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Hoosiers (1986)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  27 February 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 32,647 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 129 user | 52 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheb Wooley ...
Fern Persons ...
Robert Swan ...
Michael O'Guinne ...
Wil Dewitt ...
Reverend Doty
John Robert Thompson ...
Sheriff Finley
Preacher Purl
Gloria Dorson ...
Mike Dalzell ...
Mayor Carl
Skip Welker ...
Junior (as Calvert L. Welker)
Eric Gilliom ...
J. June


Based on the true story of a small-town Indiana team that made the state finals in 1954, this movie chronicles the attempts of a coach with a spotty past, and the town's basketball-loving drunk to lead their high school team to victory. Written by Thomas Pluck <stripey@winternet.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It'll go straight to your heart. See more »


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

27 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Best Shot  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$28,607,524 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the locker room before the final game, on the blackboard are the last names of the players on the opposing team. These are the real last names of the actors who make up the Hickory team. See more »


When Coach Dale first arrives in the principal's office, his tie is alternately neat/untidy between shots. See more »


[Just before the big game]
Preacher Purl: And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director David Anspaugh is credited as Jack Nemo in the edited (and disowned by Anspaugh) television cut. See more »


Referenced in Parks and Recreation: The Debate (2012) See more »


Big Band Highlight No. 2
Composed by Ole Georg (as Neil Amsterdam)
Courtesy of Capitol Productions Music
See more »

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User Reviews

That championship season
23 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

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. 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.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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