memories of the ’70s – Slap Shot

Slap shot movie poster.jpgA small movie about an aging hockey team trying to get its last stab at glory became a cult film forever: Slap Shot.

Written by Nancy Dowd, and directed by George Roy Hill, the film was based on the experiences of Dowd’s brother when he played in the minor leagues.

In the 1970s, fans were attracted to the minor leagues because of its rougher style on ice.

Dowd initially had thought about making a documentary, focusing on how these players survived the grind of the minor leagues, focused on a rare possibility to get to the NHL, but was convinced to turn the real life stories into a comedy drama.

Led by player/coach Reggie Dunlop, played by Paul Newman, the Charlestown Chiefs has become a side show, with the manager Joe McGrath paying the players as little as possible and encouraging bad behaviour.

McGrath hires the Hanson brothers, feisty goons who are easily led to drop their gloves at any moment, which discourages Dunlop, who decides he may not play the season.

But the local town mill closes, with most fans now unemployed Dunlop worries the team may close and decides to make the team more aggressive and kickstarts the team’s winning ways and fan support. Michael Ontkean plays Ned Braden, a skilled young player who has to be convinced to be more aggressive on ice.

Dunlop investigates to find out who owns the team as the Chiefs progress through the schedule, winning and eventually landing in the championship finals versus their nemesis, Syracuse Bulldogs.

Filmed in Pennsylvania and New York, the film crew used Dowd’s brother and fellow players in the filming and used the ice rinks and other players of the North American Hockey League for authenticity.

The comedy came from so many directions – pointing fun at the rituals of players, the Canadian domination of the game, the French Canadian culture as well as the endless stream of cursing from all characters.

Released in February 1977, this little hockey film was made for $250,000 but due to its popularity, made US$28 million at the box office. In an interview with TIME Magazine, Newman stated this was one of his favourite movies, and that he had endless fun and kept us his cursing ways after making the film.

Sports Style Icons

How do they do it? Fans know how skilled these guys are, when they’re watching their skills on the pitch, court, or rink. But how do they become the fixture of the paparazzi lens? How did they figure out how to look that good? These guys have a lethal combination – skills, looks and a willingness to step outside the pack – here’s how they do it:

The Footballer (aka Soccer guy) – a global brand on the pitch and the billboard, the man of the match has earned cred as a skilled footballer and makes headlines for changing his hair, his collection of tattoos and his sponsors. A little Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith and a dose of Adidas never hurts a wardrobe, fueled with travel throughout the Euro zone. Style notes: Euro suits, trendy hair and must-have shades.

The B-baller (aka Net star) – from point forward to defensive guard, the boys of the hardwood want to look good on and off court. With appearances on fashion mags, and a madness that will soon descend in March on fans, basketball’s finest love the casual cool threads and the street-inspired wardrobe essentials from Nike and Ed Hardy as much as being fashion icons. But he isn’t shying away from high fashion, with a bit of Prada or Tom Ford in the closet. Style notes: Classic charcoal suits and a pair of Aviators.

The Ice-man (aka Hockey guy) – the rink may be the domain of goals, checks and the occasional punch, but off the ice, players know enough to wear Hugo Boss. With a wardrobe dominated by Bauer and Reebok, our game boys communicate on ice or post-game in hip casual wear from Diesel and Abercrombie & Fitch, but know how to work the classic Ralph Lauren and Brioni attitude. Style notes: Well cut navy suits and a statement watch.

Published in P&G The Male Room