Indiana. 1951. The tiny little town of Hickory, where basketball is everything (well… second only to farming, ’cause, you know, it is Indiana).
The high school hoops team needs a coach, so they bring in Norman Dale. He’s an older fella (who looks suspiciously like Gene Hackman). He’s an outsider, and he’s obviously got some skeletons in his closet. As Myra Fleener (who looks suspiciously like Barbara Hershey) says, “A man your age comes to a place like this, either he’s running away from something or he has nowhere else to go.”
Sure enough, it’s a little of both.
Released in November 1986, Hoosiers still reigns as one of the best stand-up-and-cheer movies out there. Whether you like basketball or not, inspirational flicks don’t come much better than this one, and there’s a little something for everyone: Dennis Hopper’s Oscar-nominated turn as a town drunk, a sense of history (it’s based veeeeery loosely on a real-life 50s Indiana high school team), and a stellar cast… plus we even get a little romance, AARP-style.
It’s David vs. Goliath. It’s small-town America. It’s Rocky, Hoop Dreams, and Rudy all rolled into one…all set to Jerry Goldsmith’s awesome score:
Hoosiers didn’t do very well in the box office, but despite only bringing in $28 million dollars, it has since gone on to be revered as one of the best (if not the best) sports movie ever made.
We couldn’t agree more. It’s. Just. That. Awesome.
We ♥ Hooisers.