Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) is a high school basketball coach whose checkered past has led him to a position with a last-chance team. Made to feel unwelcome by squad members, an icy fellow teacher (Barbara Hershey) and townspeople who nearly have him fired, Dale perseveres with an unwavering passion for the game.
Cast & Crew
Hackman is wonderful as an inarticulate man tense with the struggle to curb a flaring, mysterious anger.
Shameless, yes, but open your eyes, close your mind, sit back and enjoy.
Basketball movies don't get any better.
Pic belongs to Hackman, but Dennis Hopper gets another opportunity to put in a showy turn as a local misfit.
This film's very lack of surprise and sophistication accounts for a lot of its considerable charm.
It's a movie that is all heart.
The movie's enormous craftsmanship accumulates till you're actually seduced into believing all its Pepperidge Farm buncombe. That's quite an achievement.