7.4/10
29,114
144 user 49 critic

Slap Shot (1977)

A failing ice hockey team finds success using constant fighting and violence during games.

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1,226 ( 38)

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ON DISC
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Francine
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Andrew Duncan ...
Jeff Carlson ...
Steve Carlson ...
David Hanson ...
Yvon Barrette ...
Denis
Allan F. Nicholls ...
Upton (as Allan Nicholls)
Brad Sullivan ...
Wanchuk
...
Jim Ahern
Yvan Ponton ...
Drouin
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Storyline

Located in the US Rust Belt, Charlestown is home of the hapless Chiefs, a losing Federal League hockey team whose games are poorly attended. To make money, the team's unknown owner makes its manager, Joe McGrath, do cheesy publicity much to the players' chagrin. Rumors abound among the players that if the local mill closes, the team will fold. Just before the official announcement is made, the team's aging player/coach, Reggie Dunlop, does get wind that the mill is indeed closing and that this season will be the team's last. Beyond efforts to reconcile with his wife Francine, who loves Reggie but doesn't love his career, Reggie begins to focus on how to renew interest in the team for a possible sale as he knows if the team folds, his hockey career is over. Without telling anyone of his plan, he begins a rumor that the owner is negotiating a sale with a city in Florida. He also decides that "goon" hockey - most especially using the untapped talents of the recently acquired childlike ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Slap Shot out slaps... out swears... out laughs... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Schlappschuß  »

Box Office

Gross:

$28,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Susan Kendall Newman, who appears briefly as a drug store clerk and is later seen in the stands at one of the games, is Paul Newman's daughter. See more »

Goofs

The positioning of the sheet covering Reggie when he is in bed with Hanrahan's wife changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[after losing at poker]
Denis Lemieux: Fuck. I lose my blouse.
Jim Ahern: Shirt... shirt.
Denis Lemieux: Shit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to John Mitchell and his Johnstown Jets. See more »

Connections

Featured in I Love the '70s: Volume 2: 1977 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Rhiannon
Performed by Fleetwood Mac
Reprise Records
Written by Stevie Nicks (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Hilarious, oddly influential dark sports comedy
27 July 2001 | by (Pottstown, PA) – See all my reviews

Mostly hated by critics on its release, as much for its cynical viewpoint as its relentless profanity, "Slap Shot" has since become something of a cult classic.

Set in the low-rent world of minor-league hockey, the movie follows the efforts of player-coach Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) to turn around the Charlestown Chiefs' final, losing season in a dying Pennsylvania steel town. Reggie is not above using a dirty trick or two to manipulate his teammates or psych out opposing players, and cheerfully gets physical when he has to. Even Reggie recoils in disgust, however, when his tightwad manager (Strother Martin) brings in the Hanson Brothers, three thick-lensed, thicker-headed goons who are more interested in fighting than playing Reggie's brand of "old-time hockey".

When it becomes apparent that the hometown crowd loves the Hanson's rough and bloody style, Reggie decides to go with the flow, and to fire up his other players concocts the story that, if they can win the championship, the owner will be able to sell the franchise to a group of rich retirees in Florida. To do that, though, they will have to get past an opposing squad specially stocked with the league's most notorious goons...

A sometimes uneasy blend of slapstick and kitchen-sink realism , "Slap Shot" has some pertinent things to say about the American worship of success at all costs, and (long before the rise of the WWF) our fascination with violent sports. Echos of its gritty style can be seen not only in many later sporting films, such as "Bull Durham" and "Major League", but even in the wave of British movies in which characters fight to hold onto their lives after the collapse of hometown industry, such as "The Full Monty" and "Brassed Off".

The film really shines as a straight comedy, though, delivering some classic characters and set pieces: virtually every appearance of the Hansons; a clueless, toupee-wearing sportscaster (Andrew Duncan); the team's tiny Quebecker goalie (Yvon Barrette), and Newman himself, in one of his personal favorite roles. The females fare less well, although Jennifer Warren stands out as Dunlop's long-suffering, estranged wife.

Note: in the VHS version, the background music has been replaced by an inferior, generic soundtrack. The DVD version, with the original music, is preferable.


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