November 14th, 1986


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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.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 7.5/10 (18,729 voted)

Critic's Score: 76/100

Director: David Anspaugh

Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper

Based on the true story of a small-town Indiana team that made the state finals in 1954, this movie chronicles the attempts of a coach with a spotty past, and the town's basketball-loving drunk to lead their high school team to victory.

Gene Hackman - Coach Norman Dale
Barbara Hershey - Myra Fleener
Dennis Hopper - Shooter
Sheb Wooley - Cletus
Fern Persons - Opal Fleener
Chelcie Ross - George
Robert Swan - Rollin
Michael O'Guinne - Rooster
Wil Dewitt - Reverenf Doty
John Robert Thompson - Sheriff Finley
Michael Sassone - Preacher Purl
Gloria Dorson - Millie
Mike Dalzell - Mayor Carl
Skip Welker - Junior (as Calvert L. Welker)
Eric Gilliom - J. June

Taglines: It'll go straight to your heart.


Official Website: MGM |

Release Date: 14 November 1986

Filming Locations: Brownsburg, Indiana, USA

Opening Weekend: $220,068 (USA) (16 November 1986) (30 Screens)

Gross: $28,607,524 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The theater that was closed for the final game burned down in 1998.

Errors in geography: During the montage scene of Hickory's winning streak, a scene shows the team bus being led through Hickory by police escort. The police car in the scene has "Wabash County Sheriff" on the side. Based on Hickory's opponents throughout the movie, the fictional town would be somewhere in southwest Indiana. Wabash County is in north central Indiana, approximately 150 miles away.

Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: You gotta promise me you won't get kicked outta no more games!
Coach Norman Dale: Scout's honor.

User Review

That championship season

Rating: 10/10

David Anspaugh's "Hoosiers" is a film about the passion to excel in sports. It's also about a man's comeback to the game after a rough patch in his own life. "Hoosiers" is a timeless film that will look good after years of its release because it speaks to us about how someone can inspire a group of people to do their best, as they become confident in what they are trying to accomplish. The film was lovingly written for the screen by Angelo Pizzo.

Coach Norman Dale gets a reprieve in life when he is hired to coach the Hickory basket ball team in rural Indiana. Basketball is the game where most people in that state take an unusual interest. Their passion for the sport is evident. The new coach is looked with suspicion because he is an outsider and he believes in teamwork. He wants everyone to participate equally, which doesn't make for excitement in the court. The coach doesn't want anyone overshadowing another, that's why he insists in total involvement. Needless to say, his method clashes with the parents and towns people from the start.

The coach's past comes to haunt him when Myra Fleener, one of the teachers, discovers an article that reveals an incident Mr. Dale would like to forget. At the same time, Myra realizes the goodness in the coach's heart by involving the drunken Shooter into helping him with the team.

Gene Hackman has one of the best opportunities of his distinguished career with his portrayal of Coach Dale. He is splendid in the film and he wins us with his decency and by sticking to his principles, which he passes on to the team members. Barbara Hershey is also good as Myra, the young woman who falls in love with Dale. Dennis Hopper plays Shooter, the father of one of the kids in the team who has a drinking problem.

"Hoosiers" is an inspiring film that ought to be seen by young people because of its message about team spirit and how to interact with one another in peace and harmony.