Slap Shot


2h 3m 1977
Slap Shot

Brief Synopsis

A failing hockey team bounces back when they switch to a more violent approach.

Film Details

Also Known As
Slagskott, castagne
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Action
Sports
Release Date
1977

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

A small time minor hockey team is going under, nearly last in the rankings and their audience is less than interested. The aging coach/player decides to enlist the help of the Hanson Brothers, a trio of violent thugs, to resort to brutal violence to reinvigorate their crowd of supporters.

Film Details

Also Known As
Slagskott, castagne
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Action
Sports
Release Date
1977

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 3m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Articles

TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change for Paul Newman Tribute
Sunday, October 12


In Honor of Paul Newman, who died on September 26, TCM will air a tribute to the actor on Sunday, October 12th, replacing the current scheduled programming with the following movies:

Sunday, October 12 Program for TCM
6:00 AM The Rack
8:00 AM Until They Sail
10:00 AM Torn Curtain
12:15 PM Exodus
3:45 PM Sweet Bird of Youth
6:00 PM Hud
8:00 PM Somebody Up There Likes Me
10:00 PM Cool Hand Luke
12:15 AM Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
2:15 AM Rachel, Rachel
4:00 AM The Outrage


TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008)
Paul Newman, with his electric blue eyes and gutsy willingness to play anti-heroes, established himself as one of the movies' great leading men before settling into his latter-day career of flinty character acting. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Newman studied at the Yale Drama School and New York's Actors Studio before making his Broadway debut in Picnic.

Newman's breakthrough in films came in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he played boxer Rocky Graziano. He quickly reinforced his reputation in such vehicles as The Rack (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he won the first of nine Oscar® nominations as an actor.

In 1958, while shooting The Long Hot Summer (1958) - which earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival - in Louisiana, he became re-acquainted with Joanne Woodward, who was the film's female lead. The two soon fell in love, and after divorcing Jackie, Newman and Woodward were married in Las Vegas in 1958. The couple appeared in numerous films together and had three daughters, which they raised far from Hollywood in the affluent neighborhood of Westport, CT.

The 1960s was a fruitful decade for Newman, who starred in such hits as Exodus (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); and scored Oscar® nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Newman's political activism also came to the forefront during the sixties, through tireless campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign. His association with McCarthy led to his being named on future President Richard Nixon's infamous "Opponents List;" Newman, who ranked #19 out of 20, later commented that his inclusion was among the proudest achievements of his career.

Newman's superstar status - he was the top-ranking box office star in 1969 and 1970 - allowed him to experiment with film roles during the 1970s, which led to quirky choices like WUSA (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Pocket Money (1972), and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - all of which he also produced through First Artists, a company he established with fellow stars Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand.

After coming close to winning an Oscar® for Absence of Malice (1981), Newman finally won the award itself for The Color of Money (1986). He also received an honorary Oscar® in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. A producer and director as well as an actor, Newman has directed his wife (and frequent costar) Joanne Woodward through some of her most effective screen performances [Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)].

He remained active as an actor in his later years, playing the Stage Manager in Our Town on both stage and television, lending his voice to the animated features Cars (2006) and Mater and the Ghostlight (2006). Off-screen, Newman set the standard for celebrity-driven charities with his Newman's Own brand of foods, which brought $200 million to causes, and the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.

Tcm Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change For Paul Newman Tribute
Sunday, October 12

TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) - Important Schedule Change for Paul Newman Tribute Sunday, October 12

In Honor of Paul Newman, who died on September 26, TCM will air a tribute to the actor on Sunday, October 12th, replacing the current scheduled programming with the following movies: Sunday, October 12 Program for TCM 6:00 AM The Rack 8:00 AM Until They Sail 10:00 AM Torn Curtain 12:15 PM Exodus 3:45 PM Sweet Bird of Youth 6:00 PM Hud 8:00 PM Somebody Up There Likes Me 10:00 PM Cool Hand Luke 12:15 AM Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 2:15 AM Rachel, Rachel 4:00 AM The Outrage TCM Remembers Paul Newman (1925-2008) Paul Newman, with his electric blue eyes and gutsy willingness to play anti-heroes, established himself as one of the movies' great leading men before settling into his latter-day career of flinty character acting. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, in 1925, Newman studied at the Yale Drama School and New York's Actors Studio before making his Broadway debut in Picnic. Newman's breakthrough in films came in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), in which he played boxer Rocky Graziano. He quickly reinforced his reputation in such vehicles as The Rack (1956) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he won the first of nine Oscar® nominations as an actor. In 1958, while shooting The Long Hot Summer (1958) - which earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival - in Louisiana, he became re-acquainted with Joanne Woodward, who was the film's female lead. The two soon fell in love, and after divorcing Jackie, Newman and Woodward were married in Las Vegas in 1958. The couple appeared in numerous films together and had three daughters, which they raised far from Hollywood in the affluent neighborhood of Westport, CT. The 1960s was a fruitful decade for Newman, who starred in such hits as Exodus (1960), Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); and scored Oscar® nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). Newman's political activism also came to the forefront during the sixties, through tireless campaigning for Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign. His association with McCarthy led to his being named on future President Richard Nixon's infamous "Opponents List;" Newman, who ranked #19 out of 20, later commented that his inclusion was among the proudest achievements of his career. Newman's superstar status - he was the top-ranking box office star in 1969 and 1970 - allowed him to experiment with film roles during the 1970s, which led to quirky choices like WUSA (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971), Pocket Money (1972), and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) - all of which he also produced through First Artists, a company he established with fellow stars Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand. After coming close to winning an Oscar® for Absence of Malice (1981), Newman finally won the award itself for The Color of Money (1986). He also received an honorary Oscar® in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994. A producer and director as well as an actor, Newman has directed his wife (and frequent costar) Joanne Woodward through some of her most effective screen performances [Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)]. He remained active as an actor in his later years, playing the Stage Manager in Our Town on both stage and television, lending his voice to the animated features Cars (2006) and Mater and the Ghostlight (2006). Off-screen, Newman set the standard for celebrity-driven charities with his Newman's Own brand of foods, which brought $200 million to causes, and the Hole in the Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.

Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)


Elmer Bernstein, the film composer who created unforgettable music for such classics as The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, and won his only Academy Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, died of natural causes at his Ojai, California home on August 17. He was 82.

Elmer Bernstein, who was not related to Leonard Bernstein, was born on August 4, 1922, in New York City. He displayed a talent in music at a very young age, and was given a scholarship to study piano at Juilliard when he was only 12. He entered New York University in 1939, where he majored in music education. After graduating in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he remained throughout World War II, mostly working on scores for propaganda films. It was around this time he became interested in film scoring when he went to see William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), a film whose score was composed by Bernard Herrmann, a man Bernstein idolized as the ideal film composer.

Bernstein, who originally intended to be a concert pianist and gave several performances in New York after being discharged from military service, decided to relocate to Hollywood in 1950. He did his first score for the football film Saturday's Hero (1950), and then proved his worth with his trenchant, moody music for the Joan Crawford vehicle Sudden Fear (1952). Rumors of his "communist" leanings came to surface at this time, and, feeling the effects of the blacklist, he found himself scoring such cheesy fare as Robot Monster; Cat Women of the Moon (both 1953); and Miss Robin Caruso (1954).

Despite his politics, Otto Preminger hired him to do the music for The Man With the Golden Arm, (1955) in which Frank Sinatra played a heroin-addicted jazz musician. Fittingly, Bernstein used some memorable jazz motifs for the film and his fine scoring put him back on the map. It prompted the attention of Cecil B. De Mille, who had Bernstein replace the ailing Victor Young on The Ten Commandments (1956). His thundering, heavily orchestrated score perfectly suite the bombastic epic, and he promptly earned his first Oscar® nod for music.

After The Ten Commandments (1956), Bernstein continued to distinguish himself in a row of fine films: The Rainmaker (1956), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Some Came Running (1958), The Magnificent Seven (a most memorable galloping march, 1960); To Kill a Mockingbird (unique in its use of single piano notes and haunting use of a flute, 1962); Hud (1963); earned a deserved Academy Award for the delightful, "flapper" music for the Julie Andrews period comedy Thoroughly Modern Mille (1967), and True Grit (1969).

His career faltered by the '80s though, as he did some routine Bill Murray comedies: Meatballs (1980) and Stripes (1981). But then director John Landis had Bernstein write the sumptuous score for his comedy Trading Places (1983), and Bernstein soon found himself back in the game. He then graced the silver screen for a few more years composing some terrific pieces for such popular commercial hits as My Left Foot (1989), A River Runs Through It (1992) and The Age of Innocence (1993). Far From Heaven, his final feature film score, received an Oscar® nomination for Best Score in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Eve; sons Peter and Gregory; daughters Emilie and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)

Elmer Bernstein, the film composer who created unforgettable music for such classics as The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, and won his only Academy Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, died of natural causes at his Ojai, California home on August 17. He was 82. Elmer Bernstein, who was not related to Leonard Bernstein, was born on August 4, 1922, in New York City. He displayed a talent in music at a very young age, and was given a scholarship to study piano at Juilliard when he was only 12. He entered New York University in 1939, where he majored in music education. After graduating in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he remained throughout World War II, mostly working on scores for propaganda films. It was around this time he became interested in film scoring when he went to see William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), a film whose score was composed by Bernard Herrmann, a man Bernstein idolized as the ideal film composer. Bernstein, who originally intended to be a concert pianist and gave several performances in New York after being discharged from military service, decided to relocate to Hollywood in 1950. He did his first score for the football film Saturday's Hero (1950), and then proved his worth with his trenchant, moody music for the Joan Crawford vehicle Sudden Fear (1952). Rumors of his "communist" leanings came to surface at this time, and, feeling the effects of the blacklist, he found himself scoring such cheesy fare as Robot Monster; Cat Women of the Moon (both 1953); and Miss Robin Caruso (1954). Despite his politics, Otto Preminger hired him to do the music for The Man With the Golden Arm, (1955) in which Frank Sinatra played a heroin-addicted jazz musician. Fittingly, Bernstein used some memorable jazz motifs for the film and his fine scoring put him back on the map. It prompted the attention of Cecil B. De Mille, who had Bernstein replace the ailing Victor Young on The Ten Commandments (1956). His thundering, heavily orchestrated score perfectly suite the bombastic epic, and he promptly earned his first Oscar® nod for music. After The Ten Commandments (1956), Bernstein continued to distinguish himself in a row of fine films: The Rainmaker (1956), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Some Came Running (1958), The Magnificent Seven (a most memorable galloping march, 1960); To Kill a Mockingbird (unique in its use of single piano notes and haunting use of a flute, 1962); Hud (1963); earned a deserved Academy Award for the delightful, "flapper" music for the Julie Andrews period comedy Thoroughly Modern Mille (1967), and True Grit (1969). His career faltered by the '80s though, as he did some routine Bill Murray comedies: Meatballs (1980) and Stripes (1981). But then director John Landis had Bernstein write the sumptuous score for his comedy Trading Places (1983), and Bernstein soon found himself back in the game. He then graced the silver screen for a few more years composing some terrific pieces for such popular commercial hits as My Left Foot (1989), A River Runs Through It (1992) and The Age of Innocence (1993). Far From Heaven, his final feature film score, received an Oscar® nomination for Best Score in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Eve; sons Peter and Gregory; daughters Emilie and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers George Roy Hill, 1922-2002


George Roy Hill, the Academy Award winning director who is fondly remembered for guiding Paul Newman and Robert Redford in two of their most memorable hits, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), died Friday, December 20, 2002, in his New York City apartment. He was 81, and had been struggling with Parkinson's disease.

Born on December 20, 1922, to a well-to-do Minneapolis newspaper family, Hill would hang out at the local airfield as a child and watch the barnstorming pilots, fascinated by their theatrics. His intense interest would eventually drive him to earn his pilot's license by age 16. But his love for the performing arts was inspired by a different calling - the stage, where he appeared in student productions at his prep school in Hopkins, Minnesota. After graduating, he majored in music at Yale. A baritone, he became a member of the university Glee Club but he soon discovered that singing wasn't his forte. He found acting more suitable and joined the Dramatic Society, becoming its president and appearing in campus musicals. Ten days after graduating with a bachelor's degree in music in 1943, Hill joined the Navy. After flight school, he transferred to the Marines and piloted transport planes in the South Pacific during World War II.

Following the war, he worked briefly as a cub reporter on a family newspaper in Texas, then used the GI Bill to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where he earned a bachelor's degree in literature in 1949 and did a stint with the Abbey theatre. Back in the United States, he received good reviews in an off-Broadway play, Strindberg's The Creditors with Beatrice Arthur, and toured with Margaret Webster's Shakespearean company - a celebrated theatrical company for its time. The Korean War interrupted his career, when Hill was recalled to Marine duty, serving 18 months at a training center in North Carolina, and later emerging as a major. The time spent away from the theater was beneficial to Hill, and he decided to move away from acting toward writing. His scripts soon found their way to television and Hill quickly rose from assistant director to director on several of the most acclaimed live dramas of the '50s including The Helen Morgan Story, the original TV production of Judgment at Nuremberg. He also earned two Emmy Awards for writing and directing a Titanic story, A Night to Remember.

In 1957, Hill moved to Broadway, where he directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning Look Homeward, Angel. After directing Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment, Hill kicked off his film career by directing the 1962 film version, which gave Jane Fonda her first major role. He followed that up with the film adaptation of Lillian Hellman's classic play, Toys in the Attic (1963), but it would be his third film that would earn Hill critical acclaim, the marvelous Peter Sellers' comedy The World of Henry Orient (1964). The story concerning two teenage girls who stalk a concert pianist (Sellers) around New York City, established Hill's brisk style and his flair for bittersweet comedy. His next two films, both starring Julie Andrews, were James Michener's epic Hawaii (1966), and the big-budget musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Although his craftsmanship was always impeccable, both films failed to elevate him to the front ranks of Hollywood directors.

That all changed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Few associated with the film could have predicted that this light-hearted western would be the box-office smash it became when it was released, but audiences fell in love with this charming and innovative film. Instead of playing Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Redford) as vicious outlaws, Hill and screenwriter William Goldman made them easy-going, sympathetic drifters for whom robbing banks was just a game. As the director, Hill kept the balance between the film's comedy and drama pitch perfect, emphasizing the straightforward storytelling which was free from any heavy-handed editorializing. Also, by giving the characters a modern feel with contemporary dialogue and using an upbeat, pop-oriented Burt Bacharach score, Hill breathed fresh life into the Western genre. The film deservedly received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director; and earned Oscars for Conrad Hall's cinematography, Burt Bacharach's original score, the Bacharach/Hal David composition "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", as well as Goldman's original screenplay.

Newman and Redford would be reunited again with Hill for his next big hit The Sting, as con men who ensnare a brutal gangster (Robert Shaw) in an intricate scheme. A highly stylized piece of work, Hill crafted the film in the style of the old Saturday Evening Post graphics, complete with chapter headings; imitated the flat camera style that was employed for those classic Warner Bros. gangster movies and resurrected the ragtime piano of Scott Joplin for the score (as interpreted by Marvin Hamlisch). For his exceptional work, Hill won the Academy Award for Best Director and the film also bagged Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay (David S. Ward), Best Score (Hamlisch), Best Editing (William Reynolds), Best Costume Design (Edith Head) and Best Art Direction (Henry Bumstead and James Payne).

Hill would work with Redford and Newman again, albeit individually, later in the decade. The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), the story of a barnstorming pilot, was culled from some evocative childhood memories, yet despite the star power of Redford, it was not a success. Nor was the Paul Newman vehicle Slap Shot (1977), a raucous look at the lives of minor league ice hockey players. The off-color language and bawdy locker-room antics perplexed audiences and critics at the time, although it's now considered to be one of the best (and funniest) of all sports films.

Although he would never again scale the critical and commercial success of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or The Sting, Hill would enjoy later acclaim with the sweet natured A Little Romance (1979), starring Laurence Olivier and a 13-year-old Diane Lane; his ambitious adaptation of John Irving's episodic The World According to Garp (1982); and his final film, the slight, but pleasant Chevy Chase comedy Funny Farm (1988). Soon after that, Hill retired from Hollywood to teach at his old Alma Mater Yale. Hill is survived by his former wife, Louisa Horton, as well as two sons, George Roy Hill III of Roslyn, N.Y., and John Andrew Steele Hill of Ardsley, N.Y; two daughters, Frances Breckinridge Phipps of Dumont, N.J., and Owens Hill of Los Angeles; and 12 grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers George Roy Hill, 1922-2002

George Roy Hill, the Academy Award winning director who is fondly remembered for guiding Paul Newman and Robert Redford in two of their most memorable hits, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973), died Friday, December 20, 2002, in his New York City apartment. He was 81, and had been struggling with Parkinson's disease. Born on December 20, 1922, to a well-to-do Minneapolis newspaper family, Hill would hang out at the local airfield as a child and watch the barnstorming pilots, fascinated by their theatrics. His intense interest would eventually drive him to earn his pilot's license by age 16. But his love for the performing arts was inspired by a different calling - the stage, where he appeared in student productions at his prep school in Hopkins, Minnesota. After graduating, he majored in music at Yale. A baritone, he became a member of the university Glee Club but he soon discovered that singing wasn't his forte. He found acting more suitable and joined the Dramatic Society, becoming its president and appearing in campus musicals. Ten days after graduating with a bachelor's degree in music in 1943, Hill joined the Navy. After flight school, he transferred to the Marines and piloted transport planes in the South Pacific during World War II. Following the war, he worked briefly as a cub reporter on a family newspaper in Texas, then used the GI Bill to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where he earned a bachelor's degree in literature in 1949 and did a stint with the Abbey theatre. Back in the United States, he received good reviews in an off-Broadway play, Strindberg's The Creditors with Beatrice Arthur, and toured with Margaret Webster's Shakespearean company - a celebrated theatrical company for its time. The Korean War interrupted his career, when Hill was recalled to Marine duty, serving 18 months at a training center in North Carolina, and later emerging as a major. The time spent away from the theater was beneficial to Hill, and he decided to move away from acting toward writing. His scripts soon found their way to television and Hill quickly rose from assistant director to director on several of the most acclaimed live dramas of the '50s including The Helen Morgan Story, the original TV production of Judgment at Nuremberg. He also earned two Emmy Awards for writing and directing a Titanic story, A Night to Remember. In 1957, Hill moved to Broadway, where he directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning Look Homeward, Angel. After directing Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment, Hill kicked off his film career by directing the 1962 film version, which gave Jane Fonda her first major role. He followed that up with the film adaptation of Lillian Hellman's classic play, Toys in the Attic (1963), but it would be his third film that would earn Hill critical acclaim, the marvelous Peter Sellers' comedy The World of Henry Orient (1964). The story concerning two teenage girls who stalk a concert pianist (Sellers) around New York City, established Hill's brisk style and his flair for bittersweet comedy. His next two films, both starring Julie Andrews, were James Michener's epic Hawaii (1966), and the big-budget musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Although his craftsmanship was always impeccable, both films failed to elevate him to the front ranks of Hollywood directors. That all changed with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Few associated with the film could have predicted that this light-hearted western would be the box-office smash it became when it was released, but audiences fell in love with this charming and innovative film. Instead of playing Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Redford) as vicious outlaws, Hill and screenwriter William Goldman made them easy-going, sympathetic drifters for whom robbing banks was just a game. As the director, Hill kept the balance between the film's comedy and drama pitch perfect, emphasizing the straightforward storytelling which was free from any heavy-handed editorializing. Also, by giving the characters a modern feel with contemporary dialogue and using an upbeat, pop-oriented Burt Bacharach score, Hill breathed fresh life into the Western genre. The film deservedly received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director; and earned Oscars for Conrad Hall's cinematography, Burt Bacharach's original score, the Bacharach/Hal David composition "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", as well as Goldman's original screenplay. Newman and Redford would be reunited again with Hill for his next big hit The Sting, as con men who ensnare a brutal gangster (Robert Shaw) in an intricate scheme. A highly stylized piece of work, Hill crafted the film in the style of the old Saturday Evening Post graphics, complete with chapter headings; imitated the flat camera style that was employed for those classic Warner Bros. gangster movies and resurrected the ragtime piano of Scott Joplin for the score (as interpreted by Marvin Hamlisch). For his exceptional work, Hill won the Academy Award for Best Director and the film also bagged Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay (David S. Ward), Best Score (Hamlisch), Best Editing (William Reynolds), Best Costume Design (Edith Head) and Best Art Direction (Henry Bumstead and James Payne). Hill would work with Redford and Newman again, albeit individually, later in the decade. The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), the story of a barnstorming pilot, was culled from some evocative childhood memories, yet despite the star power of Redford, it was not a success. Nor was the Paul Newman vehicle Slap Shot (1977), a raucous look at the lives of minor league ice hockey players. The off-color language and bawdy locker-room antics perplexed audiences and critics at the time, although it's now considered to be one of the best (and funniest) of all sports films. Although he would never again scale the critical and commercial success of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or The Sting, Hill would enjoy later acclaim with the sweet natured A Little Romance (1979), starring Laurence Olivier and a 13-year-old Diane Lane; his ambitious adaptation of John Irving's episodic The World According to Garp (1982); and his final film, the slight, but pleasant Chevy Chase comedy Funny Farm (1988). Soon after that, Hill retired from Hollywood to teach at his old Alma Mater Yale. Hill is survived by his former wife, Louisa Horton, as well as two sons, George Roy Hill III of Roslyn, N.Y., and John Andrew Steele Hill of Ardsley, N.Y; two daughters, Frances Breckinridge Phipps of Dumont, N.J., and Owens Hill of Los Angeles; and 12 grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Slap Shot


Among sports films, Slap Shot (1977), directed by George Roy Hill, is something of an anomaly. Falling somewhere between a feel-good, audience pleaser like Rocky (1976) where the underdog triumphs and a cynical expose like The Set-up (1949) in which the profession is tarnished by corruption, this tale of a minor-league hockey team facing its final season skates a fine line between a violent slapstick comedy (the ice rink sequences are rife with bloody Three Stooges-like routines) and a sharp social critique of the sport as it impacts the lives of its owners, players and fans.

Paul Newman stars as Reggie Dunlop, coach and player of the Charleston Chiefs, a losing hockey franchise from an economically depressed mill town. Through his own unscrupulous manipulation, Reggie manages to transform his team into unlikely champions by breaking the rules; the Chiefs are encouraged to fight dirty and soon their no-holds-barred approach draws enthusiastic crowds, anxious to see blood on the ice. The team's success is ultimately threatened by a league rival whose members are even more undisciplined and dangerous than the Chief's toughest players.

While some aspects of professional hockey are exaggerated for humorous effect in Slap Shot, the dialogue, particularly the way the players talk during the games and in the locker rooms, is unflinchingly realistic; it's unashamedly profane and has the ring of authenticity. Even more surprising is the fact that it's written by a woman, Nancy Dowd, who would pen the Oscar-winning story treatment for Coming Home (1978) the following year. Dowd modeled her dialogue on tapes that were recorded by her brother Ned, a former hockey player, behind closed doors and on team buses.

In The Films of George Roy Hill by Andrew Horton, Dowd revealed that one of her main objectives in Slap Shot was "To show that the level of violence we have in our entertainment is the thing that prevents people, especially men, from growing up." This is not only evident in the way Dowd depicts team members like the Hanson brothers, a roughneck trio who are first seen demolishing a coke machine, but also in the way she explores the relationships between the team members and the women in their lives. While the Hanson Brothers are clearly more interested in playing with toy trains than hockey groupies, the other players don't fare much better in the bedroom despite their locker room boasts and bravado. Reggie, who initiates an affair with the wife (Lindsay Crouse) of his star player Ned (Michael Ontkean), is driven more by the need to manipulate a problematic team member than desire. And most of the players seem to prefer hanging out in bars with their teammates during off time as opposed to staying home with their wives or girlfriends. Clearly part of the problem can be blamed on the punishing lifestyle of the professional athlete - the constant traveling with little time for privacy or self-reflection, a milieu that Hill perfectly captures in Slap Shot. It's no wonder that some of the hockey wives turn to alcohol or a new sexual partner as solace for their lonely existence.

The depiction of the Chiefs' management and rise to success in Slap Shot is equally unromanticized. The integrity of the sport is shown to be completely compromised by the bottom line - the need to draw huge crowds and generate large profits. [Spoiler Alert] Even at the end when the Chiefs triumph, the victory is a hollow one because we know most of the players are incapable of change and will continue to live in a state of arrested adolescence. Yet, the film's cynicism is often refreshing instead of alienating thanks to its frenetic pacing and anarchic humor that erupts in surprising ways such as Ned's public striptease in the midst of a chaotic game.

Despite the presence of Paul Newman (still a major box office draw at the time), Slap Shot was not a major hit and many critics had mixed feelings about the film's cartoon-like violence and explicit language. Pauline Kael, one of the film's defenders despite some minor reservations, said it best when she wrote, "Hill is making a farcical hymn to violence. Dede Allen's hot-foot editing moves the action along from zinger to zinger, and the Maxine Nightingale record "Right Back Where We Started From" punches up the pacing. The beat gives the film a relentlessness, and expletives are sprinkled around like manure to give it funky seasoning...Paul Newman, as Reggie....is scarred and bruised, and there are gold rims on his chipped teeth; you don't see much of his eyes. He has never grown up - he's a raucous American innocent, an overage jock, thin-skinned but a little thickheaded. Newman's likableness in the role is infectious." He should have received an Oscar nomination for his performance but Slap Shot was ignored in all categories during 1977's Academy Award race, the year Annie Hall claimed most of the major awards.

Producer: Robert L. Crawford, Stephen Friedman, Robert J. Wunsch
Director: George Roy Hill
Screenplay: Nancy Dowd
Cinematography: Victor J. Kemper
Film Editing: Dede Allen
Art Direction: Henry Bumstead
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Cast: Paul Newman (Reggie Dunlop), Strother Martin (Joe McGrath), Michael Ontkean (Ned Braden), Jennifer Warren (Francine Dunlop), Lindsay Crouse (Lily Braden), Jerry Houser ("Killer" Carson).
C-118m. Letterboxed.

by Jeff Stafford

Slap Shot

Among sports films, Slap Shot (1977), directed by George Roy Hill, is something of an anomaly. Falling somewhere between a feel-good, audience pleaser like Rocky (1976) where the underdog triumphs and a cynical expose like The Set-up (1949) in which the profession is tarnished by corruption, this tale of a minor-league hockey team facing its final season skates a fine line between a violent slapstick comedy (the ice rink sequences are rife with bloody Three Stooges-like routines) and a sharp social critique of the sport as it impacts the lives of its owners, players and fans. Paul Newman stars as Reggie Dunlop, coach and player of the Charleston Chiefs, a losing hockey franchise from an economically depressed mill town. Through his own unscrupulous manipulation, Reggie manages to transform his team into unlikely champions by breaking the rules; the Chiefs are encouraged to fight dirty and soon their no-holds-barred approach draws enthusiastic crowds, anxious to see blood on the ice. The team's success is ultimately threatened by a league rival whose members are even more undisciplined and dangerous than the Chief's toughest players. While some aspects of professional hockey are exaggerated for humorous effect in Slap Shot, the dialogue, particularly the way the players talk during the games and in the locker rooms, is unflinchingly realistic; it's unashamedly profane and has the ring of authenticity. Even more surprising is the fact that it's written by a woman, Nancy Dowd, who would pen the Oscar-winning story treatment for Coming Home (1978) the following year. Dowd modeled her dialogue on tapes that were recorded by her brother Ned, a former hockey player, behind closed doors and on team buses. In The Films of George Roy Hill by Andrew Horton, Dowd revealed that one of her main objectives in Slap Shot was "To show that the level of violence we have in our entertainment is the thing that prevents people, especially men, from growing up." This is not only evident in the way Dowd depicts team members like the Hanson brothers, a roughneck trio who are first seen demolishing a coke machine, but also in the way she explores the relationships between the team members and the women in their lives. While the Hanson Brothers are clearly more interested in playing with toy trains than hockey groupies, the other players don't fare much better in the bedroom despite their locker room boasts and bravado. Reggie, who initiates an affair with the wife (Lindsay Crouse) of his star player Ned (Michael Ontkean), is driven more by the need to manipulate a problematic team member than desire. And most of the players seem to prefer hanging out in bars with their teammates during off time as opposed to staying home with their wives or girlfriends. Clearly part of the problem can be blamed on the punishing lifestyle of the professional athlete - the constant traveling with little time for privacy or self-reflection, a milieu that Hill perfectly captures in Slap Shot. It's no wonder that some of the hockey wives turn to alcohol or a new sexual partner as solace for their lonely existence. The depiction of the Chiefs' management and rise to success in Slap Shot is equally unromanticized. The integrity of the sport is shown to be completely compromised by the bottom line - the need to draw huge crowds and generate large profits. [Spoiler Alert] Even at the end when the Chiefs triumph, the victory is a hollow one because we know most of the players are incapable of change and will continue to live in a state of arrested adolescence. Yet, the film's cynicism is often refreshing instead of alienating thanks to its frenetic pacing and anarchic humor that erupts in surprising ways such as Ned's public striptease in the midst of a chaotic game. Despite the presence of Paul Newman (still a major box office draw at the time), Slap Shot was not a major hit and many critics had mixed feelings about the film's cartoon-like violence and explicit language. Pauline Kael, one of the film's defenders despite some minor reservations, said it best when she wrote, "Hill is making a farcical hymn to violence. Dede Allen's hot-foot editing moves the action along from zinger to zinger, and the Maxine Nightingale record "Right Back Where We Started From" punches up the pacing. The beat gives the film a relentlessness, and expletives are sprinkled around like manure to give it funky seasoning...Paul Newman, as Reggie....is scarred and bruised, and there are gold rims on his chipped teeth; you don't see much of his eyes. He has never grown up - he's a raucous American innocent, an overage jock, thin-skinned but a little thickheaded. Newman's likableness in the role is infectious." He should have received an Oscar nomination for his performance but Slap Shot was ignored in all categories during 1977's Academy Award race, the year Annie Hall claimed most of the major awards. Producer: Robert L. Crawford, Stephen Friedman, Robert J. Wunsch Director: George Roy Hill Screenplay: Nancy Dowd Cinematography: Victor J. Kemper Film Editing: Dede Allen Art Direction: Henry Bumstead Music: Elmer Bernstein Cast: Paul Newman (Reggie Dunlop), Strother Martin (Joe McGrath), Michael Ontkean (Ned Braden), Jennifer Warren (Francine Dunlop), Lindsay Crouse (Lily Braden), Jerry Houser ("Killer" Carson). C-118m. Letterboxed. by Jeff Stafford

Quotes

I may be bald, but at least I'm not chickenshit.
- Jim Carr
Suzanne sucks pussy. She's a dyke. I know. I know. A lesbian. A lesbian. A lesbian.
- Reggie Dunlop
You cheap sonofabitch. Those guys are retards.
- Reggie Dunlop
I got a good deal on those boys. Scout said they showed a lot of promise.
- McGrath
They brought their fuckin' TOYS with 'em.
- Reggie Dunlop
Better they play with their toys than with themselves.
- McGrath
They're too dumb to play with themselves. Boy, every piece of garbage that comes on the market you gotta buy it.
- Reggie Dunlop
Reg, Reg, that reminds me. I was coachin' in Omaha in 1948 and Eddie Shore sends me this guy who was a terrible masturbator. He would get deliberate penalties so he could get over in the penalty box all by himself and damned if he wouldn't . . .
- McGrath
She underlines the fuck scenes for ya? Jesus, if she underlines the fuck scenes for ya, she must worship the ground you walk on.
- Reggie Dunlop
They teach you how to underline in college.
- Ned Braden
Not the fuck scenes, they don't.
- Reggie Dunlop
Ned, what's a young man of your background still doing playing professional hockey?
- Jim Carr
I hate my father.
- Ned Braden
Is that right?
- Jim Carr
That's what I said, isn't it?
- Ned Braden

Trivia

The referees in the game scenes wear red-striped jerseys instead of black, as was done in the now-defunct World Hockey Association.

In 1992, Steve Carlson became the real-life head coach of the Memphis Riverkings, a Central Hockey League team.

All the original songs in the theatrical release, as well as versions shown on T.V., were replaced by other songs on the VHS and DVD release.

Many of the extras in the game scenes (as well as the Hanson brothers) played for the Johnstown Jets, a club in the now-defunct minor-pro North American Hockey League.

All three Hanson brothers played professional hockey either in the World Hockey Association and/or the National Hockey League

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States July 1984

Released in United States Spring March 1977

Re-released in United States on Video August 6, 1996

Released in USA on laserdisc March 28, 1991.

Released in United States Spring March 1977

Released in United States July 1984 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (50 Hour Sports Movie Marathon) July 5-20, 1984.)

Re-released in United States on Video August 6, 1996