If you're a college basketball fan, March means the NCAA's annual spring basketball tournament. Movie-lovers also think about "Hoosiers," starring Gene Hackman, which we're screening as a Tribune Press Pass event at 7 p.m. on March 18 in the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave. Tribune sports columnist and Indiana native David Haugh and film critic Michael Phillips will serve as co-hosts.
The NCAA tournament runs from March 19 to April 8.
Why is the movie so beloved?
HAUGH: "'Hoosiers' holds up so well over time because the true stars of the film never age in our minds: a boy, a ball and a dream.
"That’s what made kids growing up in Indiana watch every action scene over and over until they found themselves repeating, as they shot hoops in the driveway: 'This is for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here.'
"That’s what makes the movie, even more than the terrific acting of Gene Hackman or Dennis Hopper or Barbara Hershey. Hope never gets old, and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo’s masterpiece is as hopeful as it can be hokey. That’s why, 27 years later, 'Hoosiers’ remains much more than a story about a basketball season. It’s a story about a way of life."
PHILLIPS: "'Hoosiers' isn't really a classic sports movie in terms of technique: There's nothing flashy or attention-getting about any of its moves, either on the court or behind the camera. But everybody likes 'Hoosiers.' It's a sort-of true underdog story, based loosely on the 1954 Milan High School championship saga, and because basketball (particularly high school basketball, whatever the era) is such a great spectator sport, it works like gangbusters on screen.
"It helps, of course, to have Gene Hackman as your coach, and Barbara Hershey, and Dennis Hopper in his Oscar-nominated turn as the small-town Indiana ne’er-do-well who finds redemption when the boys of fictional Hickory, Ind., get their act together and BELIEVE.
"It'll be great fun to see 'Hoosiers' again and to talk about it with a Music Box Theatre full of fans. Plus there'll be some first-timers in the audience, which makes the prospect of an inevitable yet nail-biting finale all the sweeter."
Here’s where to find more information and tickets. Want even more March Madness fun? Join our TribU NCAA bracket-building seminar at 7 p.m. on March 19 in The SCOUT Waterhouse + Kitchen, 1301 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago. The Tribune's Matthew Wood will share the tips and trends you need to know to dominate your office pool.
Tickets and more details for both events are available at tribnation.com/events.
-- Trib Nation
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