Based on the true story of a small-town Indiana team that made the state finals in 1954, this movie chronicles the attempts of a coach with a spotty past, and the town's basketball-loving drunk to lead their high school team to victory.Written by
Thomas Pluck <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jack Nicholson wanted to play Coach Norman Dale but he was unable to take the role because he was serving as a witness in a lawsuit, which sidelined him for six months.. He told the producers he knew they were on a tight schedule to shoot, and if they found another actor, to go ahead. If not, he could do it the next year. Gene Hackman then signed on for the part. After the film came out, Nicholson said to David Anspaugh that the movie and its stars were great, but that it would have been a "megahit" if he been its star. See more »
At the pep rally, the sousaphone player uses a Conn brand mouthpiece, first designed in the 1970s. See more »
A superb time-capsule of mid-century, mid-western Americana.
This movie is authentic nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the mid-west in the 50's and 60's. It's what life looked like when I myself "came down to this planet" in the late 1940's and experienced my teens in the 60's.
The old school with high ceilings and gleaming wooden floors, the gyms with the gold-toned wall-tiles, even the hospital scene with the nurse in her starched white uniform -- all evoke a peculiar beauty that you no longer find today.
There is even a scene where a young teen girl yells "NO!" to an unjust referee call, and her pointy glasses and pony tail look so much like me back then, it feels like a glimpse into a parallel dimension.
I'd say this is a must-see experience for people my age -- although all ages can thoroughly enjoy the basketball action.
I'm glad for the social progress since then. But there is a "peculiar beauty" from those times that is starkly missing today.
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