Sports films that make sense are tough to come by. There are all kinds of angles you can take when making a sports piece, but actually filming the action is super challenging. Ron Shelton took an approach towards basketball that is kind of in its own category when talking about sports films. We aren’t in a gym or on a field, but instead on the outdoor courts in 1990’s Los Angeles.
Woody Harrelson plays Billy Hoyle, a crafty player who fools everyone by hustling in textbook fashion. He wears a dopey hat and acts as if he doesn’t know what a basketball looks like until it’s his shot. He fools Sydney Deane, who is played by forever badass, Wesley Snipes. Sydney sees something in Billy though, and it isn’t just friendship. He sees a way to make even more money playing basketball on the streets with Billy as his partner.
It’s a pretty simple story that has stayed relevant in pop culture for over 25 years. People will dress up as Dean and Hoyle for Halloween til the end of time. It has an argument for being the best basketball film ever made, due to the lack of solid choices. I enjoy every second of it and immediately want to go find some pick up games to take part in.