7.6/10
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135 user 56 critic

Hoosiers (1986)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 27 February 1987 (USA)
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A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Coach Norman Dale
... Myra Fleener
... Shooter
... Cletus
Fern Persons ... Opal Fleener
... George
... Rollin
Michael O'Guinne ... Rooster
Wil Dewitt ... Reverend Doty
John Robert Thompson ... Sheriff Finley
... Preacher Purl
Gloria Dorson ... Millie
Mike Dalzell ... Mayor Carl
Skip Welker ... Junior (as Calvert L. Welker)
Eric Gilliom ... J. June
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Storyline

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 <stripey@winternet.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They needed a second chance to finish first. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Best Shot  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$220,068, 16 November 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$28,607,524
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 1954 state championship game, which inspired the movie's final game, was played between the Milan Indians and the Muncie Central Bearcats. Milan won 32-30. See more »

Goofs

Butler Fieldhouse did not have multicolored seats in 1952. See more »

Quotes

Coach Norman Dale: What's gotten into you?
Strap Purl: The Lord, I can feel his strength.
Coach Norman Dale: Well keep your strength in the dribble, alright?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director David Anspaugh is credited as Jack Nemo in the edited (and disowned by Anspaugh) television cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #2.24 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Do Lord
Traditional
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (uncredited)
Performed by Travel-Aires
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hoosiers is misunderstood
26 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

I have been reading, and summing up comments about this movie. I can't believe how misunderstood this movie is. First and foremost this is not a movie about the Milan team's championship, and Bobby Plump's winning shot. The Milan game is the most famous, and storied game in Indiana and is only used as the quientessential example.

The movie is a collection of typical things that happen in Indiana High School basketball which is known as "Hoosier Hysteria". The locker room scenes are typical, found each year at tournament time. The small town involvement is typical. Players deciding if they want to succumb to the social pressures of the sport, or dreaming of winning is typical. Teacher nudging is typical. The appearance of religious faith is also typical in small town Indiana. It's right in the bible belt.

Smaller, less talented underdog teams are the life-blood of passion about playing, and winning. Winning systems, coaching tactics, fundamentals, and character-building are staples of the Hoosier H.S. game. Read John Wooden's books and you'll see them clearly. (John Wooden-Martinsville, IN; Purdue, and UCLA).

The character played by Dennis Hopper is underscored, not by his drunken state and redemption, but by his basketball knowledge. In Indiana, everyone from every walk of life knows more about the history of the game, and how to win the game than the coach. There are walking, talking Hoosier basketball historians in every small town.

Another Hoosier staple is the sequence of the tournament. Every march since the 1920's the Indiana H.S. tournament starts with a sectional, regional, sweetsixteen, and final four state championship. Hence, all games and scores that were shown in the movie. Although, Hickory H.S. is fictictious, the opposing team names were real Indiana schools in the western part of the state: Jasper, Linton, Logootee, etc.

The movie actually tried, but fell short in my opinion of the excitement at tournament time. The noise level, and absolute excitement of the H.S. tournaments is something you have to experience. Just walking into the gyms gives you chill bumps. Being the local game night hero is paramount, (but it creates it's own special problems.) I firmly feel, having experienced it myself, that the movie makers were trying to capture a unique phenomenon in sports using typical events. They displayed the key aspects of Indiana H.S. basketball in film to communicate the experience to the rest of the world.

I was pleased, and excited to see how many reviewers were inspired by the film. Many who lived these events over the years are similarly motivated.

P.S. Coaches do not kiss teachers except in Hollywood.


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