Blue Chips

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Blue Chips

Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Friedkin
Produced byRon Shelton
Written byRon Shelton
StarringNick Nolte
Shaquille O'Neal
Mary McDonnell
J. T. Walsh
Alfre Woodard
Ed O'Neill
Music byJeff Beck
Nile Rodgers
CinematographyTom Priestly Jr.
Editing byRobert K. Lambert
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date(s)February 18, 1994
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited states
LanguageEnglish
Budget$35 million
Box office$23,070,663
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Blue Chips

Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Friedkin
Produced byRon Shelton
Written byRon Shelton
StarringNick Nolte
Shaquille O'Neal
Mary McDonnell
J. T. Walsh
Alfre Woodard
Ed O'Neill
Music byJeff Beck
Nile Rodgers
CinematographyTom Priestly Jr.
Editing byRobert K. Lambert
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date(s)February 18, 1994
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited states
LanguageEnglish
Budget$35 million
Box office$23,070,663

Blue Chips is a 1994 drama film about basketball, directed by William Friedkin, written by Ron Shelton and starring Nick Nolte as a college coach and real-life basketball stars Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway as talented finds.

It features cameos from noted basketball figures Bob Knight, Rick Pitino, Nolan Richardson, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Jerry Tarkanian, Matt Painter, Allan Houston, Dick Vitale and Jim Boeheim, as well as Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr.

Contents

Plot

Pete Bell (Nolte), a college basketball coach for the fictional Western University Dolphins, is under a lot of pressure. His team isn't winning as often as it once did and his successful program needs to attract new star players and fast. But the brightest stars of the future — the so-called "blue-chip" prospects — are secretly being paid by other schools.

This practice is forbidden in the college game, but Pete is desperate after a losing season. A school booster, greedy "friend of the program" Happy (J. T. Walsh), will stop at nothing to land these star high school players for Western's next season. This includes giving a Lexus to the gigantic Neon Boudeaux (O'Neal), a house and job to the mother of Butch McRae (Hardaway) and a tractor to the father of farmboy Ricky Roe (Matt Nover), as well as a bag filled with cash.

With sportswriter Ed (Ed O'Neill) suspecting a scandal, Pete continues to be contaminated by selfish demands from the players and a dirty association with the booster. His estranged wife (Mary McDonnell), a former guidance counselor, agrees to tutor Neon, who has below average grades, but she feels betrayed when Pete lies to her about the new athletes receiving illegal inducements to attend the school.

Pete comes to realize that one of his previous players, Tony, a personal favorite, had "shaved points" in a game of the previous season, conspiring to beat a gambling point spread. Pete is disgusted at what he and his program have become.

Western University has a big nationally televised game coming up versus Indiana, the #1 team in the country, coached by Bob Knight. After winning the game, Pete cannot bear the guilt of having cheated. At a press conference, he confesses to the entire scandal and resigns as head coach. Leaving the press conference and the arena, Pete walks past a small playground with kids playing basketball - he approaches, then helps coaching them.

An epilogue later reveals that the university would be suspended from tournament for three years. Pete did continue to coach, but at the high school level, Tony graduated (and passed TV) and played pro ball in Europe, Ricky Roe is injured and, as his father said, returned to run the family farm, and Neon and Butch dropped out of college when the scandal broke and now play in the NBA.

Production

This movie was filmed in Frankfort, Indiana and French Lick, Indiana. Pete Bell appears to have the look, values, and temper of Bob Knight -- especially in a scene where he kicks a basketball into the crowd out of anger.

Nolte actually shadowed Knight during many games in 1992 to research the role. Knight appears in the film as himself but has no scripted lines.

French Lick is the hometown of Larry Bird, who plays a scene with Nolte at the outdoor court of Bird's home.

Blue Chips features several famous players and coaches playing themselves, Jerry Tarkanian, Matt Painter, and Jim Boeheim among them. Professional basketball Hall of Fame member Bob Cousy has a role as the athletic director of the college where Pete Bell is coach.

It was Friedkin's first film for Paramount Pictures since 1977's Sorcerer, the production of which would strain his relationship with the studio for years. His next three films would also be released by Paramount.

Cast

Cameos (playing themselves)

Reception

The film earned mixed reviews from critics.[1][2] Hal Hinson, The Washington Post film critic panned the film, writing, "The ostensible subject here is the big business of college athletics, and, just as The Program tried to do with college football, the film's purpose is to expose the corruption behind the scenes of so-called amateur athletics that have transformed the sport into a desperate money grab. But, like The Program, this strident, unconvincing bit of movie muckraking uses our national sports mania to decoy us into sitting through a dreary lecture about ethics and moral corner-cutting. What's most surprising here is that the assembled talent -- from the worlds of basketball and movies -- is so impressive and, still, the work is so tired. As the coach who exchanges his soul for a winning program, Nick Nolte struts and bellows in a desperate attempt to bring his character to life, and though he works up quite a lather, all he gets for the effort is sweat stains.[3] Blue Chips currently holds a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews.


Box Office

The movie debuted at No.4[4]

References

External links