Paul Newman has had many roles where he played dynamic and complex personalities. This is not one of them; Newman is the head coach of a minor league hockey team that is suffering financially and about to be folded. Newman's solution is to turn the team into a goon squad, where the players now fight more than skating and the crowds are wild. The action on the ice has more in common with professional wrestling than it does with sports. Attendance soars and the team is now profitable. Newman is crude, dropping the f-word everywhere, including in a meeting where he encounters the female owner of the team for the first time. Newman also has other female relationship problems, he is separated from his wife and they are both seeing other people. The simplicity of his approach to life and hockey is not attractive, although at the end, he wants to play the championship game as one of hockey. No more muggings for the crowd, he wants to make it a real game. Of course, Newman's team wins the championship but in the most absurd manner possible. The case describes the movie as "outrageously funny", but to me it never gets beyond the "outrage" segment.
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Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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Paul Newman and hisButch Cassidydirector, George Roy Hill, made a very original comedy in this 1977 story of an over-the-hill player/coach (Newman) for a lousy hockey team who gets results when he teaches his players to get dirty. One of the most hilariously profane movies ever to come out of Hollywood, this is the kind of film that makes its own rules as it goes along. Newman is very good, and while Hill goes for the gusto in terms of capturing the violence of this world, his instinct for comedy has never been sharper. Great support from Strother Martin, Paul Dooley, and the rest.--Tom Keogh