Watch Blue Chips
- 1 hr 48 min
Blue Chips is a sports drama film that was released in 1994. It was directed by William Friedkin, and features Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell, and J.T. Walsh in the lead roles. The film revolves around a college basketball team, the Western University Dolphins, and their coach Pete Bell (Nolte). Pete is a dedicated and successful coach who has always done things the right way. However, he finds himself under increasing pressure from boosters and alumni who want him to recruit top prospects, regardless of whether they meet the academic or character requirements. Pete resists this pressure for a while, but when his team suffers a losing season, he decides to take drastic measures. He starts to offer illegal benefits to top high school players, even ones who are struggling academically or who have questionable backgrounds. This decision does not sit well with his assistant coaches, who are also his friends, but they reluctantly go along with him. One of the players Pete recruits is Neon Boudeaux (Shaquille O'Neal), a towering center from Louisiana who is being recruited by every major college in the country. Pete also brings in Butch McRae (Anfernee Hardaway), a flashy shooting guard from Chicago, and Ricky Roe (Matt Nover), a blue-collar power forward from Indiana. As the season progresses, Pete struggles with guilt and shame for breaking the rules that he has always preached. He also faces pressure from the booster who funded the illegal benefits, who wants to see his investment pay off in a championship. Meanwhile, the players face various obstacles, including academic probation, injuries, and personal crises. The film also delves into the corrupt world of college athletics, where the pressure to win at all costs can lead to unethical behavior by coaches and recruiters. It shows how the temptation to cheat is always present, and how even a coach with high ethical standards can be seduced by the promise of success. In addition to the basketball action, the film also explores the personal lives of the characters, including Pete's strained relationship with his ex-wife (McDonnell) and his troubled son (Cylk Cozart), who is also a basketball player. There are also subplots involving the players, including Neon's relationship with his tough-minded mother (Alfre Woodard) and Butch's relationship with his shady father (Noble Willingham). Overall, Blue Chips is an engaging and thought-provoking film that offers a behind-the-scenes look at college athletics. It features strong performances from the cast, particularly Nolte, who brings depth and nuance to his role as a conflicted coach. The basketball scenes are well-staged and exciting, and the film explores important themes about ethics, morality, and the corrupting influence of money.