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The Break (1995)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  1 September 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 226 users  
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A depressed and destitute Nick Irons, a tennis pro banned from the tour for slugging a player during a TV match, agrees to coach a bookie's "head case" son, Joel, who wants to turn pro. The... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Irons
Jennifer Hudson
Gil Robbins
Delores Smith
Ben Monk ...
Joel Robbins (as Ben Jorgensen)
Dale Farley
Bill Cowens
John E. Schneider ...
Brock Haynie
Justin Page Buck ...
Roberto Bracone ...
Todd Rudland ...
Eric Hochman ...
Steve Zurk ...


A depressed and destitute Nick Irons, a tennis pro banned from the tour for slugging a player during a TV match, agrees to coach a bookie's "head case" son, Joel, who wants to turn pro. The bookie wants his son to get out of tennis and contracts Nick to discourage him. Nick begins to do that but after an episode with his old flame, Jennifer, and after seeing the kid's determination he decides to teach him all the tricks, both physical and psychological, of the trade. The two battle the kids of a famous coach, unfair refs., injuries, travel all over the southern US, while Nick tries to woo his love back, finally to reach the big championship tennis match where all is resolved in dramatic fashion. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Has he got what it takes to be a champion?


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some racy sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gioco, partita, incontro  »

Filming Locations:


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User Reviews

A drama of double faults & unforced errors
20 December 1998 | by (Owen Sound, Ontario) – See all my reviews

There's a scene in "The Break" where the tennis coach picks up his protege's racquet in the middle of a match and says, "the strings are loose." Any player who was competing in a nationally-televised match would have had his racquets re-strung before hitting the court. What makes this surprising is that the coach is played by former pro tennis player (and once in the top 40 in the world, at that) Vince Van Patten. He co-wrote the movie, so he should have known better. Such errors occur frequently in "The Break". Chair umpires call out "fault" and "double fault". Real-life umpires don't...linespeople call "out" when a serve is missed. Perhaps these concessions were made to help explain the game to non-tennis players. I kept waiting for a disclaimer to appear on screen saying, "the object of the game is to hit the ball between the white lines..." If you're not a tennis buff, all you're left with is a ho-hum drama featuring every sports film cliche from "The Bad News Bears", "The Karate Kid" and "Rocky". Let's see. There's Joel, the naive young player. Joel's tough-talking father (Martin Sheen) wants him to quit tennis and take over the family business. Van Patten plays a washed-up former tennis star, and Gerritt Graham is on hand as the arrogant opposing coach who isn't averse to bending the rules. Even the female characters are walking cliches. Rae Dawn Chong represents the bad relationship from the coach's past, and Valerie Perrine plays a sexpot (what a shocker!). There's also an awkward subplot involving a tournament referee with an unsettling attraction to the young players. I bet real-life officials were thrilled when they saw that! Having said all that, you still find yourself rooting for Joel. He survives an irresponsible and uncommitted coach (who, you can bet, will be there for Joel at the end), biased officiating and numerous other setbacks to make it to the finals against his nemesis. Guess what? This player trounced Joel the last time they met. ESPN tennis commentators Fred Stolle and Cliff Drysdale play themselves. By the end of the telecast, Stolle has fallen asleep at the microphone. Unless you're a diehard tennis fan, you may find yourself doing the same thing.

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