5.5/10
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27 user 7 critic

The Air Up There (1994)

Jimmy Dolan is a college basketball coach who wants a big promotion. To get it, he needs to make a dramatic find. He ends up deep in Africa, hoping to recruit Saleh, a huge basketball ... See full summary »

Director:

Paul Michael Glaser (as Paul M. Glaser)

Writer:

Max Apple
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Jimmy Dolan
Charles Gitonga Maina ... Saleh
Yolanda Vazquez Yolanda Vazquez ... Sister Susan
Winston Ntshona ... Urudu
Mabutho 'Kid' Sithole Mabutho 'Kid' Sithole ... Nyaga
Sean McCann ... Ray Fox
Dennis Patrick ... Father O'Hara
Ilo Mutombo Ilo Mutombo ... Mifundo
Nigel Miguel ... Halawi
Eric Menyuk ... Mark Collins
Keith Gibbs Keith Gibbs ... Buddy Wilson
Miriam Owiti Miriam Owiti ... Beisa
Douglas Leboyare Douglas Leboyare ... Ikedo
Francis Mutei Francis Mutei ... St. George
Gibson Gathu Mbugua Gibson Gathu Mbugua ... Harimbo
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Storyline

Jimmy Dolan is a college basketball coach who wants a big promotion. To get it, he needs to make a dramatic find. He ends up deep in Africa, hoping to recruit Saleh, a huge basketball prodigy Jimmy glimpsed in a home movie. But Saleh is the chief's son and has responsibilities at home, since the tribe's land is threatened by a mining company with its own hotshot basketball team. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jimmy Dolan went to recruit a new player. What he found was a whole new ballgame.

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un campeón de altura See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,080,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,240,859, 9 January 1994

Gross USA:

$21,011,318

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,011,318
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) states the mythical St. Joseph's University won the 1981 National Championship. Indiana University won the 1981 National Championship led by Isiah Thomas. Both Indiana University and Isiah Thomas get a reference later in the movie. See more »

Goofs

In the story of his National Championship heroism, Jimmy Dolan refers to a play at the end of the fourth quarter of a game. College basketball is played in two halves, not in quarters. See more »

Quotes

Saleh: You came halfway around the world to watch me play this basketball?
Jimmy Dolan: That's what I said.
Saleh: (pointing to his head) Are you healthy up here?
Jimmy Dolan: Never said that.
See more »

Connections

References JFK (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

ST. JOSEPH'S ALMA MATER
Written by Brock Walsh
See more »

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User Reviews

Formulaic sports movie but quite entertaining
19 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When college basketball coach Jimmy Dolan loses the hottest new recruit by beating him in a game of one on one and damaging his pride he loses his job and looks for a way to get back. He sees a brilliant African player on a home movie and travels to Kenya to recruit him. However Saleh is the Chief's son and has his own problems as a mining company is trying to get control of the tribe's land.

Bacon is not really a lead actor but someone who can give a good performance in co-lead or support. Here he has a film to carry on his own and struggles with it. Mainly it's due to the formulaic nature of the plot – lets be honest, even from the plot outline above I bet you could guess how's it going to end. However that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable – just not very good. It has plenty of nice laughs and the basketball action is fun and will directed if not realistic.

Despite the formula the cast mainly do quite well, but really it never manages to get above the sort of formulaic sports comedy that we see so often. However it is entertaining and I did enjoy just switching off my brain and letting it go in one ear and out the other.

Instantly forgettable and very by the numbers but some good laughs, good locations and good basketball action make it an entertaining enough film to just veg out in front of. Not great but passable.


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