[This piece is the first in a series of articles on the greatest movies, television shows and videos about sports. It starts with a look from top writer Elliott Glass about an all-time classic: Hoosiers. With the Christmas break coming up, this legendary basketball movie is worth two hours of your time.]
It can be hard to find a movie that everyone in your family will like. As the holidays approach, there is one film that absolutely deserves a family viewing: the basketball classic called Hoosiers. Hoosiers is set in a small town in the state of basketball-crazy Indiana. The era is the early 1950s. The protagonist is a journeyman coach named Norman Dale trying to recapture his life as a coach after being banned from the college game following an altercation with a player in Ithaca, New York.
Great films have a high level of excitement. Hoosiers is filled with them. As the team starts to come together as a squad, they begin to make a exciting run through the state playoffs. The games are very tense and you are wide-eyed and waiting at the edge of the couch to see what happens next. Will Jimmy Chitwood carry the team to victory? Can Coach Dale stop getting kicked out of games? Can Ollie make his free throws in the regional final? You will find out as this fantastic film runs a fast break forward.
Often, when you are watching films with your family, someone doesn’t know much about the game at the center of the film. It can bring a lot of super annoying questions like why Rudy isn’t getting more playing time for the Irish when he “works so hard.” For Hoosiers, you have to have at least some basic knowledge of basketball. However, even if you are a diehard fan, you will still find some curious differences between the early 1950s and the modern game. For example, even though Jimmy Chitwood is an outside specialist, he doesn’t benefit from a three-point line. In addition, a number of the players shoot granny style from the free throw line.
Another issue with family viewing during the holidays is that not all films are appropriate for younger viewers. While Hoosiers is a great movie, there are some parts where parents will benefit from hitting the fast-forward button on the remote control. Fortunately, all of the basketball scenes are more than appropriate (as long as parents don’t mind a fist fight or two).
One of the best parts of Hoosiers is the setting in the 1950s. Many of us know the stars of today like Steph Curry and LeBron. We have even heard about and watched the legendary exploits of players like Dr J. Hoosiers gives you a good taste of what basketball was like in the 1950s. From granny shots to the strong defense championed by Coach Dale, you will find the style of play as interesting as the movie itself.
Ultimately, I give Hoosier a 10 out of 10.