pointy glasses <more>
and pony tail look so much like me back then, it feels like a glimpse into a parallel dimension.I'd say this is a must-see experience for people my age -- although all ages can thoroughly enjoy the basketball action.I'm glad for the social progress since then. But there is a "peculiar beauty" from those times that is starkly missing today.
Simply great drama for non-sports fans, too (by fertilecelluloid)
I'm no armchair sportsman and I've never played basketball, but to enjoy "Hoosiers" you don't need to meet those requirements. "Hoosiers" is simply great, superbly acted drama. The story is standard underdog material, but with a terrific cast including Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper and Barbara Hershey, it soars. It is refreshing to see a sports movie in which the players are not a bunch of arrogant, obnoxious, beer-swilling yahoos whose only ambition off the court is to get laid. No, these high school boys from a very small town are a sorry lot whose spirits are <more>
revived by a coach Hackman on the last legs of his checkered career. Dennis Hopper, who plays the embarrassing, alcoholic father of one of the players, is a revelation here as a man given yet another chance to prove that he isn't a terminal loser. The film is comprised of many games, and in the hands of a hack, it might have become tiresome. But director David Anspaugh works hard to inject great dramatic tension into every game and is ably assisted by Fred Murphy's beautiful photography and Jerry Goldsmith's extraordinary score, a mix of electronic and strong orchestral elements. The film has an extremely emotional build and powers along like a steam train. Hackman, a long way from fine work such as "Prime Cut" and "The Hunting Party", is simply ultra-solid and commanding. A marvellous film about being given chances. I suggest you give it one, too.
I'm not a big sports fan except for hockey but even though this is a basketball movie I just loved it.Not a big Gene Hackman fan either but he was fantastic as the coach and Dennis Hopper was also very good as the alcoholic who gets another chance as the assistant coach and father of one of the team's players . The plot is great.Basically Hackman is a coach who was banned from college coaching for hitting one of his players, he's a very serious and angry coach who only cared about winning. He gets another chance at this small Indiana high school that only has six or seven players <more>
total on the team. The town though is huge on basketball and really wants to win.They try to get rid of the coach because they don't like how he's coaching in one game he only puts four players on the court after he doesn't like how one is playing and benches him . In the end though the players believe in him and want to keep him, then they end up making it all the way to the championship game against one of the state's biggest schools as huge underdogs.You just end up pulling for the team and the players the whole time so even though it's pretty formulaic for a sports movie it does it very well, it's a great sports movie that's great for the whole family.
I have been reading, and summing up comments about this movie. I can't believe how misunderstood this movie is. First and foremost this is not a movie about the Milan team's championship, and Bobby Plump's winning shot. The Milan game is the most famous, and storied game in Indiana and is only used as the quientessential example.The movie is a collection of typical things that happen in Indiana High School basketball which is known as "Hoosier Hysteria". The locker room scenes are typical, found each year at tournament time. The small town involvement is typical. Players <more>
deciding if they want to succumb to the social pressures of the sport, or dreaming of winning is typical. Teacher nudging is typical. The appearance of religious faith is also typical in small town Indiana. It's right in the bible belt.Smaller, less talented underdog teams are the life-blood of passion about playing, and winning. Winning systems, coaching tactics, fundamentals, and character-building are staples of the Hoosier H.S. game. Read John Wooden's books and you'll see them clearly. John Wooden-Martinsville, IN; Purdue, and UCLA .The character played by Dennis Hopper is underscored, not by his drunken state and redemption, but by his basketball knowledge. In Indiana, everyone from every walk of life knows more about the history of the game, and how to win the game than the coach. There are walking, talking Hoosier basketball historians in every small town.Another Hoosier staple is the sequence of the tournament. Every march since the 1920's the Indiana H.S. tournament starts with a sectional, regional, sweetsixteen, and final four state championship. Hence, all games and scores that were shown in the movie. Although, Hickory H.S. is fictictious, the opposing team names were real Indiana schools in the western part of the state: Jasper, Linton, Logootee, etc.The movie actually tried, but fell short in my opinion of the excitement at tournament time. The noise level, and absolute excitement of the H.S. tournaments is something you have to experience. Just walking into the gyms gives you chill bumps. Being the local game night hero is paramount, but it creates it's own special problems. I firmly feel, having experienced it myself, that the movie makers were trying to capture a unique phenomenon in sports using typical events. They displayed the key aspects of Indiana H.S. basketball in film to communicate the experience to the rest of the world.I was pleased, and excited to see how many reviewers were inspired by the film. Many who lived these events over the years are similarly motivated.P.S. Coaches do not kiss teachers except in Hollywood.
This was the best sports movie I've ever seen. (by jim-kelly)
Gene Hackman gave his usual Oscar-winning performance while Dennis Hopper was simply outstanding. What can you say about a feel good movie like this. I've always enjoyed happy ending and this was one of the best. It almost made me feel like I wanted to be a basketball fan in Indiana in 1951. This movie left me feeling that I wanted to watch it again I've already seen it five times . That's what great movies do to you, they force you to keep coming back. For me, Patton and The Sting were like that. I've seen Patton 15 times and The Sting at least 10. That's why I purchased <more>
Hoosiers instead of renting it. I've recommended it to my friends so they can derive the same satisfaction from it that I did. It helps to be a sports fan but not necessarily because this movie was a metaphor for life. It was truly a David versus Goliath-type story.
A great portrait of Indiana high school basketball's glory days! (by leczorn)
When I heard that a movie was being made about Milan Indiana High School's improbable 1954 boys' basketball state championship54, I was excited. Not only because I, like most Hoosiers, love basketball but also because of my family connection to "The Milan Miracle," as it's widely known. One of my uncles, Bob Wichmann, was a member of that team. MHS was by far the smallest school to win the championship in Indiana's 87 years of single class basketball. I was really looking forward to see who they were going to choose to play Uncle Bob!When I learned around the time <more>
of the movie's release that it wasn't going to be be an actual biography but merely inspired by the Milan 1954 team, I was disappointed. Shortly afterward, on my 16th birthday, my maternal grandparents - Uncle Bob's parents - took me to see the movie at a theater. I didn't dislike it but I had a hard time being objective about it because it was something other than what hoped it would be.But I recently gave "Hoosiers" another shot. I bought its two DVD collector's edition - largely for the bonus features - and saw the movie for only the second time ever and the first time in 18 years, a little over half of my life. The second time, I managed to view it simply as it is as opposed to my original expectations and I enjoyed it much more."Hoosiers" in a fictional story about the 1951-52 Hickory High School team. The Huskers are coming off a solid 15-10 season but are now in disarray following the death of their coach and the subsequent departure of their best player, the painfully quiet Jimmy Chitwood played by Maris Valainis .Their new coach, Norman Dale Gene Hackman , arrives after practice for the new season has already begun. Dale is a former college coach who has spent the last 10 years in the Navy and his tenure with the Huskers gets off to a bad start. Two of the team's seven remaining players quit during his first practice - though both end up returning - and he alienates much of the town with his dogmatic philosophy and sometimes abrasive style.Among those not pleased with Dale is fellow teacher Myra Fleener Barbara Hershey who thinks that basketball is over emphasized and academics are under emphasized. She and Dale clash a few times early on, which means, of course, that they end up falling in love.The season starts off badly for the Huskers and a town meeting is soon scheduled to decide whether to fire Dale of keep him. Fleener has discovered that he was fired from his college coaching job for hitting one of his players but doesn't reveal that information and speaks on his behalf. Still, the audience seems largely unmoved.It looks like Dale is about to be fired but Chitwood enters like the calvary and, speaking for one of the few times in the movie, says that he is ready to return to playing but will do so only if the coach stays. Dale's job is saved and from there, the team improves greatly and becomes a state championship contender.You can probably figure out what happens in the end, but the movie works the underdog formula to perfection without being overly cliché.The performances in "Hoosiers" are great, particularly Dennis Hopper's best supporting actor Oscar nominated role as Shooter, the father of one of the players. Hopper does a phenomenal job of acting like a basketball crazed drunk, though I thought it was a bit much for Dale to make him an assistant coach. That is one of a few cases of over Hollywoodization in this movie.And where I think the movie succeeds the most is in portraying Indiana's unique love for high school basketball. Many non-Hoosiers who see the movie probably think that the residents criticizing the coach on the street, the caravan of cars traveling to away games, the emotional town meeting on the coach's fate and the general hysteria are an exaggeration. That is not the case.High school basketball in Indiana was an obsession for several decades and still is, though to a lesser extent. Many small towns passionately embraced the local high school team, which was often a point of unity, identity and pride.One other strong point about the movie, the late, great Jerry Goldsmith's adrenaline pumping music heightens the emotion of the game scenes down the stretch.The collector's edition DVD set also contains three bonus features that I think are worthy of mention here:*A 29 minute documentary about the making of the movie, the Milan '54 story and Indiana's love for basketball.*The 1954 state championship game between Milan and Muncie Central. I'm almost 100% sure that the commentary is done by Tom Carnegie, who was been the voice of the Indianapolis 500 since 1946. Tom was the commentator on the ESPN broadcast of the game last year.The game footage is far from great but it's not bad and it's good to have any at all. The audio quality is shaky. But it's great to finally have this monumentally historic game easily available.*Several deleted scenes, introduced by director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo. In my opinion, a few of the scenes were unnecessary but many should have been included. One of those scenes gives insight in Buddy Walker's Brad Long return to the team and several others give deeper insight into the romantic relationship that developed between Dale and Fleener. Pizzo and Anspaugh said they wanted to include some of those scenes but were told by the movie company to make the movie under two hours.In conclusion, I now greatly enjoy "Hoosiers" as fiction and its new collector's edition DVD set is a great buy for any sports movie fan! 8/10