Jeff Labrecque
February 28, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Hoosiers

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
performer
Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper
director
David Anspaugh
author
Angelo Pizzo

We gave it a B-

This Cinderella story wins over audiences when embattled basketball coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) stubbornly keeps a selfish player out of the game even though his squad is down to its last four players. When the ref requests a fifth, Dale answers defiantly, ”My team’s on the floor.” But while Hoosiers captures the purity of high school sports in rural America, Dale’s defining moment is betrayed by the rest of the movie, as the team’s season (and the coach’s job) is rescued by one phenom with a sweet jump shot. There might be no i in team, but there are two in Jimmy Chitwood. EXTRAS Dale’s Hickory Huskers were based on Milan High’s 1954 championship team, and ”Hoosier History” introduces some of its real-life heroes. Diehards can even watch the title game between Milan and Muncie from start to finish, but of greater interest are the deleted scenes, which finally solve the mystery: How did Buddy get back on the team?

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