Combustible Celluloid
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With: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper, Sheb Wooley, Fern Parsons, Chelcie Ross, Robert Swan, Michael O'Guinne, Wil Dewitt, John Robert Thompson
Written by: Angelo Pizzo
Directed by: David Anspaugh
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 114
Date: 11/14/1986

Hoosiers (1986)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Court Circuit

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

More than any other sports movie, Hoosiers milks the "David vs. Goliath" thing nearly to death and still gets away with it. Barely a single frame of this movie is less than compelling. Perhaps that's because of Gene Hackman's brilliant performance as the blacklisted coach who takes the only job he can get -- on a flyspeck team in the middle of cornpatch, Indiana. Director David Anspaugh keeps the basketball scenes exciting and gets creditable performances out of Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper in supporting roles.

As an interesting side note, Hopper received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for this role, the same year he made Blue Velvet. My theory is that he was really nominated for the latter but that the Academy couldn't find any clips from that film to show on TV.

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