Henry Steele is a basketball phenom at his small town high school, but when he matriculates to a big city university on a scholarship, soon realizes that he has few skills outside the sport... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Steele
Janet Hays
Coach Moreland Smith
B.J. Rudolph
The Hitchhiker
James G. Richardson ...
Hector Morales ...
Cory Faucher ...
Doug Sullivan ...
Young Henry Steele
Richard Jury ...
Father Steele (as Rich Jury)
Liz Jury ...
Mother Steele
Richard Jamison ...
High School Coach
George Walls ...
Harlan Knudson ...
Simon Bell
Lamont Johnson ...
Barry Brunz


Henry Steele is a basketball phenom at his small town high school, but when he matriculates to a big city university on a scholarship, soon realizes that he has few skills outside the sport. Expected by his coach to contribute significantly to the team, Henry is overwhelmed by the demands on his time, the "big business" aspect of college sports, and the fact that he never fully learned to read. Things look bleak for Henry when Janet Hays, a pretty graduate student, is assigned as Henry's tutor. Her intellect and strength lift Henry out of his doldrums just in time to battle the coach, who attempts to rescind Henry's scholarship. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"You're not big enough. You're not sharp enough. You'll never make it." Did you ever want to make them eat their words? Now there's a movie that does it for you. One on One is the story of a kid nobody believed in except himself. Discover One on One. The story of a winner. See more »


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 February 1978 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Catch a Falling Star  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The campus scenes were filmed at Colorado State University, mostly at Moby Arena and in the Charles A. Lory Student Center. Many of the CSU basketball players and even assistant coaches were extras in the film. See more »


Henry's hair length fluctuates between shots. See more »


Henry Steele: All the way up with a red hot poker. I can play anywhere I want.
See more »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 20 February 2015 (2015) See more »


Love Conquers All
Performed by Seals & Crofts
Music by Charles Fox
Lyrics by Paul Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Fine film - because of some aspects, in spite of others
12 August 2006 | by (Tulsa OK) – See all my reviews

G. D. Spradlin is a splendid actor. Between his role as the coach here, and in the same role in the great football flick, "North Dallas Forty"

  • he has undoubtedly won, hands-down, the prize for the best portrayal

of the quintessential "total horse's-ass coach." As others have pointed-out, it is illogical that he would recruit Henry (Robby Benson) as heavily as he did, then not know who he was when he reports on campus. Also, he knew Henry was a small-school, small-in-stature, fast-break player, whose talents were speed, ball handling and shooting
  • and yet, he is non-plussed when this doesn't seem to fit with his

slower, ball control, "big-team" offensive philosophy.

The gratuities furnished Henry (automobile, do-nothing job, alum booster buying his game tickets for exorbitant amount) are beyond the scope even the most "liberal" programs would furnish - at least in terms of their obviousness, with little intent to provide some sense of legitimacy to them. And the coach's decision regarding Henry's scholarship, and his measures to try to drive him off the team, are over-the-top, even for the heavy-handed character portrayed (and even bearing in mind that big-time college athletic programs are not as altruistic as the schools like to portray).

But these contrivances are also what make the movie more interesting, and sometimes characterizations which are exaggerated help as much as they hinder the plot - and they do so here. I remember seeing Burt Reynolds with Johnny Carson on a show, discussing a movie in which Benson had appeared with him. He laughed about winning bets from others when Benson was able to do 100 sit-ups in about a minute. With some of the performances in sports movies, where the principals can be made to look like they can perform only by using trick photography or stunt doubles - it is a pleasure to watch Benson, who obviously is physically capable, and knows how to handle, pass and shoot a basketball. Annette O'Toole is engaging in the female lead, and together they make an attractive, appealing young couple.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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