Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances.
Release Year: 1992
Rating: 6.4/10 (28,425 voted)
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez
Billy and Sydney think they're the best basketball hustlers in town, so when they join forces, nothing can stop them, except each other. To add to their problems, Billy owes money and is being chased by a pair of gangster types.
Ernest Harden Jr.
John Marshall Jones
Dwight 'The Flight' McGhee
The Venice Beach Boys
The Venice Beach Boys
It ain't easy being this good.
Release Date: 27 March 1992
Filming Locations: Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Opening Weekend: $14,700,000
Did You Know?
In the film Woody Harrelson's character makes a reference to suspected John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. In real life Harrelson's own father had also been targeted as a possible accomplice in the killing.
Orientation of the label on the bottle of vodka after Billy returns home after losing the $1700.
You calling me ugly?
Your mother did.
Woody and Wesley when dey was cool
Undeniably Hoosiers would get the win, if they ever polled film buffs
and critics asking what the best movie is revolving around basketball.
Hoosiers, the movie about a failing Indiana high school basketball team
being led to success by their new coach played by Gene Hackman and the
drunken assistant coach (Dennis Hooper) has enjoyed its fair share of
the spotlight. Granted the field of movies about basketball isn't
nearly as deep as say movies with plots concerning baseball or boxing,
Hoosiers still generally beats out what little competition there is.
However in my opinion the best movie to ever capture the game of hoops
is the criminally underrated and underseen White Men Can't Jump, by
director Ron Shelton. Shelton also brought us the more popular baseball
film Bull Durham and the golf flick Tin Cup. But I'd argue White Men
Can't Jump is his centerpiece. The story revolves around two street
court b-ball hustlers. One new in town, smooth, and white (Woody
Harrelson), undoubtedly to his advantage. The other man, a black, a
veteran of the LA courts, and fast-talking (Wesley Snipes). After
Harrelson hustles Snipes the two form an unlikely partnership "ebony
and ivory" but as always it is on edge and lacks a required amount of
For a film that was released in the aftermath of the Rodney King
beating and the L.A. riots and just before the O.J. Simpson debacle,
White Men Can't Jump is surprisingly mature, witty, light hearted and
open-minded in its approach to the race issue. Ron Shelton's dialogue
is amazingly rapid fire and smart. It bites and certainly has a sting
to it, but it's all in good fun. The multi-flamboyant personalities on
the outdoor L.A. street courts hustler each other, crack "yo-mama"
jokes with one another, and try to look better than the other. This is
the movie that really put Wesley Snipes on the map and showed that
Woody Harrelson was far more than just another face in the "Cheers"
ensemble. Both provide excellent work in not only playing the
characters but also learning how to play basketball and talk like
actual street hustlers. There's very few standins here. Both Snipes and
Harrelson learned to play the sport as well as any actor could be
expected to. Rosie Perez is good as Harrelson's annoying and
overbearing Puerto Rican girlfriend. If any one word can describe White
Men Can't Jump, that word is "fun." The movie tackles serious issues
like hustling, family, relationships, race, life in poverty, and
gambling debts. However if Robert Rossen's pool hall film The Hustler
presented the dark side of the life, Ron Shelton's White Men Can't Jump
shows the flip side of the coin. How hustling can be fun and games.