Slap Shot (1977)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sports Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 25, 1977 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 123 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brendon Hanley

Raw and somewhat controversial in terms of its language and violence, the hockey comedy-drama Slap Shot was a departure for director George Roy Hill, whose previous 1970s output included the period adventures The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) and The Sting (1973). Writer Nancy Dowd carefully balances hilarious rowdiness -- both on and off the ice -- with surprisingly effective emotional tension. Despite the change of pace, Hill revisits some of his favorite pet themes, most notably that of a man becoming painfully aware of the end of an era. To this end, the director re-teams with Paul Newman, who perfectly captures the grizzled, nothing-to-lose attitude of Slap Shot's aging hockey-coach hero. Newman would continue to explore this type of character shading in films such as 1986's The Color of Money.