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Blue Chips

4.5 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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(Mar 29, 2005)
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(Jan 01, 1994)
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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

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

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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
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007KIFLE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blue Chips" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When Rob Jeter is no longer the coach of the Milwaukee Panthers, I want Nick Nolte to come and play Pete Bell 24/7/365. We don't have a Happy Kuykendall so it's all good. Why is it that no one has made a good college basketball movie since this? It's been 20+ years. It's time we get someone on this. M. Night Shamalyan could make a college basketball movie where the team fights hard all season, gets to the Final Four and all of a sudden they realize they're playing shuffleboard.
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This movie brought me back to when I was a kid. I remember seeing this movie in theaters and liking it. I am a big basketball fan. This movie is a good mix of drama and comedy. Nick Nolte is a frustrated coach who suffers his worst season as a coach. Nolte has a good track record of winning but he now simply does not have the talent. Enter Shaq, Penny Hardaway and Matt Nover. They are three great players Nolte wants to join his team but they want special accommodations. This movie was good throughout and had a good ending. Bob Cousy has a small part. Shaq surprised me. I thought he did a good acting job. Penny was so so. Nolte did a pretty good job. Mary McDonell gave a great supporting performance. The Late JT Walsh did great. He was a very underrated actor. This movie is great for young kids who like basketball and also good for the adults because part of the serious issues at hand in the movie. Those looking for other great basketball movies seek out Hoosiers as I believe that is the best basketball movie of all time. Cheers!
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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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I love the way he coaches basketball. However he violates the rules by hiring boosters to buy them expensive stuff. It's the type of activities the NCAA will punish coaches on by taking away their wins, even their titles.
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Format: DVD
Nick Nolte plays Pete Bell, a man pressured to win at all costs by the alumnae, his boss and the populace of Western University. he does not want to cheat but gets sucked into it and regrets it from the moment he does it. "The rules may not make sense but I believe in them," I paraphrase from his last discussion with his players after they defeat Bobby Knight's team.

I taped this movie from cable many years ago and I can tell you that even today the film resonates with me. The movie has so many cameos that I can't name them all. I will say this, however, each and every one of the cast has an integral part in moving the story along. Penny Hardaway's innocence and Ricky's greed and Boudreaux's confidence--each had a pivotal part to play in the film. Like The Program of 1993, this film had remarkable poignancy.

College athletics becomes corrupted by big time sports. For all those who say that college athletics are "more pure" than the pros this film should open your eyes as to what goes on under and sometimes over the table.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I recommend it to anyone who likes a sports movie. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.

A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
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