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Friday Night Lights (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sport | 8 October 2004 (USA)
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Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.

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(book) (as H.G. Bissinger), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,543 ( 276)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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L.V. Miles
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Mrs. Winchell
Kasey Stevens ...
Flippy
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Melissa
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Maria
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Jennifer Gaines
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Storyline

Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives. Written by Zac Abrams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope comes alive on Friday nights See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Friday Night Lights - Touchdown am Freitag  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,269,025 (USA) (8 October 2004)

Gross:

$61,188,085 (USA) (24 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are only two title cards at the beginning of the movie. The first is "The following story is based on the 1988 West Texas football season." The second is the movie title. The cast and crew are not shown until the end of the movie. See more »

Goofs

In the first half of the state championship game, quarterback Winchell is seen being tackled with a large bloodstain on his jersey, and in subsequent shots the stain is removed. He later gets the injury that results in the stain during the last play of the first half. See more »

Quotes

Radio Listener: There's too much learning going on at that school.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unguarded (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean
Written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith, Michael Aaron James
Performed by Explosions in the Sky
Courtesy of Explosions in the Sky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Real Varsity Blues
9 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very dark sports movie. It's about fanaticism, the great weight of importance certain people place on sports. Sports fans often regard their teams as extensions of themselves. In "Friday Night Lights," the entire town of Odessa, Texas collectively puts their town's reputation on the shoulders of a high school football team. It's basically the same exact plot as "Varsity Blues," except a serious version of high school football in small town Texas.

One thing the movie does extremely well is taking hackneyed plots of the individual players (because it's all been done before) and putting them all in the background. So the plots play out not in a cheesy, inspirational, in-your-face way. Instead, they are just there with only as much attention as the viewer wants to put on them. The great aspects of sports are enough to keep us interested and makes the movie incredibly real.

The only character whose plot is really focused on is Boobie, the cocky running back who is injured and tries to defy his own injury. This is a plot in sports movies that has been focused on somewhat - the injured player. But never before has the pain been so real and so powerful.

This movie is heart-wrenching. Sports movies usually have so many moments of redemption and cheesy happiness that often feel false. This movie only has one such moment and it is incredibly powerful. Nothing about this movie is Hollywood. Billy Bob Thorton gives a great, understated performance as the coach, a man who is simply internal, who can do nothing but sit back and watch events unfold, knowing full well the impact that each game has on himself and his family. All the actors playing the football players do a good job, especially the guy who plays Boobie.

Don't expect this movie to uplift you. But it will show you an interesting side of sports you may have never considered. And, in the end, it shows exactly what is great about sports, and it has nothing to do with winning or making a career out of the game. It's about giving all you have for a teammate.


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