CATEGORIES Columns, Cinematical
Welcome to the new format for Cinematical Movie Club!

Rather than the weekly Friday night-to-Friday night system, the club discussion is now moving to Monday nights. An announcement post will be offered up every Thursday, so you can follow along and check out the flicks for yourself over the weekend, before discussion descends on Monday. These announcement posts will not only alert you to the next film, but also give you some relevant information before you dig in -- actors, directors, trailers and even some trivia goodies for your pleasure.

Since hockey season has just kicked into high gear (and holy crap -- the Leafs are doing awesome!), there's no better way to kick off the icy season than the 1977 hockey comedy classic, 'Slap Shot.'

'Slap Shot'
Add it to your Netflix queue (DVD & Streaming)

Director
George Roy Hill, Oscar-nominated director of 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' and Oscar-winner for 'The Sting.'

Writer
Nancy Dowd, mostly uncredited film scribe (though she won an Oscar for 'Coming Home' in 1978) and sister of then minor-league hockey player Ned Dowd. Ned played for a team called the Johnstown Jets, and when the team went up for sale, Dowd was inspired to write the film. He got to play Ogie Ogilthorpe in the comedy.

Players
Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean (went on to play Sheriff Truman in 'Twin Peaks'). Two of the Carlson Brothers appear (as the iconic Hanson Brothers), plus Lindsay Crouse (Prof. Walsh on 'Buffy') and Swoosie Kurtz.

Plot
A failing minor league hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs, faces its demise when the town's mill closes. Reggie Dunlop (Newman), a vet player and coach does what he can to save the team, even though he has no idea who owns it. The team's saving grace are the Hanson Brothers, young goons who help the Chiefs start winning games and earn a loyal fight-loving fan following. But one teammate, Ned Braden (Ontkean), wants a team that plays clean hockey.



See the awesome full trailer here.

Notable Nuggets:

Paul Newman's favorite film.

Actors such as Al Pacino and Nick Nolte wanted roles, but the gigs went to actors who could skate. Ontkean, in particular, was a promising hockey name before he decided to act. He had turned down a contract with the NY Rangers.

The real-life inspiration, the Johnstown Chiefs, finally closed their doors and moved south, like Reggie Dunlop lobbied in the film, earlier this year. (The Chiefs were a later incarnation of the Jets, after the movie hit theaters.)

And for a little more fervor to kick off this pick, the classic opener with Yvon Barrette as Denis Lemieux:



Don't feel shame -- tune in and enter the discussion this Monday!