Hoosiers: Basketball Movie Bliss

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Hoosiers: Basketball Movie Bliss
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

"Hoosiers" takes the tale of one small-town team and transforms it into an unforgettable story of determination and teamwork. How much do you know about this famous basketball film?
Say "Hoosiers" 10 times fast. What's a "hoosier," anyway?
basketball players
poor people
no one really knows
For more than 150 years, the word "Hoosiers" has been embraced by Indiana natives as an all-encompassing term for locals. No one has a definitive story for the word's origins or even its exact meaning, but it is often used with pride.

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The movie "Hoosiers" first played in theaters decades ago. When was it released?
1981
1986
The film definitely falls into the category of "80s classics." It was released in 1986 to great fanfare.
1993

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Gene Hackman plays the lead character, a down-on-his-luck basketball coach. What's his name?
Norman
Hackman plays Norman Dale, a character who is driven to succeed but has many personal failings that have cost him greatly in life.
Edward
Richard

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Norman Dale was a successful college basketball coach. Then he wound up in tiny Hickory, Indiana. What caused his fall from grace?
racism
violence
Dale's violent nature took hold of him, and he struck one of his college players. The incident blacklisted him from coaching major teams and left him as the head coach of a small high school squad.
alcohol abuse

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"Hoosiers" is based closely on a true story.
true
false
The story is inspired (loosely) by Milan High School, which in 1954 became the smallest single-class team ever to win the Indiana state basketball championship. The school's entire enrollment was only about 160 students.

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When Dale begins coaching the small team, he infuriates the entire town by doing what?
making fun of the former coach
setting the old uniforms on fire
closing practices to the public
Dale decides to close practices to the public. In a small town where people loved to attend practices, his decision ignited a furious response.

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Who plays the character named Shooter Fletch?
Barbara Hershey
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper, ever the loose cannon, plays Shooter Fletch, the former star athlete turned town drunk. His insights help Norman Dale assemble Hickory into a functioning team.
Jerry Goldsmith

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The first cut of the movie was how long?
nearly four hours
nearly three hours
The first cut of "Hoosiers" was nearly three hours long, and the studio refused to release it to theaters in such a long format. It was eventually trimmed to 114 minutes and sacrificed much of the film's love story.
only 80 minutes

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During the season, how does Dale manage to get himself ejected from numerous games?
he rips off his shirt
he loses his temper
Dale is an emotionally unstable man who continues to struggle with his temper. In lashing out at the referees, he finds himself ejected from multiple games.
he throws things at the referees

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During one scene, Dennis Hopper staggers drunk onto the floor during a game. He was actually drunk at the time.
true
false
Hopper looked drunk but he wasn't. Just before the scene, he spun quickly in circles to make himself dizzy, and the resulting effect really did make him seem intoxicated.

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"Hoosiers" is a finely-crafted tale. Who directed the movie?
John Sayles
Barry Levinson
David Anspaugh
David Anspaugh was the movie's director. He also has credits for productions such as "Rudy" and "Fresh Horses."

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How did Anspaugh and Gene Hackman get along on set?
they barely spoke
like old pals
constant bickering
Hackman was less than awed by Anspaugh, who had never before directed a Hollywood feature. He spent many scenes just trying to get under the director's skin.

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Hackman was not the original choice for the part of Norman Dale. Which actor was first picked for the role?
Tom Selleck
Tom Cruise
Jack Nicholson
Hackman's performance is so definitive that it's hard to see anyone else as Norman Dale. But Jack Nicholson was actually the first choice. Scheduling conflicts meant that he couldn't accept the role.

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Why was Dennis Hopper very leery of playing the part of Shooter?
he'd just quit drinking
Hopper had just given up drinking in real life. He was reluctant to jump into a movie in which his character had serious substance abuse problems.
he wanted more money
he thought the script was racist

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The movie was a box office success. How much did it cost to create the film?
about $6 million
The movie's budget weighed in at around $6 million, and it made plenty of money by grossing nearly $30 million at box offices. It's a popular movie on DVD and streaming, too.
about $26 million
about $1 million

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All of the boys on the Hickory basketball team were really from Indiana in real life.
true
false
Seven of the eight boys were from Indiana. Their genuine Hooser appeal added a dose of realism to the movie's story.

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During filming, Hackman famously said to Dennis Hopper that the movie would do what do his career?
neither of them would ever work again
Hackman was notoriously unstable on set, and he was convinced that the movie was going to bomb. He told Hopper that their careers in acting were over.
they were going to be rich
they would be able to retire in award-winning fame

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Norman changes the team's offense to emphasize what aspect of the game?
shooting
passing
Norman implements a "four-pass" rule. The players are supposed to pass the ball at least four times before anyone shoots. The young players roll their eyes at Norman's dictatorial approach.
dribbling

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Norman Dale's character was based on which real-life basketball coach?
Billy Gillipse
Bobby Knight
Bobby Knight is the volatile man who became famous for his red-faced tirades at Indiana. The movie's director attended Indiana and was very familiar with Knight's angry ways.
Dick Vitale

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Barbara Hershey plays Myra Fleener. How does she respond to Norman's appearance in town?
she immediately kisses him
she hopes he can give the town some recognition
she gives him the cold shoulder
Fleener wants nothing to do with Norman and wants him to stay away from Jimmy Chitwood, the town's best player, who is emotionally troubled.

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Myra makes it clear that she wants Norman to stay away from Jimmy, even though Jimmy is the team's best hope. How does Norman respond?
he leaves Jimmy alone
Norman respects Myra's passion for Jimmy's well-being and decides to leave the boy alone. In the end, Myra encourages Jimmy to join the team, and the effects are immediate.
he pursues Jimmy, anyway
he attempts to make out with Myra

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"Hoosiers" was nominated for two Academy Awards. Which actor received a nomination?
Dennis Hopper
Hopper, with his careening, unstable performance as Shooter, was nominated for best actor in a supporting role. He didn't win.
Gene Hackman
Barbara Hershey

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During one hotly contested game, Norman purposely gets himself ejected from the game. Why?
he wanted to hold hands with Myra in the stands
he wanted someone else to coach
Norman knew Shooter would have to step up sometime, not just for the team, but for himself. Norman purposely gets ejected, forcing Shooter to coach the rest of the game, which Hickory won.
he was tired

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The story takes place in Indiana. Where was the film actually made?
Indiana
The film shot on location in Indiana. A town named Knightstown stepped into the role of Hickory, and the gym where many scenes were shot still stands.
Los Angeles
Ohio

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"Hoosiers" did very well at the box office. It won a single Academy Award.
true
false
The film made money and is considered to be one of the best sports flicks ever made. It was nominated for best soundtrack ... but didn't win.

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When they were filming scenes for the games, the film's creators struggled to find what?
wooden floors
old basketballs
crowds for the stands
Even after repeated public pleas, the producers couldn’t persuade people to serve as extras in the grandstands. They finally had to set up a convoluted scheme involving games between actual high school teams to get enough people to show up and cheer.

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Maris Valainis played the part of Jimmy, who hits a huge game-winning shot. In real life, Valainis was a poor basketball player.
true
Valainis couldn't even make his own high school team, but he gained huge fame by making the shot of a lifetime in "Hoosiers." The movie turned out to be his only real big-screen performance.
false

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Several actors had to re-record their lines once shooting was completed. Hackman refused to do the work until which condition was met?
he got to see the movie
Hackman was sure the movie was going to be terrible, so he insisted on seeing it before redoing some of his lines. In the end, he was floored by how well the movie came together.
he got a raise
he got a free lunch

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The championship game was held in the same facility that hosted the real-life "Hoosiers" game.
true
The title game was in fact shot in the same building that witnessed the real-life, shocking victory by Milan High School. It is Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse.
false

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What was the real-life score of the final game that inspired the movie?
19 to 17
32 to 30
Milan High School beat Muncie Central in a defensive battle, 32 to 30. Just as in the movie, Milan's star player had a terrible game but hit the game-winning jumper as time expired.
78 to 77

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