peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 01 25 SlapShot

Slap Shot

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A bit of Paul Newman completism via Renata Adler's 1980 attempt to bury the hatchet in Pauline Kael, and a step further back, that scatty but intriguing book review. Minor league ice hockey! Of the old-fashioned kind. What's not to like! After a hilarious opening things sag a bit as it tries to find a plot and pathos in what is more-or-less the type of mindless violence that crowds love so much. Written by Nancy Dowd who later got an Oscar for Coming Home. Loads of swearing, and more one-liners than your average Arnie flick. Everyone is awesome, especially Michael Ontkean (Sheriff Harry S. Truman in Twin Peaks) playing the straight man to Newman's aged, womanising pragmatist of a captain-coach. Relax and enjoy. There's almost no hockey in it.

Somehow Roger Ebert didn't review this one. Vincent Canby. George Roy Hill directed Newman in The Sting (for which he was Oscared) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.