You gotta see this ... Slap Shot

In 1977, Paul Newman teamed up with director George Roy Hill again, having previously worked together on Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and The Sting, this time to make a movie about a failing hockey team managed by Reggie Dunlop (Newman) who hears the club may be sold and who tries to turn things around by getting the team to play dirty and get violent at every opportunity on and off the ice, hoping to attract the crowds. For anyone who knows nothing about ice hockey the opening scene explains it all for you.

The film comes across like the ultimate guys movie (even though it's written by a woman, Nancy Dowd) and like a lot of movies from the seventies is rough and at times slow paced, but is worth watching for Paul Newman's performance alone (apparently it was his favourite movie that he worked on), however if you need another reason to watch then look no further than the Hanson Brothers (don't start!), played by real-life hockey players Jeff and Steve Carlson and David Hanson, who manage to bring the brainless brawn that Newman was looking for, the scene below perfectly encapsulates what I'm talking about.

Michael Ontkean, the sheriff from Twin Peaks if anyone is asking, is the only voice of reason among the team, however his disillusionment with the team is only matched by how he feels about his marriage. The movie manages to portray the many characters that make up the players, the owners and all involved in the sideshow of professional sport both cynically and affectionately, and was clearly a forerunner and direct influence on other sports comedies like Major League which nearly shares the same plot. The film also has Maxine Nightingale's classic "Right Back Where Started From" at nearly every turn, what more could you possibly want?