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Saturday, August 24, 2002
Updated: August 28, 12:36 PM ET
Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time


OUR COUNTDOWN: 20 | 19 | 18 | 17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

No. 5: Slap Shot

Year released: 1977.

Cast: Paul Newman, Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, Lindsay Crouse, Jennifer Warren, David Hanson, Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson.

What we like: Newman demonstrating how goofball sports movies ought to be done (this should be required viewing for Adam Sandler); the lyrical profanity; the loving evocation of the subculture of minor-league hockey; the slapstick comic relief of the Hanson brothers; the generous use of real-life minor leaguers playing for both the Chiefs and their opponents.

What we're willing to overlook: When a movie makes violence seem like so much fun ... well, it's bad for the kids (and Page 2 says, "Tsk! Tsk!").


Paul Newman submitted my all-time favorite "Paul Newman performance" in this one. Who else could have played Reg Dunlop, not just in the late-'70s but ever? -- Page 2 columnist Bill Simmons

A one-man show, but the one man is Newman, who's even better as Reggie Dunlop than he was as Fast Eddie Felson. -- Page 2 columnist Ralph Wiley

The moves from life on the ice to off the ice and back again are seamless, the writing is quietly very strong, and this is Newman's best role next to "Butch and Sundance." -- Page 2 columnist Eric Neel

No other hockey movie comes close to matching it for pure entertainment. Like the sport, it's brutal and fun, so it's better not to attempt the sappy romance of baseball flicks. -- Page 2 editor Jim Wilkie

If you don't respond to this movie you need the Hanson Brothers to smack you upside your head! Reduces its sport to its essence and still has a heart. A striptease on ice -- unforgetable. -- Page 2's Hollywood insider, Jeff Friedman

Click here to go on to our No. 4 sports movie of all-time