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That Championship Season (1982)

R | | Drama | 14 January 1983 (USA)
It started as a friendly meeting between 4 old buddies with their basketball coach and ended up in revealing the truth about their relationship. The meeting forces the five men to reveal ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Macken
Michael Bernosky ...
Jacks
Joseph Kelly ...
Malley
James M. Langan ...
Cooney
Tony Santaniello ...
Marelli
William G. McAndrew ...
Harrison
Barry Weiner ...
Sharman
Edward Cunningham ...
Newspaper Editor
Robert E. Schlesinger ...
Nelson
George Lowry ...
Zookeeper
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Storyline

It started as a friendly meeting between 4 old buddies with their basketball coach and ended up in revealing the truth about their relationship. The meeting forces the five men to reveal their true identity, to be honest with each other for the first time in their lives. When the night comes to an end they decide to go back to the old glorious days and reunite into the team which won that championship season, back in 1957... Written by Xenophon Tsakanikas <ftpadmin@antigoni.med.auth.gr>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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14 January 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bajnokcsapat  »

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(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Broadway production "That Championship Season" by Jason Miller opened at the Booth Theater on September 14, 1972, and ran for 700 performances until April 21, 1974. See more »

Goofs

When Mayor Sitkowski is riding the exercise bicycle in his office in Scranton, the sun is shining outside, but the apparently live baseball game he is watching from Yankee Stadium is being played at night. Scranton isn't far enough west of the Bronx for this to happen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bruce Dern/Leon Redbone (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Coach And His Boys
9 April 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It took about a decade for Jason Miller's Pulitzer Prize winning play That Championship Season to finally make it to the big screen. But even with Miller himself writing an introductory prologue for the screen it never quite loses its stage origins.

I have to say that Miller tried though, he was clearly influenced by the film adaption of Long Day's Journey Into Night where the Tyrone house almost becomes a character unto itself. But the coach's house in this film does not quite have the same grandeur.

What's reuniting Coach Robert Mitchum and his boys from the 1954 state championship basketball team is the re-election campaign of Bruce Dern one of the members. The other three of the four remaining starting five are brothers Stacy Keach and Martin Sheen and Paul Sorvino who is now one of the richest men in town. Keach is now the principal of the high school where he was a star athlete and his brother Sheen is a ne'er do well drunk.

They've all got their secrets and during the coach's efforts to get his boys working in tandem again a lot of dirty little secrets come out about all of them.

Mitchum was not the original choice for the part of the coach, the role was slated for William Holden who died before shooting could start. According to Lee Server's biography of Mitchum, Bob had real difficulty with the role because he was not particularly a sports fan, of basketball or anything else for that matter. He had a hardscrabble life as a kid and didn't do much or learn much in the way of sports. It was part he could never quite get into, especially using all the sports idioms to make a point. On stage the part was done by Charles Durning. Paul Sorvino was the only member of the original cast to repeat his role.

The original play did not have the whole business about the elephant dying and Dern's attempts to get rid of the body shown on screen. That was Miller's new writing to get more of a movie feel to his project. The film was shot entirely on location in Scranton, Pennsylvania though the bulk of it was in and around the coach's house and that could have been done anywhere.

That Championship Season is not a bad film, but considering the author himself helped with adaption it should have turned out better.


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