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White Men Can't Jump (1992)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sport  |  27 March 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 55,022 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 34 critic

Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances.



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4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cylk Cozart ...
Ernest Harden Jr. ...
Marques Johnson ...
David Roberson ...
Dwight 'The Flight' McGhee
Willie Lewis
Bill Henderson ...
The Venice Beach Boys
Sonny Craver ...
The Venice Beach Boys


Billy and Sydney think they're the best basketball hustlers in town, so when they join forces, nothing can stop them, except each other. To add to their problems, Billy owes money and is being chased by a pair of gangster types. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It ain't easy being this good. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los blancos no la saben meter  »

Box Office


$76,253,806 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (VHS)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Woody Harrelson was significantly better at basketball than Wesley Snipes, however, in the movie they are depicted as equals, though Harrelson's character famously cannot dunk. See more »


While playing "Double Jeopardy," Gloria interrupts Alex to answer a question about Popes. The rules of the game do not permit a contestant to respond until the answer is read aloud in its entirety. See more »


Sidney Deane: Can anybody step in for this guy? Anybody? For Mr. Motherfucking March of Dimes?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, we can hear the classical 20th Century Fox Fanfare in a hip hop style. See more »


Features Jeopardy! (1984) See more »


Written by Phillip Laney Stewart (as Phillip Stewart II), Tony Haynes and Kuk Harrell (as Thaddis Harrell,
Performed by Go West
Courtesy of EMI Records USA
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Woody and Wesley when dey was cool

Undeniably Hoosiers would get the win, if they ever polled film buffs and critics asking what the best movie is revolving around basketball. Hoosiers, the movie about a failing Indiana high school basketball team being led to success by their new coach played by Gene Hackman and the drunken assistant coach (Dennis Hooper) has enjoyed its fair share of the spotlight. Granted the field of movies about basketball isn't nearly as deep as say movies with plots concerning baseball or boxing, Hoosiers still generally beats out what little competition there is.

However in my opinion the best movie to ever capture the game of hoops is the criminally underrated and underseen White Men Can't Jump, by director Ron Shelton. Shelton also brought us the more popular baseball film Bull Durham and the golf flick Tin Cup. But I'd argue White Men Can't Jump is his centerpiece. The story revolves around two street court b-ball hustlers. One new in town, smooth, and white (Woody Harrelson), undoubtedly to his advantage. The other man, a black, a veteran of the LA courts, and fast-talking (Wesley Snipes). After Harrelson hustles Snipes the two form an unlikely partnership "ebony and ivory" but as always it is on edge and lacks a required amount of trust.

For a film that was released in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating and the L.A. riots and just before the O.J. Simpson debacle, White Men Can't Jump is surprisingly mature, witty, light hearted and open-minded in its approach to the race issue. Ron Shelton's dialogue is amazingly rapid fire and smart. It bites and certainly has a sting to it, but it's all in good fun. The multi-flamboyant personalities on the outdoor L.A. street courts hustler each other, crack "yo-mama" jokes with one another, and try to look better than the other. This is the movie that really put Wesley Snipes on the map and showed that Woody Harrelson was far more than just another face in the "Cheers" ensemble. Both provide excellent work in not only playing the characters but also learning how to play basketball and talk like actual street hustlers. There's very few standins here. Both Snipes and Harrelson learned to play the sport as well as any actor could be expected to. Rosie Perez is good as Harrelson's annoying and overbearing Puerto Rican girlfriend. If any one word can describe White Men Can't Jump, that word is "fun." The movie tackles serious issues like hustling, family, relationships, race, life in poverty, and gambling debts. However if Robert Rossen's pool hall film The Hustler presented the dark side of the life, Ron Shelton's White Men Can't Jump shows the flip side of the coin. How hustling can be fun and games.

Grade: A-

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