• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

  Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper    

Summary -  A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.

Cautions - Some language

Commentary - Basketball is not a sport I'm particularly interested in but fortunately the film is about more than basketball. There is a lot to cheer about in this movie but in the end... it's just about some small town teens that win an important Basketball game. I guess one could say that the coach earned the towns people's trust and learned how not to get thrown out of games. The players learned that if they listen to this coach they could be successful. Things really turned around when a really skilled kid who wouldn't play, decided that he would play.

Barbara Hershey's character expressed the frustration I was feeling when she describes the futility of what the team was trying to do when there were so many more important things for these kids with limited opportunities to strive for - education for one. But something she comes to realize, the audience too, is that the team's success gave hope to every aspect of their lives. If they were willing to pay the price, they could accomplish their dreams.

If you don't see Hoosiers for any other reason, see it for Dennis Hopper's performance. For me he steals the show. As the town drunk, he would have license to use any of a number of cliches but he avoids them all and gives us a character with humanity who you believe and want to cheer for. He, more than any other character, finds hope he can change as he witnesses the transformation of the team for the sport he loves so much.


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