Facts about "Hoosiers" you probably never knew

That was actually pretty interesting.

It would have been interesting to see how Jack Nicholson would have done as the coach, because he actually understood and played a lot of hoops growing up. (He wasn’t actually good, of course, but I remember reading an article about Nicholson where it described as a youth in New Jersey his being a hustler for pickup one-on-one games. He pretended he knew nothing about basketball, just an ignorant oaf who was up for a challenge, but then he actually had some game and would make a little money on the hustle.)

Gene Hackman was a talented actor, but my favorite role of his was as the cartoonish family patriarch in Royal Tenenbaums. In this scene, he tries to pick a fight with Danny Glover until Angelica Huston tells them both to grow up.

“Did you call me Coltrane?”


Jack Nicholson was a courtside fixture at Lakers game for many years. Missed very few games (many celebs just show up for playoffs and games against big-name teams).

One time Andre Miller playing for Denver in the playoffs had a stellar game in an upset win for the Nuggets and when the final buzzer sounded, Jack walked out onto the court to shake his hand.


One of the things I liked about Hoosiers is all the different camera angles showing the games. Also, as mentioned in the video, that they played the games like they did in the 50’s, no dunks or the like.


Such a great movie. I’ve watched it many times.


Writer/producer Angelo Pizzo on Gene Hackman during filming of “Hooisers” (1986): “When he arrived, he was in a generally foul mood. We called him the black cloud. He started complaining about everything. There were some blowups on the set, some throwing of jackets and near-fistfights. There was all sorts of drama on the set. Then Dennis Hopper arrived three weeks into shooting, and he settled Gene down. I think Gene decided to just suck it up and finish it and get out of there.”

According to Pizzo, on the last day of filming, Hackman said, “I just want you to be prepared for the fact that this movie might get on a few screens here in Indiana, but then it will end up in the dustbin of films that never made it, and the only people who will remember it are you two. And I hope I forget it when my plane lands in Los Angeles.” Commented Pizzo, “Gene had a lot more experience in filmmaking than we did, so we thought his assessment was probably accurate.”

During a happy montage of Hickory High School winning a string of games, Hackman’s character was shown saying something to Hopper’s character on the bench that made Shooter laugh. It wasn’t until years later that director David Anspaugh learned what Hopper was laughing at: Hackman had told him, “Hopper, I hope you’ve invested well, because you and I are never gonna work after this movie. This is a career-ending film for both of us.”

Hackman: “I took the film at a time that I was desperate for money. I took it for all the wrong reasons, and it turned out to be one of those films that stick around. I was from that area of the country and knew of that event, strangely enough. We filmed fifty miles from where I was brought up. So it was a bizarre feeling. I never expected the film to have the kind of legs it’s had.”

Hackman insisted on viewing a rough cut of the film before going in to re-record some of his audio. “Angelo and I knew that if he didn’t like the [rough cut], he wouldn’t show up at the studio to re-record his dialog,” Anspaugh said. "But he showed up. He walked into the room, took his glasses off, looked me in the eyes, and said, ‘How the hell did you do that?’’

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“I love you guys.”


I wonder if Gene Hackman being an ■■■ was because he really didn’t understand basketball, or if he’s just wound tight. Maybe both. I remember Bob Knight saying he thought Hackman did a great job, but Bob probably had a soft spot for fellow ■■■■■■■■■

Regardless, the movie has stood the test of time.


Somewhere in the stories I found about :“Hoosiers” I read that Hackman liked to create tension on the movie sets he worked. Seems he thought it helped him. (Not exactly a great team-oriented mentality.)