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Hoosiers (1986) Poster

(1986)

Trivia

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For the scene where Dennis Hopper walks onto the court drunk in the middle of the game, Hopper wanted a ten-second notice before calling action. At the ten-second notice, he spun around in circles until action was called, allowing him to stagger onto the court in an awkward fashion in order to appear drunk. He remembered James Dean doing the same thing on Giant (1956) - he asked George Stevens for 30 seconds so that he could spin around to better feel the inebriation.
The scene with Jimmy and Coach Dale talking while Jimmy shot baskets was filmed in one take. Maris Valainis said that he "wasn't even listening to him. I was just concentrating on making them, and I made one, and they kept going in."
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.
Maris Valainis was told that whether he made the last shot or not, people were going to rush the floor because of the need for a wide shot of the court. Luckily, he made it as shown in the movie.
The movie was renamed "Best Shot" in Europe because most Europeans wouldn't know what a Hoosier was.
Jimmy Chitwood has only 4 lines of dialogue in the whole movie. He has 3 lines in the scene where Coach Dale wins the vote to keep his job, then "I'll make it" in the climactic game.
The announcer at the final game is Hilliard Gates, who announced the "real" game.
An actual Milan Indian guard, Ray Craft, was in the movie. Craft greeted the Huskers when they got to the state finals, and he also told Coach Dale it was time to take the court before the state finals.
The 1954 state championship game, which inspired the movie's final game, was played between the Milan Indians and the Muncie Central Bearcats. Milan won 32-30.
Steve Hollar played basketball for DePauw University at the time of filming. When the movie was released, the NCAA wanted to penalize him for having been paid to play basketball. The NCAA eventually decided that Hollar had been hired as an actor, not a basketball player. He still got a three-game suspension and was told to return 5% of his pay.
Jack Nicholson wanted to play Coach Norman Dale but he was unable to take the role because he was serving as a witness in a lawsuit, which sidelined him for six months.. He told the producers he knew they were on a tight schedule to shoot, and if they found another actor, to go ahead. If not, he could do it the next year. Gene Hackman then signed on for the part. After the film came out, Nicholson said to David Anspaugh that the movie and its stars were great, but that it would have been a "megahit" if he been its star.
While delighted with his Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Dennis Hopper privately admitted to friends and colleagues that he felt the Academy nominated him for the wrong film. He thought he should have been nominated for his performance in Blue Velvet (1986).
The actor playing Ollie once left the set to watch his high school basketball team play. He was a senior on the team when he got the role and was feeling homesick, so he decided to go watch them. The crew had to contact his mother to get him to return.
Wade Schenck, who plays equipment manager/reluctant player Ollie McClellan, has his real-life sister Libbey Schenck encouraging him during the games as a Hickory cheerleader (credited).
Inspired in part by the 1954 Indiana State champs, Milan Indians.
The filmmakers had trouble filling Hinkle Fieldhouse with extras for the final game and needed to move people around when shooting different angles. Extras were given 1950s hairstyles, and their clothing was checked for anachronisms.
After this film became a hit, Kent Poole acquired the nickname "Hollywood." Poole was a small-town Indiana high school basketball star. In 1982, Poole helped Western Boone High to a near miss in the Indiana state tournament. Poole's team lost their semistate game by one basket. The director knew Poole loved small-school spirit and felt he could deliver the movie's famous line, "Let's win this one for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here," with true heartfelt emotion.
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Ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sports" in June 2008.
Harry Dean Stanton turned down the role of Shooter. In 2013 he expressed regret over saying no to the film, and couldn't remember his reasons for declining it.
Steve Hollar (Rade) played high school basketball in Warsaw, Indiana. Warsaw was the state champion in 1984, when Hollar was a junior.
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During a happy montage of Hickory winning a string of games, Dale was shown saying something to Shooter on the bench that made Shooter laugh. It wasn't until years later that David Anspaugh learned what Dennis Hopper was laughing at: Gene Hackman had told him, "Hopper, I hope you've invested well, because you and I are never gonna work after this movie. This is a career-ending film for both of us."
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The Travel-Aires, who sing the national anthem, were never auditioned for it. The national anthem wasn't included in the script until the end of filming. No one heard the group sing the national anthem until the night it was filmed, all in one take, for the very first time!
In the original script, Shooter leaves rehab to watch the state championship. Dennis Hopper, who had just gotten sober, thought it was detrimental to the story. "We sat down over coffee, and he said, 'Guys, I wish I had brought this up earlier. I knew there was something that bothered me about this scene. It doesn't work. It can't happen. It would suggest Shooter didn't take his sobriety seriously. And I know from experience that Shooter made a real commitment, and there's no way he would leave that hospital,'" Anspaugh recalled. "And Angelo and I had been living with that scene in our heads for years. And we really argued against [cutting] it. And Dennis said, 'No, trust me.' And we trusted him, and he was absolutely right."
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Gene Hackman insisted on viewing the movie before he agreed to go in to re-record some of his audio. "Angelo and I knew that if he didn't like the movie, he wouldn't show up at the studio to re-record his dialogue," David Anspaugh said. "But he showed up. He walked in to the room, took his glasses off, looked me in the eyes, and said, 'How the f*ck did you do that?'"
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The theater that was closed for the final game burned down in 1999.
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Jerry Goldsmith's score is well known for its "Americana" essence, but the music was performed by the Hungarian State Opera orchestra in Budapest. American orchestral unions were reportedly upset with Goldsmith for choosing a foreign orchestra for a lower budget film.
Dennis Hopper appeared in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956) with James Dean, a native Hoosier who played on the Fairmount, Indiana high school basketball team in the late 1940's.
During one of the games, Hickory is shown playing Decatur. The Director was born in Decatur, Indiana.
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David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo wanted to release their two-hour-and-48-minute version of the movie. The studio insisted that they needed to cut it down to 114 minutes. Among the many scenes excised was Buddy (Brad Long) asking back on the team and two scenes that developed Norman and Myra's budding romance more. Anspaugh said "the audience really got cheated and robbed" over the cuts.
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Gene Hackman and David Anspaugh clashed throughout most of the production. "Gene had me on the verge of a nervous breakdown," Anspaugh told Vulture. "He gave me my first anxiety attack: One morning I woke up and I couldn't walk, the room was spinning. I thought every day on the film was going to be my last because Gene's agent was trying to get me fired."

According to Anspaugh, the only thing that saved his job was the dailies. "The producers said, 'Look, David's not getting fired,'" the director recalled. "And we showed a half-hour of dailies to Gene's agent and he saw that what we were making was actually pretty good."
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The 1954 Milan Indians coach was Marvin Wood, who ended his career coaching the St. Mary's College basketball team in South Bend, Indiana.
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Dennis Hopper was also reluctant to play Shooter, as he had "just stopped drinking".
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Of the eight actors who played the Hickory Huskers, only David Neidorf was not from Indiana; he was from Los Angeles.
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Cameo 

Scott Glenn: a member of the press corps.

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