Fast Break

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"Gabe Kaplan's having a ball! - His dream team's got a preacher, a jailbird, a pool shark, a muscleman. And the best guy on the team is a girl."
  • PG
  • 1979
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.1  (850)

Fast Break is a feel-good basketball movie released in 1979, directed by Jack Smight and starring Gabe Kaplan, Harold Sylvester, Michael Warren, and Bernard King. The movie showcases the journey of a college basketball coach who gets fired for being too philosophical and accepts a job at a car wash in order to pay his bills. It follows his transformation into a basketball coach of an unlikely team of convicts, who aspire to win the national tournament of junior colleges in order to secure themselves a future beyond bars.

The lead character, David Greene (Gabe Kaplan), is forced to quit his job when he gets caught between his principles and the college administration's corrupt ways. He eventually lands a job at a car wash and catches the fancy of another employee Mona (Annazette Chase), who informs him about a junior college that's looking for a basketball coach. David, despite having lost faith in the system, decides to take up the job and meets with his team, a group of offenders who haven't played basketball in years.

The initial days of David's coaching don't go well, with the team lacking discipline and any semblance of skill. However, David's unorthodox techniques and his team's determination to win propels them from being the underdogs to becoming the most formidable team in the competition. The movie does a good job of balancing comedy, drama, and basketball action to keep its viewers engaged throughout its duration.

The characters of the movie are well written, and each of them has distinct personalities. Harold Sylvester plays the role of Huston, a former star athlete who got into trouble with the law and serves time in jail. Huston is the driving force of the team, inspiring everyone to push themselves beyond their limits. Michael Warren portrays Bennie, another convict and the best player on the team. Bennie has his own demons and lacks confidence in his ability to lead the team. With Greene's guidance, Bennie starts to open up and become the player that he was always meant to be.

David Greene himself is an interesting character, who doesn't conform to the stereotype of a basketball coach. He is philosophical, reads books, and listens to music in his spare time. He realizes that basketball isn't just a game, but a means for his players to channel their emotions and find direction in their lives. His unconventional methods of training that involve a mix of yoga, meditation, and soul-searching seem weird to his players initially, but over time they start to find the benefits of the methods.

The movie also touches upon several themes, such as the power of redemption, the impact of a positive influence on a person, and the need for second chances. It showcases how the convicts, who are deemed lost causes, can turn their lives around with a little bit of guidance and belief in themselves. The movie doesn't judge its characters for their past crimes, but rather shows them as humans who made mistakes and are looking to make amends.

One of the best aspects of Fast Break is its depiction of basketball action. The movie does a great job of showcasing the sport, with well-balanced basketball sequences that aren't over the top or unrealistic. The final game, which pits David's team against the unbeaten and ruthless team of the local junior college, is one of the best basketball sequences in any movie.

Overall, Fast Break is an enjoyable basketball movie that is worth a watch. It balances humor, basketball, and drama well and has some memorable performances from its cast. It's a movie that showcases the power of redemption and the importance of having a positive influence in your life. Anyone who loves basketball or underdog stories will enjoy this movie.

Fast Break is a 1979 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Fast Break
Where to Watch Fast Break
Fast Break is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Fast Break for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (850)