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Blue Chips

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell, J.T. Walsh, Ed O'Neill, Alfre Woodard
  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Writers: Ron Shelton
  • Producers: Catherine Meyers, Michele Rappaport, Ron Shelton, Wolfgang Glattes
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007KIFLE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blue Chips" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In BLUE CHIPS, dedicated coach Pete Bell has come to the realization that no matter what he does, his team of underdogs can't win -- at least not without some new talent. After issuing a national search, Pete makes prospective players promises he knows he can't keep. Though he despises what he has done, the new recruits prove to be worth their weight in gold and the answer to all coach Pete's prayers


Here's another smart sports movie penned by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump). It's an incriminating look at major college recruiting in the days of secret payoffs, circa the early 1990s. Coach Pete Bell (Nick Nolte) seems to be the only honest man left in sports, and the pressure to win at his UCLA-like school soon takes its toll. For action fans, the well-staged games are only at the bookends of the movie: the film is about scandalous recruiting and the passion of the coach. Shaquille O'Neal's ballyhooed debut is short and sweet as a nearly mythical basketball warrior. The biggest acting surprise is Boston Celtic legend Bob Cousy's deft debut as the school's AD. The film is a little too preachy at times, but the sermon is worth listening to, especially with some solid laughs from Shelton's stinging pen. Director William Friedkin's change-of-pace film would only be half the movie without Nolte, who is instantly believable as the workaholic coach. In game situations where opposing coaches are the likes of Bobby Knight (one of many excellent cameos), Nolte comes off as the real thing. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

The movie was exciting the whole time.
Zach Gabai
I still like how this movie exposes a lot about big-time sports that maybe a lot of people don't think about.
Nick Nolte puts on a great performance.
justin gamble

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on December 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Nick Nolte plays an explosive, but caring college basketball coach who's career is on the decline due to recruiting problems. Nolte decides to lose his ethics and give recruits money, cars, houses, etc. to get them to come to his school. A serious sports movie without the usual fairytale ending. The basketball action is exciting and realistic because most of it is played by real NBA stars, like Shaq, Penny Hardaway, Allan Houston, George Lynch and many others. Bob Cousy is better than expected as the athletic director who doesn't miss foul shots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Haitianlover on February 4, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
We sure do make a lot of sports movies in the US, and this is one of the better ones, not as good as Hoosiers, but then again who could touch Gene Hackman in his prime, right? What I like about this one is the somewhat stiff performances by Shaq and Anfernee Hardaway, which add "something" of reality to the film. Really. The other good thing is Nick Nolte. He played his part to the hilt. He sold his soul to the devil (he cheated), but then he redeemed himself. The scene with him teaching the kids at the playground the fundamentals is a classy and classic ending. Excellent movie. It's not as emotionally exhilerating as Hoosiers, but that's another story, right?
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Format: DVD
Nick Nolte, age 53 here, is outstanding in his role as "Pete Bell" in 1994's "Blue Chips". Bell is a Bobby Knight-like basketball coach who is not at all happy when his team is on the losing end of the score. Knight himself has a role in this movie, as do some other well-known people from the real basketball world.

I find myself watching and re-watching the opening scene of this film, where Nolte storms into the locker room, wreaking havoc on the water cooler (and whatever else happens to be within arm's reach). It's a great beginning to a very good motion picture.

The DVD edition of "Blue Chips" was released by Paramount in March of 2005, and became a welcome addition to my collection of movie discs. The DVD offers up a beautiful-looking Widescreen (1.85:1 anamorphic) version of the movie. Colors are brilliant. No bonus features are offered on the disc however. Not even the Theatrical Trailer, which would have been kind of nice to have.

The 1997 VHS video edition of "Blue Chips" is not really too bad either, although it's not in the preferred Widescreen mode. But the VHS does offer a robust 2.0 Dolby Surround track.

If you collect sports movies, you should probably get yourself a video or DVD copy of 1994's "Blue Chips" for sure. It's worth the price for that opening water cooler-destroying scene and Coach Bell's later basketball-kicking tirade all by themselves. ;)

"I want this team to win so bad I can TASTE it!!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By spiders-n-vinegaroons on March 5, 2007
Format: DVD
Being involved in collegiate and high school coaching, I tend to go back and watch this film from time to time to remind me of what sports is all about. If you're a coach, it's about your devotion to your program and to your kids that you coach. It's the job, it's the challenge. It's the same as teaching a class of Math or History to a bunch of kids. The point is to teach them to become better at what they do and to also make them better on everything outside of the game itself.

If you're a ballplayer, it's about your devotion to the game and to yourself and to your team. You're as good as your team and it is up to you to understand the philosophy being taught in the game. The game doesn't just teach you about becoming a better ball player. The game teaches you about leadership, teamwork, decision-making, and responsibility. Whether you succeed at the game or not, you succeed in all other aspects involved.

Blue Chips is about how critical it can become at times to make right decisions at all levels of athletics. Whether you're the president of the college, the athletic director, a booster, a coach, or even a player, the decisions you make can have considerable effects and consequences for the overall integrity of the sport, your school, and career. Without going into too much detail about the movie, Blue Chips deals with under the table financing of high school players by boosters and people close to the college, in hopes of wooing these standouts to sign with the program. All levels of the program are involved in this true-to-life tale of deception, greed, and moral judgment.

I will disagree with other reviewers about the cast. I will argue that to tell the true story of this side of collegiate athletics, it would be normal to use actual athletes that were "larger than life" at the time. Overall, a good movie to watch if you enjoy the sports genre.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Roberts VINE VOICE on March 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Thanks to Anfernee Hardaway and Shaquille O'Neal, this movie contains some of the absolute worst acting I have ever seen in my life. And yes, that includes the 50 or so "Mystery Science Theater" movies that I have viewed. Watching the two of them try to act was like watching two blue whales attempting to scale Mount Everest. See what I'm getting at here? Apparently, the producers figured that getting real athletes to pass as actors would be better than getting real actors to pass as athletes. WRONG!!! Personally, I would rather see these two try & sing opera next time rather than do another stint in a movie. [By the way, if they are in any more movies, I categorically refuse to see them].
Somehow, this is still a great movie. Nick Nolte turns in a superb and convincing performance of a intense, once successful college basketball coach who is desperate to have a competitive team. The seemingly hopeless plight of his less-than-talented team leads him to "bend the rules" with the efficacy of catapulting his roster back to the summit of NCAA athletics.
This movie serves as a trenchant satire of what has become of modern college athletics. Bribery & special gifts to student athletes becomes a way for Nolte's university to entice the very best talent on the market. This modus-operandi has become all too common in the climate of college basketball (as well as college football). This movie is a powerful and introspective commentary on what has become a prevalent problem.
"Blue Chips" is a must movie for any fan of sports, as well as persons who are concerned with the goings-on of Intra-collegiate athletics. Besides Nolte's sensational perfomance, there are also some fun cameos of Rick Pitino, Larry Bird Bobby Knight & others. If the film didn't include Haradaway & O'Neal, it would be worthy of 5 stars, easy.
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