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  PG HD Closed Captioning

David Anspaugh

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Plot Summary

A classic tale of redemption, this film features a volatile coach and a former star player-turned alcoholic leading a small-town basketball team on an improbable run to the Indiana high school championship game. Coach Norman Dale encounters several hurdles in his path: a feisty teacher determined to keep the best player from going out for the team, a town chock full of second-guessing fathers, and a group of undisciplined athletes. Story inspired by the Milan (Indiana) Indians' state title of 1954. Nominated for two Oscars and hailed by Sports Illustrated and ESPN as one of the best sports movies of all time, this triumphant tale of a high school basketball team's long-shot attempt to win the state features "fast-break cinematography” that catches the pace of the game.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 43
  • Fresh: 38
  • Rotten: 5
  • Average Rating: 7.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: This film's very lack of surprise and sophistication accounts for a lot of its considerable charm. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Hackman is wonderful as an inarticulate man tense with the struggle to curb a flaring, mysterious anger. – Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Pic belongs to Hackman, but Dennis Hopper gets another opportunity to put in a showy turn as a local misfit. – Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: The movie's enormous craftsmanship accumulates till you're actually seduced into believing all its Pepperidge Farm buncombe. That's quite an achievement. – Paul Attanasio, Washington Post, Mar 21, 2007

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


A great movie that is inspirational and motivational. It shows what high school sports is about: attitude, effort, hard work and believing in yourself, as well as your team. This movie is a must for your video library.


i love this movie with all my heart. i dont think its raited R though..

On of my all time favorite movies

A movie about the the ultimate underdog climbing to the top of the heap!

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Customer Ratings