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One of the most rousingly enjoyable sports movies ever made, this small-town drama tells the story of the Hickory Huskers, an underdog basketball team from a tiny Indiana high school that makes it all the way to the state championship tournament. It's a familiar story, but sensitive direction and a splendid screenplay helped make this one of the best films of 1986, highlighted by the superb performances of Gene Hackman as the Huskers' coach, and Oscar nominee Dennis Hopper as the alcoholic father of one of the team's key players. As the drama unfolds we come to realize that many of the characters (including Barbara Hershey as a schoolteacher with whom Hackman falls in love) are recovering from disappointing setbacks, and this depth of character is what makes the otherwise conventional basketball story so richly rewarding. LikeRocky,Rudy,andBreaking Away, this is a quintessentially American movie about beating the odds and rising above one's own limitations. Just try to watch it without cheering!--Jeff Shannon
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CastGene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey, Sheb Wooley, Fern Persons
DirectorDavid Anspaugh
Genre:  Drama
Screen WriterAngelo Pizzo
Runtime:  114 minutes
Studio:  MGM (Video & DVD)
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review by . March 19, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I found this movie utterly predictable and Dennis Hopper's performance as the town drunk only tolerable. Gene Hackman is the new high school basketball coach in basketball crazy Hickory, Indiana in 1951. He is a man with a past, although it is not as dark as it initially appears. Hopper plays Shooter, the town drunk whose son is on the seven man team. Despite his sodden brain, Shooter has a superb understanding of the game and Hackman selects him to be his assistant coach. You know immediately that …
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