Sports Movie of the Week — ‘Hoosiers’ [VIDEO]
When the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament selection process is completed at the end of this week, the nation’s attention will turn to March Madness and the multi-week playoff process that eventually crowns a national champion.
Arguably, the most compelling part of the tournament is the potential possibility of an underdog school to upset a traditional power and live out their ‘one shining moment.’ Our Sports Movie of the Week, ‘Hoosiers,’ touches on very similar themes of basketball, improbable success and redemption.
In the 1986 film set in rural Indiana of the early 1950s, Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) takes over the coaching job at tiny Hickory High School. Dale’s troubled past makes his players and the school community wary of his methods, while his hiring of the town dunk, Shooter (Dennis Hopper), as an assistant, intensifies the scrutiny. Even worse, the town’s best player, Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis) is not yet part of the team.
After significant struggles and personality conflicts, Dale’s team begins to have success, but will they be able to do the unthinkable and bring a state championship to Hickory?
Five Reasons to Watch ‘Hoosiers’
1. ‘Hoosiers’ has been named by both USA Today and the American Film Institute as one of the best sports movies ever made.
2. The film is loosely based on the actual 1954 basketball team from Milan High School in Indiana.
3. The scene in which Jimmy Chitwood (Valainis) explains to Coach Dale (Hackman) that “(He) will make it” if given the ball to shoot at the end of a game.
4. Dennis Hopper was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Shooter.
5. The locker room speech given by Norman Dale (Hackman) prior to the team’s regional final game is inspirational.
Click the play button to watch the a trailer for the film below: