This Oscar nominated film tells the tale of washed up basketball coach Norman Dale (played by Gene Hackman) and his getting a second chance at the sport he loves.
Coach Norman Dale was coaching a big time basketball college when some bad decisions and his drinking problem got him banned from the league. He is given a second chance to coach at the high school level in Indiana. This is most certainly not a glamourous job as the team he is taking over routinely does poorly. Despite this fact and that many of the residents of the town make him feel less than welcomed, Coach Dale plows on.
Coach Dale’s unrelenting passion for the game finally wins over his players and the townsfolk and the little team that couldn’t ends up contending for the state title.
Whether you are a basketball fan or a sports fan of any kind you will love it due to the whole underdog/washed up theme running through it. This film is right up there with the best sports films ever made. A story we all know…and love. Director David Anspaugh demonstrates that he has the right touch when given a great script. And Gene Hackman turned in another in a long line of strong performances. Due to his recent death, it is also interesting to see Dennis Hopper on screen. He also gives a strong and nuanced performance. Watch how everyone involved in the film beats the odds and rises up to a level you would have never though possible.
-Hoosier History: The Truth Behind the Legend
-Milan vs. Muncie 1954 Indiana High School Championship Game