Slap Shot Poster

Release Date: February 25th, 1977

DVD Release Date: January 5th, 1999

R|2 hr 3 min

Plot Summary
In the small New England town of Charlestown, the local mill is about to lay off 10,000 workers. The town's minor league hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs, is doing no better. After years of failure, this will be the team's last season. Exasperated player and coach Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) lets the club's recent acquisitions, the Hanson Brothers, play. The brothers' actively violent and thuggish style of play excites the fans. Dunlop retools the team, using violence to draw big crowds.

Cast: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Lindsay Crouse, Strother Martin, Jennifer Warren, Jerry Houser, Andrew Duncan, Jeff Carlson

Director: George Hill

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Universal Pictures, Kings Road Entertainment, Pan Arts Productions

Distributors: MCA/Universal Pictures [us], MCA

Keywords: Wife, 1970s, Hilarious, Offbeat, Transformation, Underdog, Small town

Ratings & Reviews

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  • It's really just an old-fashioned piece of wish fulfilment, rather duplicitously dressed up in foul language and sexual references in a cynical attempt to look modern. That said, there are still some nice touches of absurdist satirical wit hanging out along the sidelines, given extra bite by Dede Allen's superbly pacy editing. show more

  • The performances—which have a lot to do with the right casting, particularly in the smaller roles—are impeccable. Paul Newman maintains an easy balance between star and character-actor. The leading-man authority is there, but it's given comic perspective by the intensity of the character and by its tackiness, evident even in the clothes he wears. show more

  • Rowdy, raunchy, hilarious, absurd, deeply depressing and profoundly human – often all at the same time – Slap Shot is refreshingly devoid of phony uplift or showy monologues. There's no jerking of tears or pulling of heartstrings, no big lessons to be learned beyond the harsh reminder that sports is a business; the passion of its fans and the heroics of its players are ultimately less important than the clang of the cash register. It's the rare combination of both team-spirit uplift and period-appropriate downer. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com