Reggie Dunlop: You cheap son of a bitch, are you crazy? Those guys are retards!
Joe McGrath: I got a good deal on those boys. The scout said they showed a lot of promise.
Reggie Dunlop: They brought their fucking TOYS with 'em!
Joe McGrath: I'd rather have 'em playing with their toys than playing with themselves.
Reggie Dunlop: They're too dumb to play with themselves!
Slap Shot is a 1977 sports comedy film that was directed by George Roy Hill, best known for The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and written by Nancy Dowd. It has a runtime of 122 minutes and was released in the US with a rating of R.
The Chiefs are one of the worst possible hockey teams out there. Their fans hate them, they have no teamwork, and they're known for recruiting complete unknowns. When Reggie Dunlop, their coach and a player, finds out that they're probably going to be closed down, he decides to come up with a plan. He's far too old to transfer to another team, and he's been in hockey so long that he doesn't have any real world skills.
His plan is to attract the crowds. Make them roar. Make them love the team, so much that the unknown owner will have to sell them! He starts rumors in the team and press that a Florida retirement community wants to buy them. This gives some of the players hope, then he moves onto the next step: the crowd. How does he decide to pull the people in, why with violence. He's able to get the team riled up and into fights. In and out of the rink. It's a perfect plan, and the only member of the team smart enough to see through it is college graduate, Joe McGrath, who refuses to play that sort of game.
Definitly not one of George Roy Hill's best, but it is fun and piercing. It's a great criticism on violence in sports, and also how owners act much above the players they employ. It's an amazing role for Paul Newman, and some might be quite amazed at the amount of cussing he does. The pressure that is placed on Strother Martin's character is very well done, as well as the showing of his boiling point. Hilarious, fun, and intelligent. A pleasant movie to watch.
One interesting fact to note is that the Syracuse Bulldogs that the Chiefs play in their last game wear the same uniforms of the Philadelphia Flyers, who led with the greatest amount of penalty minutes in 1972-73. Another piece of trivia that has been brought up is that the people playing the Hanson Brothers, David Hanson, Steve Carlson, and Jeff Carlson, actually did play for the hockey team the Johnstown Jets. The scriptwriter, Nancy Dowd, was from Johstown where the film was also filmed.
Some of the ideas of the movie may seem familiar, because this film was later remade as Major League, the movie about a failing baseball team. I enjoy Major League as well, but this film is far superior and has a much more in depth theme. Also, the band Hanson Brothers(not Hanson) probably acquired their name from the three immoral brothers in this film.
Slap Shot also has a sequel that was released in March 26, 2002, named Slap Shot II: Breaking the Ice.
Paul Newman - Reggie Dunlop
Strother Martin - Joe McGrath
Michael Ontkean - Ned Braden
Jennifer Warren - Francine Dunlop
Lindsay Crouse - Lily Braden
Jerry Houser - Dave 'Killer' Carlson
Andrew Duncan - Jim Carr
Jeff Carlson - Jeff Hanson
Steve Carlson - Steve Hanson
David Hanson - Jack Hanson
Yvon Barrette - Denis Lemieux
Allan F. Nicholls - Johnny Upton
Brad Sullivan - Morris Wanchuk
Stephen Mendillo - Jim Ahern
Yvan Ponton - Jean-Guy Drouin
Alias Mother Jonez