Slap Shot (1977), George Roy Hill, B+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

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Many people wax philosophic about cinema of the 70s: Casavettes, Scorsese, Coppola, Ashby, etc. But for me – the movie that sums up the 70s better than any is Slap Shot. I can’t think of anything that captures the era better: the disillusionment, the styles, the music, the dare-I-say gestalt. The fact of the matter is that Slap Shot is not a very good or clever movie. But I think it is as important a cultural touchstone as Easy Rider (another one that isn’t all that good when you really watch it.) There aren’t any jokes in Slap Shot, yet somehow it is funny. The characters are either selfish jerks, maniacs or (Michael Ontkean, I’m looking at you) big fat wusses. Somehow, you root for these guys. I get the impression that everyone involved in the making of this film was drunk by 11 AM and stayed that way until wrap was called. There is a nasty edge here – a mean, violent streak – and I don’t just mean the Hanson Brothers. There is a boorish humor in the devestation to the community, a death throe of the small mid-atlantic industrial town that is going down in a blaze of idiotic, vulgar, misogynistic glory. I think. I can’t tell. Because I am half on this movie’s wavelength and half bored by its TV Movie of the Week production values and random dirty (alleged) punchlines. All I’m saying is, there has to be a reason this movie has connected with people and remained such a classic. This isn’t just a hockey movie – there’s something going on here and I don’t know what it is, do I, Mr. Jones?

1 Comment »

  1. [...] On The Road, if I dare say it, is one of those texts that is far cooler as a milestone in culture than the thing itself. Like Duchamp’s urinal, like Easy Rider, like, God help us, Slap Shot (yes, I’m being serious.) But seeing it laid out there — pretty frickin’ cool, I gotta say. [...]

    Pingback by Jordan Hoffman Dot Com » Kerouac at the NYPL — November 25, 2007 @ 9:24 pm

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