Beloved Paul Newman hockey classic had real-life inspiration

Beloved Paul Newman hockey classic had real-life inspiration

During the coronavirus shutdown, each day we will bring you a recommendation from The Post’s Peter Botte for a sports movie, TV show or book that perhaps was before your time or somehow slipped between the cracks of your viewing/reading history.

Slap Shot (1977)

Rated: R

Streaming: Amazon Prime

Putting on the foil and making it look mean never have been so hilarious.

The rowdy and raunchy Paul Newman-led classic about a minor league hockey team — the Charlestown Chiefs (based on the Johnstown Jets) — from in a depressed, blue-collar mill town in Pennsylvania in the 1970s remains to this day one of those iconic sports films fans positively revere and can quote verbatim upon request.

The brilliant — albeit vulgar and now extremely politically incorrect — script was penned by screenwriter Nancy Dowd, later an Academy Award winner for the Vietnam drama “Coming Home.” Dowd’s brother Ned played minor league hockey for the Johnstown Jets and also portrayed goon Ogie Ogilthorpe in the movie. The film was helmed by George Roy Hill — the Oscar-winning director a few years earlier for the Newman/Robert Redford film “The Sting.”

Newman’s character, player-coach Reg Dunlop, was loosely based on John Brophy, who served that dual role with the defunct Long Island Ducks and was the all-time leader in penalty minutes in the old Eastern Hockey League (which folded in 1973).

Source : Peter Botte Link

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