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.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.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.
Just as the title credits started to roll, with Gene Hackman driving through the early autumn Indiana countryside toward his date with Destiny, Jeff laid his head on my shoulder and promptly went to sleep -- and slept throughout the entire film. He had apparently gotten so excited over the prospect of seeing the movie that exhaustion overcame him, as it will with children. I didn't have the heart to wake him up, since I knew we could come back again -- and by the time the movie was over, I knew that I would indeed be seeing it again...and again, because it was plainly one of the all-time greats. It was the best sports movie I had seen up until that time, and it still is. In fact, it has legitimate claim as the best American movie ever. It incorporates all that is unique and good in American culture, and does it better than any other film has ever done. It is a magnificent artistic achievement, quintessentially American and an inspiration to everyone who sees it.
Jeff forgave me for not waking him up -- but not before we went back the very next day. He immediately agreed with me on its greatness. Every time he comes home now, we watch it together, and marvel at its perfection. He has become something of an expert on artistic values (Ph.D. in literature from Yale), but even at the age of 5 he could see that this movie was truly something special. And that it certainly is.
- Nov 8, 2007