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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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Writers:

(book) (as H.G. Bissinger), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,732 ( 501)
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:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buzz Bissinger, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, and director and co-writer Peter Berg are cousins. See more »

Goofs

After the State Championship game Don Billingsley's father Charlie approaches him. In the first shot Don has gloves on his hands. There is then a close up and his father then puts his state championship ring on Don's finger and his hands are bare. The shot after that it shows Don with his father again and his gloves are once more. See more »

Quotes

State Trooper: You boys gonna go undefeated?
Brian Chavez: Yes sir.
State Trooper: You boys gonna win state?
Brian Chavez: Yes sir.
State Trooper: Good.
See more »


Soundtracks

First Breath after Coma
and "Have You Passed Through This Night?"
Written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith, Michael Aaron James
Performed by Explosions in the Sky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent Look at a Small Town's Football Madness
9 October 2004 | by (Olney, MD) – See all my reviews

To be honest, I went to this movie primarily to see Christian Kane, but the reviews had been excellent. I expected a cross between All the Right Moves and Remember the Titans, but it was nothing like the second, which was about two coaches forced to make their teams blend into one while avoiding racial problems. There were elements of All the Right Moves, though, as several of the young men expressed their desire to get out of Odessa through football, but the movie focused on several of them rather than just one. Its best companion piece in my opinion is the Texas Cheerleader Murder, which shows the same football madness from the other gender as they will do anything to be cheerleaders!

Billy Bob Thornton was excellent as the coach, facing pressure on all sides to win the state championship. An excellent touch was the large number of for sale signs on his lawn after his team was blown away in the game following Boobie's injury. The community put pressure on the boys as well, everyone who owned a state championship ring from prior years pushing them in the kids' faces. Tim McGraw was a revelation as Brian's abusive father, and the actress who was Mike Winchell's mother gave a brilliant performance.

All of the young actors were excellent, especially Derek Luke as the unfortunate Boobie. He made the audience feel his pain and frustration. Lucas Black, who had done such a marvelous job in American Gothic, has a face that reflects his pain as he faces all of his tribulations, which include the pressure of suddenly becoming the team's best hope when Boobie is out and of having a mother with mental and/or emotional problems. Every one of them is a gem.

The cinematography was outstanding, and the shots of the town and the bleak surroundings certainly demonstrated why the kids wanted to get away. Despair hung in the air, with people clinging to their moments of glory as the only happy days of their entire lives. This was its primary likeness to All the Right Moves, although the hated home town was a Pennsylvania steel town (Johnstown, PA, which I escaped from myself), not a Texas prairie city.

And what made things even more intense was that this was a true story. Showing the boys' fates at the end was an excellent conclusion.

And Christian Kane? I knew he only had a cameo, as he had told Peter Berg that he'd love to be in the movie and would take any part there was. He was the man in the restaurant/bar who asked Mike Winchell if he'd take a picture with him & his kid. He was long-haired, unshaven, and, to be honest, if I'd seen him this way first, I'd never have given him a second look. He did a good job as a "good ole boy," though!


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