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
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.
Coach Norman Dale
John Robert Thompson
(as Calvert L. Welker)
It'll go straight to your heart.
Release Date: 14 November 1986
Filming Locations: Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
Opening Weekend: $220,068
(16 November 1986)
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:
That championship season
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
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
"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.