IMDb > That Championship Season (1999) (TV)

That Championship Season (1999) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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That Championship Season -- Four former high school basketball champions and their coach come together annually to celebrate the year they won the Pennsylvania State Basketball Championship. But this year, instead of the usual whimsical nostalgia they usually experience, the former friends and teammates unleash all their secrets on each other so that the foundation of their lives begins to crumble.


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Writers (WGA):
Jason Miller (play)
Jason Miller (teleplay)
View company contact information for That Championship Season on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 June 1999 (USA) See more »
Four former high school basketball champions and their coach come together annually to celebrate the... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Excellent theatre that doesn't translate well to film See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Vincent D'Onofrio ... Phil Romano

Terry Kinney ... James Daly

Tony Shalhoub ... George Sitkowski

Gary Sinise ... Tom Daley

Paul Sorvino ... Coach

Joe Bays ... Cop

Susan M. Carr ... Helen
Denise Kaye ... Marion

Carol Lawrence ... Claire's Mother

Jerri Manthey ... Claire (as Jerri Lynn London)
Nick Risher ... James, Jr. (as Nicolas Risher)
Jeff Rogers ... Hammond Basketball Player

Bill Sorvino ... Clerk
Frank Lozano ... Game Announcer (as Frank Rodriguez)
Louis L. Weiss ... Old Violin Player
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Raja Collins ... Basketball player (uncredited)

Gailard Sartain ... High School Principal (uncredited)

Directed by
Paul Sorvino 
Writing credits
Jason Miller (play)

Jason Miller (teleplay)

Produced by
Steve Greener .... producer
Jeremiah Samuels .... co-producer
Gary Sinise .... executive producer
Original Music by
Larry Blank 
Cinematography by
Bruce Surtees 
Film Editing by
Leo Trombetta 
Casting by
Mary Jo Slater 
Production Design by
John DeCuir Jr. 
Set Decoration by
Ellen Brill 
Costume Design by
Theadora Van Runkle 
Makeup Department
Emjay Olson .... hair department head
James Ryder .... makeup artist: Vincent D'Onofrio
Production Management
Conrad Hool .... production manager
Mel Swope .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
J. Tom Archuleta .... first assistant director
Kevin Duncan .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ron Churchman .... propmaker foreman
Steven E. Eyrse .... head painter
Steven E. Eyrse .... scenic artist
Robert A. Maisto .... construction coordinator (as Bobby Maisto)
Michael Kocurek .... carpenter (uncredited)
Douglas Machala .... set dresser (uncredited)
George Maya .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Cormac Funge .... supervising sound editor
Michael Hertlein .... dialogue editor
Thomas Jones .... adr supervisor
David Kelson .... production sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Michelle Crenshaw .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Anthony M. Gutierrez .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Jason Rothkowitz .... second assistant camera
Rick Tucker .... key grip
Sean Higgins .... dimmer board operator (uncredited)
David D. Scott .... video assist operator (uncredited)
Suzanne Surtees .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Katina Le Kerr .... costume supervisor (uncredited)
Music Department
Fletcher Sheridan .... playback singer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Duke Foster .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Lynnet Price .... assistant coordinator
Marty Elfalan .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Peter Friedlander .... assistant: Gary Sinise (uncredited)
Ken Struck .... assistant location manager (uncredited)
David Thornsberry .... location manager (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong language including some sex-related dialogue
130 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Second of two filmed versions of Jason Miller's play "That Championship Season". This tele-movie was made and released about seventeen years after the first version, That Championship Season (1982), which was made for the cinema.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of That Championship Season (1982)See more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Excellent theatre that doesn't translate well to film, 21 January 2000
Author: FlickJunkie-2 from Atlanta

This is the second attempt to bring this thought provoking play to the mass market, this time through a TV movie now in rental. Thoreau is quoted as saying: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." This play peels away the layers of self delusion to reveal such desperation in the insecurities, disappointments, unrealized potential and mediocrity of four men and a coach who's lives peaked in high school when they won the state basketball championship.

It is, unfortunately, a depiction too familiar to the many who never escaped their small town or neighborhood and live trying to salvage some feeling of dignity from the mediocrity and despair to which they have allowed their lives to sink.

At the 20th reunion at the coach's house (Paul Sorvino) the characters gradually reveal how pathetic their lives have become. There is the bitter coach, a unabashed bigot who still talks to grown men like they were teenaged basketball players and who believes all of life can be summed up in sports aphorisms.

James (Terry Kinney), a junior high school principal, is by far the most self delusional of the five, clearly a loser who never changed with the times, he believes he has a bright future in politics when he couldn't get elected to a sanitation post.

George (Tony Shalhoub) plays the mayor of Filmore, who has bungled his term in office and will imminently be voted out. He spends most of this time trying to convince himself and everyone else how popular and wonderful he is, when it is clear to everyone that he is a fool.

Phil (Vincent D'Onofrio) is a spoiled little rich boy who inherited his father's business which is now raping the environment for profit. He supports George's campaign so he can get variances that allow him to profit from this abuse.

Tom (a fabulous performance by Gary Sinese) is James brother, a vagabond alcoholic who ironically is the only one who sees the situation with any clarity. He is openly cynical of himself and the others and constantly speaks with justifiable disgust about all his peers and their miserable lives.

The problem with this and most plays that try to go to film is that unless the director adds uniqueness visually, or through the set, location, props or costumes, it just looks like you are watching a play through a window. Since you have lost the power of the live performance, it always loses something in translation.

Sorvino, as the director, failed to do this. He clearly focused on the actors performances (which were all exceptional) and did a brilliant job of recreating a great play on film. That did not make it a great film. It made it seem overly long and tedious. As a play I would give it a 9, as a film a 6.

This is not a film for everyone. One needs to get into a philosophical frame of mind and prepare to see an interesting character study of some very miserable characters. If you are an avid theater goer and can handle a downbeat drama about the failings of common people, I strongly recommend it. Otherwise look for some lighter fare.

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