With the original Hanson Brothers still on the same minor league ice hockey team, the Chiefs are sold to a new owner who gives them a female coach and puts them in a league in which they ... See full summary »
Located in the US Rust Belt, Charlestown is home of the hapless Chiefs, a losing Federal League hockey team whose games are poorly attended. To make money, the team's unknown owner makes its manager, Joe McGrath, do cheesy publicity much to the players' chagrin. Rumors abound among the players that if the local mill closes, the team will fold. Just before the official announcement is made, the team's aging player/coach, Reggie Dunlop, does get wind that the mill is indeed closing and that this season will be the team's last. Beyond efforts to reconcile with his wife Francine, who loves Reggie but doesn't love his career, Reggie begins to focus on how to renew interest in the team for a possible sale as he knows if the team folds, his hockey career is over. Without telling anyone of his plan, he begins a rumor that the owner is negotiating a sale with a city in Florida. He also decides that "goon" hockey - most especially using the untapped talents of the recently acquired childlike ... Written by
The character of Ogie Ogilthorpe was based upon Bill 'Goldie' Goldthorpe, a WHA and NAHL player in the '70s. See more »
The goalie Lemieux in the interview in the opening has a Cooper brand stick, then on the game vs Hainesport he used a Louisville stick. See more »
Hi, Jim Carr again. Denis, I know that some in our audience don't know the finer points of hockey. Could you tell them, for example, what is icing?
Well, um, icing happen when the puck come down, bang you know, before the other guys you know. Nobody there, you know. My arm go comme ça then the game stop then start up.
I see. What is high-sticking?
High-sticking happen when the guy take the stick, you know, and he go like that
[high-sticks Jim Carr]
you know. You don't do that.
You don't do that?
[...] See more »
Special thanks to John Mitchell and his Johnstown Jets. See more »
Mostly hated by critics on its release, as much for its cynical viewpoint as its relentless profanity, "Slap Shot" has since become something of a cult classic.
Set in the low-rent world of minor-league hockey, the movie follows the efforts of player-coach Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) to turn around the Charlestown Chiefs' final, losing season in a dying Pennsylvania steel town. Reggie is not above using a dirty trick or two to manipulate his teammates or psych out opposing players, and cheerfully gets physical when he has to. Even Reggie recoils in disgust, however, when his tightwad manager (Strother Martin) brings in the Hanson Brothers, three thick-lensed, thicker-headed goons who are more interested in fighting than playing Reggie's brand of "old-time hockey".
When it becomes apparent that the hometown crowd loves the Hanson's rough and bloody style, Reggie decides to go with the flow, and to fire up his other players concocts the story that, if they can win the championship, the owner will be able to sell the franchise to a group of rich retirees in Florida. To do that, though, they will have to get past an opposing squad specially stocked with the league's most notorious goons...
A sometimes uneasy blend of slapstick and kitchen-sink realism , "Slap Shot" has some pertinent things to say about the American worship of success at all costs, and (long before the rise of the WWF) our fascination with violent sports. Echos of its gritty style can be seen not only in many later sporting films, such as "Bull Durham" and "Major League", but even in the wave of British movies in which characters fight to hold onto their lives after the collapse of hometown industry, such as "The Full Monty" and "Brassed Off".
The film really shines as a straight comedy, though, delivering some classic characters and set pieces: virtually every appearance of the Hansons; a clueless, toupee-wearing sportscaster (Andrew Duncan); the team's tiny Quebecker goalie (Yvon Barrette), and Newman himself, in one of his personal favorite roles. The females fare less well, although Jennifer Warren stands out as Dunlop's long-suffering, estranged wife.
Note: in the VHS version, the background music has been replaced by an inferior, generic soundtrack. The DVD version, with the original music, is preferable.
67 of 69 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?