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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little known classic.
I first saw this film when I was about ten years old, one rainy Saturday afternoon on ITV. It was broadcast as Hoosiers. Tracking down the DVD only became easy once I found out it's name had been changed to Best Shot, probably because no one in the UK knows what a Hoosier is (it means a person from Indiana by the way).
The film starts with Gene Hackman driving...
Published on 26 July 2009 by Kevin

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No longer holds up.
It's hard to say if "Best shot" was a good movie back in 1986 where there hadn't yet been anything quit like it, but now, the movie's weak produktion values and sub-good acting performances really starts to kick it down a notch.
Like Coach carter, the movie revolves around an old basketball player, returning to his old school, too teach the schools splitted...
Published on 4 Nov 2010 by Martin


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little known classic., 26 July 2009
By 
Kevin (Leeds) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this film when I was about ten years old, one rainy Saturday afternoon on ITV. It was broadcast as Hoosiers. Tracking down the DVD only became easy once I found out it's name had been changed to Best Shot, probably because no one in the UK knows what a Hoosier is (it means a person from Indiana by the way).
The film starts with Gene Hackman driving through rural Indiana on his way to his new job as a high school basketball coach. Early in the film it becomes clear that the character has a checkered past. Much of the story is predictable, the town's local folk don't like him, there's a potential love interest, he has an unusual style of coaching which first off is a failure but eventually comes good.
What I really like is this film's style. It's not fast action, it's thoughtful. Gene Hackman is excellent in this film, I think the style suits him. Dennis Hopper shows he can play a mean drunk.
On paper, this film should be quite forgettable, but as long as you're not hoping for a fast action thriller, I think most people can't help but love this little gem.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Hackman Performance Since The French Connection, 9 Oct 2003
This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] (DVD)
Did this film get a cinematic release in 1986 ? If it did it was a very short run and I missed it. The confusion of it's title probably didn't help...Best Shot/Hoosiers.
It's a shame because Hackman's performance as coach Norman Dale is the best role I've seen him in since winning the Oscar for The French Connection back in 1971. The story is simplistic but filmed and told with a lot of style. Hackman, of course, is at the center of the story and carries it off with style. All this and a fantastic score by Jerry Goldsmith as well. A must see/buy now that it's available on DVD for a reasonable price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOOP DREAMS..., 11 Nov 2002
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is a superlative film, beautifully directed by David Anspaugh, about a great basketball coach whose initial coaching career was derailed by his Achilles heel. It is a story about the effect that one can have on the lives of others. It is a story about being given a second chance. It is a story about hope. It is a story about redemption. It is a story about community. It is a story about overcoming all odds. Quite simply, it is a film that will not fail to capture the viewer, heart and soul.

The setting for the film is the nineteen fifties and appears to be based upon a true story. Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) has a skeleton in his closet and is given a second chance at coaching. Buried deep in the cornfields of Indiana is the small town of Hickory, which has a very small high school with a basketball team called the Hickory Hucksters. Coach Dale takes this team and tries to ensure that the players are all grounded in the fundamentals of the game, as their idea of basketball had been just to point and shoot. He wants to make it a team of which all can be proud. His hardline approach meets some initial resistance that causes his best player to leave the team, but even he eventually returns to the fold. This is not, however, just a film about a basketball team's struggle to make it to the state championship.

This being a small town, Coach Dale, as an outsider, runs into some small town politics that threaten to run him out of town. Cooler heads prevail, and he is given his chance to be all he can be. While what he does with the team is remarkable, it is his interaction with others in the town that is even more so. He begins a relationship with the high school's assistant principal, Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey), and brings some passion into her otherwise lackluster existence. He takes Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch (Dennis Hopper), the town drunk and estranged father to one of the team's key players, under his wing and gives him a new lease on life. Along the way, Coach Dale even manages to give the town a basketball team of which it can be proud. He and the team put the town on the map. How they do it is the crux of the movie.

Gene Hackman is simply sensational as the coach, a man who wants his life back and is given a second chance to grab for the brass ring. He infuses his character with a toughness and, simultaneously, a tenderness that makes him three dimensional. Dennis Hopper gives a truly remarkable performance as the drunk who finds his way out of the bottle long enough to take stock of himself. When Coach Hackman, seeing that he has a lot of knowledge of basketball, extends him a helping hand and affords him an opportunity to regain his self-respect and repair his relationship with his son, he responds in a way he had never thought possible. Hopper gives a performance of a lifetime, infusing his character with just the right amount of pathos, vulnerability, and hope. His is truly a bravura performance. Barbara Hershey, as always, gives an excellent performance, impressing upon the viewer the internal conflicts with which her character is struggling. The rest of the supporting cast contribute with fine performances, as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific sports film, in spite of the clichés, 18 Jan 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] (DVD)
This is a movie I almost wish I loved less. It's hard to argue with a lot of the intelligent complaints I've heard from others; the film is very Hollywood, with manipulative music, some clunky dialogue, heavy doses of sentimentality, etc

But, as a true story, it earns its happy ending. The story really was almost this dramatic in real life. And the bottom line is it is very effective and affecting film.

Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper are great, and the film is full of lots of nice touches of time, place, and character.

Some familiarity with basketball as a sport helps, but isn't essential. This is more a film about small-town life,
and leadership under pressure.

In the end I would argue (with an embarrassed cringe) , sometime Hollywood and well-intentioned schmaltz really, really works.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Coaching Movie of all time, 24 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] (DVD)
Considered by many as the best sports movie of all time, "Best Shot" was released in the USA as "The Hoosiers". Nominated for two oscars it shows wonderful examples of leadership, coaching and teamwork.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great underdog story and basketball film., 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Hoosiers (Amazon Instant Video)
An awesome film for me, I remember watching this as a kid and loving it. Gene Hackman is always great to watch and is excellent as the out of town coach with a hidden past. He has nothing to lose and a lot of work to do, to gain any respect from the town. He wastes no time in making enemies and his strict and unwavering rules breed resentment from the tiny town as they are unwilling to accept change and something new. It's brilliant to see Hackman stick to his convictions as he turns the team around and gives them all hope of success. Along this journey he also shows a softer side as he takes a risk on the town drunk, Dennis Hopper. A great underdog story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good..., 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
Nothing like Indiana basketball, now is there?
And Gene Hackman makes it worth your while.
I seem to remember seeing it under a different
title where it was called "Hoosiers"...
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5.0 out of 5 stars High school basketball champs, 25 July 2013
By 
This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] [1986] (DVD)
A small town high school basketball team comes together, qualifies, and makes their way to the championship game where they must play against bigger schools. Heartwarming.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A personal perspective, 5 May 2013
By 
K. J. Kendall "stonewulf" (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This movie is based (very loosely) on the team my high school principle played on. He even has a bit part in the film.(He's the official who greets the team at the arena where the finals are played). While the events are not entirely accurate they did a great job of capturing what is a unique part of life in small town Indiana where high school basketball was king, and the tournament was open to any school to win. Sadly this has passed and the state now has a classed tournament. The underlying story of personal redemption is well told. I am glad to see the original title of the movie has been restored at least in the UK. I understand that the term "Hoosiers" doesn't lend itself to being understood outside of the US, but "Best Shot" just doesn't capture the meaning of what it's like to be a native of Indiana.
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5.0 out of 5 stars far better than i expected., 4 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Best Shot [DVD] (DVD)
When ordering this, I had reservations as to how good it might be and finally bought it solely because I am an admirer
of Gene Hackman, who rarely if ever disappoints. He certainly fully met my expectations. A really most enjoyable
film, greatly enjoyed by my wife who is certainly not a sports fan.
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Best Shot [DVD] [1986]
Best Shot [DVD] [1986] by David Anspaugh (DVD - 2013)
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