Monday, June 10, 2013

Slap Shot (1977)

Paul Newman Film Fest Movie #1

Synopsis: Harsh hockey honcho hustles hotheaded headliners, humours hopeless hamlet, harms hostile hooligans.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “This irreverent and outrageously funny look into the world of professional hockey has Paul Newman as the coach of the Chiefs, a third-rate, minor league hockey team. To build up attendance at their games, management signs up three odd-looking players whose job it is to literally attack and demolish the opposition, to the delight and cheers of the steadily increasing throng of fans.”

What Did I Learn?: Openly questioning the sexual orientation of the opposing goalie's wife is an effective means of scoring a goal or two.

Really?: Slap Shot is an often-silly film, and it might not be entirely fair to judge it on this basis. That said, I had a hard time believing the Chiefs could get away with even a fraction of their violent shenanigans without winding up in prison, or at least getting suspended from the "Federal League".   

Rating: Oh dear... I have a feeling the reaction to this review is going to be a replay of those occasions when I reviewed Raiders of the Lost Ark and Gosford Park. I realize there are hockey fans out there who consider Slap Shot to be a cinematic masterpiece. Unfortunately, I've never been into the sport, so I'll be truthful and admit this isn't one of my favourites.
Slap Shot isn't a bad movie, but it often doesn't seem to know if it's supposed to be clever satire or a dopey comedy for sugared-up rugrats. Newman is great as a world-weary player/coach who does his best to play a losing hand, and the film takes an unsentimental, cynical look at minor league hockey. That said, Slap Shot is marred by some very juvenile and low-brow humour, and there are more than a few occasions when it becomes difficult to like Newman's character. 6.5/10 stars.


  1. From Mile 40 SaskatchewanJune 10, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Oh Eli, so wrong. So wrong. This is genius. A film for the ages.

  2. Hi Mile 40:

    Haha - oh well, we can agree to disagree. Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. Just curious: do we know each other?


  3. It's Webb - just used a line from the movie as an ID


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