4 February 2013 | ma-cortes
A classic tale of triumph and redemption , being based on a true story
Sport film with sentimental story and intelligent character studio . Classic story rings true because of Hackman's complex and sensitive acting and stunningly realized by director David Anspaugh . Exceptional Gene Hackman who gets a chance job coaching a little town , displaying a first rate performance reaching an important milestone and a terrific Dennis Hooper . It is set in Indiana where basketball is the sport of the Gods , a small town called Hickery ; there a high school basketball team gets an opportunity , thanks to supposedly experienced coach . A coach (Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson was the original choice to play Coach Norman Dale) with a checkered past and a local alcoholic (Dennis Hooper) train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship . The coach makes the team and each person in it , better than they thought possible . The physically unsuitable team to achieve for big time , thanks to the coach who triumphs over by odds , but sheer determination helps them attain their dream . The team dreams of playing basketball final , no matter how far-fetched the dream .
This agreeable tale based on the 1954 Indiana State champs, Milan Indians , contains a classic plot and deals about a slice of American history , and is plenty of good feeling , heartfelt, interesting characters and formidable performances . However , sometimes is some sentimental and predictable but is still pretty amusing . Likable and enjoyable plot about a team and the coach , both of them face the dual challenge of bringing the players to the state championship and redeeming themselves . Splendid film from the filmmaker and writer of another David beats Goliath sports movie , ¨Rudy¨ with Sean Astin .Sentimental plot stretches Hollywood manipulation , but is still entertaining . Gene Hackman delivers an engaging acting as is backed by a good supporting cast such as Barbara Hershey , Whooley , Sassone and Chelcie Roos . Hackman is coupled with Dennis Hooper's touching portrait of a drunk basketball fanatic . Spectacular and sensitive musical score by the great Jerry Goldsmith , though composed by means of synthesizer . Fine production design and good sets , filmmakers had trouble filling the FieldHouse with extras for the final game, and needed to move people around when shooting different angles ; extras were given 1950's hairstyles and their clothing was checked for anachronisms . The motion picture was compellingly directed by David Anspaugh , he's a notorious writer , producer and director (Wisegirls , Fresh horses , Moonlight and Valentino). Rating : Better than average , worthwhile seeing and it ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Sports" in June 2008.