6.4/10
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268 user 66 critic

Varsity Blues (1999)

A back-up quarterback is chosen to lead a Texas football team to victory after the star quarterback is injured.

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mox
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...
...
...
...
Joe Harbor
Tiffany C. Love ...
Collette Harbor
...
...
...
Sam Moxon (as Thomas Duffy)
Jill Parker-Jones ...
Mo Moxon (as Jill Parker Jones)
Joe Pichler ...
Kyle Moxon
Mark Walters ...
Chet McNurty
...
Sheriff Bigelow
James N. Harrell ...
Murray (as James Harrell)
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Storyline

In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the gridiron every Friday night. In his 35th year as head coach, Bud Kilmer (Jon Voight) is trying to lead his West Canaan Coyotes to their 23rd division title. When star quarterback Lance Harbor (Paul Walker) suffers an injury, the Coyotes are forced to regroup under the questionable leadership of John Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a second-string quarterback with a slightly irreverent approach to the game. "Varsity Blues" explores our obsession with sports and how teenage athletes respond to the extraordinary pressures places on them. Written by Steven Chea <schea@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It takes a hero to know what's worth winning. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language throughout, sexuality and nudity, and some substance abuse | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

15 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Boys  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,515,723 (USA) (15 January 1999)

Gross:

$52,885,587 (USA) (16 April 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Ford on the movie poster is never seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Lance takes over coaching duties, his headset goes from being on his head to around his neck to not even being on him. See more »

Quotes

Darcy: Baby I got so excited thinking about next year and Florida state and the future, I think I need to be your wide receiver
Lance: Here baby
Darcy: Well not "here" here, but somewhere here.
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Soundtracks

Valley of the Pharaohs
Written by Jerry Donahue
Performed by the Hellecasters
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User Reviews

 
Fairly entertaining, despite all the cliches
16 April 2001 | by (Oldwick, NJ) – See all my reviews

Like a number of other reviewers, I though "Varsity Blues" wouldn't amount to much more than "Dawson Plays Football", MTV-style. Well, it's not -- it's actually quite good. It deals fairly realistically with the trials and tribulations of Dawson . . . sorry, Mox (James Van Der Beek), the backup quarterback more interested in "Catcher in the Rye" than in his own playbook, who is forced to become the starter for his team. The movie's filled with cliches: the town obsessed with the football team; the overweight, goofy lineman; the slutty cheerleader with the heart of gold; the arrogant coach; the teacher straight out of an early 80's Van Halen video; etc, etc. Surprisingly, there's enough twisted and wrinkles thrown into these cliches to make the story seem pretty fresh, if not entirely original. You know how the story's going to end, but you're not always sure how it's going to get there, and that's what keeps it interesting.

Van Der Beek is very good, much better that I ever thought I'd give him credit for. Also good: Paul Walker as the original starting quarterback, and Amy Smart as Van Der Beek's smart girlfriend. They played real characters as opposed to stereotypes, and I thought their performances really made the movie. Surprisingly, I thought the weakest link was Jon Voight as the head coach. He was a cardboard villain, no substance to him whatsoever. I kept waiting for the film to explain why he wanted to win so bad, why he'd push his kids with such inhuman cruelty . . . and besides "because he wants to win", an answer was never given. Too bad, although I think this was more the fault of the script than of Mr. Voight.

It's certainly not the best movie ever made -- for that matter, it's not even the best football movie ever made -- but it's still good. It has heart, and most of the performances make this film a cut above most of the "Teen Films" that are out there. A fun rental.

B-


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