6.7/10
66,689
73 user 37 critic

White Men Can't Jump (1992)

Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances of winning money on the street courts and in a basketball tournament.

Director:

Ron Shelton

Writer:

Ron Shelton
Reviews
Popularity
4,201 ( 213)

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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wesley Snipes ... Sidney Deane
Woody Harrelson ... Billy Hoyle
Rosie Perez ... Gloria Clemente
Tyra Ferrell ... Rhonda Deane
Cylk Cozart Cylk Cozart ... Robert
Kadeem Hardison ... Junior
Ernest Harden Jr. ... George
John Marshall Jones ... Walter
Marques Johnson Marques Johnson ... Raymond
David Roberson David Roberson ... T.J.
Kevin Benton ... Zeke
Nigel Miguel ... Dwight 'The Flight' McGhee
Duane Martin ... Willie Lewis
Bill Henderson ... The Venice Beach Boys
Sonny Craver Sonny Craver ... The Venice Beach Boys
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Storyline

Billy and Sydney think they're the best basketball hustlers in town, so when they join forces, nothing can stop them, except each other. To add to their problems, Billy owes money and is being chased by a pair of gangster types. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It ain't easy being this good. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los blancos no la saben meter See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$76,253,806

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$90,753,806
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Stanley Kubrick's favorite movies. See more »

Goofs

After Sidney misses the final shot in the best out of 5, the aerial view shows Billy walking away. In the next shot, he is still next to Sidney. See more »

Quotes

Billy Hoyle: [before donating money to The Venice Beach Boys] You are so stupid. It would take your mother 1, no. 2 hours to watch 60 MINUTES.
Sidney Deane: Don't start that shit again.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, we can hear the classical 20th Century Fox Fanfare in a hip hop style. See more »

Connections

Referenced in ER: Abby Road (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

LET ME MAKE IT UP TO YOU TONIGHT
Written by Diane Warren
Performed by Jody Watley
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Woody and Wesley when dey was cool
12 March 2005 | by Dan DeVoreSee all my reviews

Undeniably Hoosiers would get the win, if they ever polled film buffs and critics asking what the best movie is revolving around basketball. Hoosiers, the movie about a failing Indiana high school basketball team being led to success by their new coach played by Gene Hackman and the drunken assistant coach (Dennis Hooper) has enjoyed its fair share of the spotlight. Granted the field of movies about basketball isn't nearly as deep as say movies with plots concerning baseball or boxing, Hoosiers still generally beats out what little competition there is.

However in my opinion the best movie to ever capture the game of hoops is the criminally underrated and underseen White Men Can't Jump, by director Ron Shelton. Shelton also brought us the more popular baseball film Bull Durham and the golf flick Tin Cup. But I'd argue White Men Can't Jump is his centerpiece. The story revolves around two street court b-ball hustlers. One new in town, smooth, and white (Woody Harrelson), undoubtedly to his advantage. The other man, a black, a veteran of the LA courts, and fast-talking (Wesley Snipes). After Harrelson hustles Snipes the two form an unlikely partnership "ebony and ivory" but as always it is on edge and lacks a required amount of trust.

For a film that was released in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating and the L.A. riots and just before the O.J. Simpson debacle, White Men Can't Jump is surprisingly mature, witty, light hearted and open-minded in its approach to the race issue. Ron Shelton's dialogue is amazingly rapid fire and smart. It bites and certainly has a sting to it, but it's all in good fun. The multi-flamboyant personalities on the outdoor L.A. street courts hustler each other, crack "yo-mama" jokes with one another, and try to look better than the other. This is the movie that really put Wesley Snipes on the map and showed that Woody Harrelson was far more than just another face in the "Cheers" ensemble. Both provide excellent work in not only playing the characters but also learning how to play basketball and talk like actual street hustlers. There's very few standins here. Both Snipes and Harrelson learned to play the sport as well as any actor could be expected to. Rosie Perez is good as Harrelson's annoying and overbearing Puerto Rican girlfriend. If any one word can describe White Men Can't Jump, that word is "fun." The movie tackles serious issues like hustling, family, relationships, race, life in poverty, and gambling debts. However if Robert Rossen's pool hall film The Hustler presented the dark side of the life, Ron Shelton's White Men Can't Jump shows the flip side of the coin. How hustling can be fun and games.

Grade: A-


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