Wildcats (1986)

R | 107 mins | Comedy | 14 February 1986

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writer:

Ezra Sacks

Producer:

Anthea Sylbert

Cinematographer:

Donald E. Thorin

Production Designer:

Boris Leven

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures
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HISTORY

A 13 Feb 1986 Chicago Tribune article stated that actress Goldie Hawn’s production company, Hawn/Sylbert Film Co., spent three years developing the project, and worked with three screenwriters, although only Ezra Sacks received screen credit.
       A 13 Nov 1985 Var brief announced that the picture had been retitled, replacing former working titles First And Goal, and Jocks.
       The Chicago Tribune stated that Hawn credited her background in dance and regular exercise routines for helping her prepare for the physical challenges of her role.
She also became a student of the game to learn about punting, blocking, receiving, field goals, kicking and throwing. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Hawn received football tutoring from Tom Gillman, assistant to the producer, and his father, Sid Gilman, who played defensive end at Ohio State University and went on to a successful career as a college and professional football coach. Father and son took Hawn to L. A. Raiders games, and practices at North Hollywood and Manual Arts High Schools in Los Angeles, CA, to explain the fundamentals of football. In addition, former NFL player and coach, John Sanders, taught Hawn to sound authentic, speaking football jargon and calling plays. At the time, Hawn also sought out female football coaches to emulate, but the closest examples she could find were a distaff coach of a men’s track team, an East Coast female football referee, and a Midwest female boys’ basketball coach.
       According to a 14 Jun 1985 Back Stage article, thousands of background actors were hired to fill the Lane Tech High School football ... More Less

A 13 Feb 1986 Chicago Tribune article stated that actress Goldie Hawn’s production company, Hawn/Sylbert Film Co., spent three years developing the project, and worked with three screenwriters, although only Ezra Sacks received screen credit.
       A 13 Nov 1985 Var brief announced that the picture had been retitled, replacing former working titles First And Goal, and Jocks.
       The Chicago Tribune stated that Hawn credited her background in dance and regular exercise routines for helping her prepare for the physical challenges of her role.
She also became a student of the game to learn about punting, blocking, receiving, field goals, kicking and throwing. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Hawn received football tutoring from Tom Gillman, assistant to the producer, and his father, Sid Gilman, who played defensive end at Ohio State University and went on to a successful career as a college and professional football coach. Father and son took Hawn to L. A. Raiders games, and practices at North Hollywood and Manual Arts High Schools in Los Angeles, CA, to explain the fundamentals of football. In addition, former NFL player and coach, John Sanders, taught Hawn to sound authentic, speaking football jargon and calling plays. At the time, Hawn also sought out female football coaches to emulate, but the closest examples she could find were a distaff coach of a men’s track team, an East Coast female football referee, and a Midwest female boys’ basketball coach.
       According to a 14 Jun 1985 Back Stage article, thousands of background actors were hired to fill the Lane Tech High School football stadium in Chicago, IL, for an important sequence.
       Principal photography began in Jun 1985 in Chicago, IL, and the surrounding area. The Chicago Tribune noted that the company filmed for six weeks on Chicago’s West Side.
       According to production notes, the movie marked actors Willie J. Walton, Rodney Hill, and Lindsey Orr’s theatrical film debuts in supporting roles.
       The following acknowledgment appear in end credits: “The Producers wish to thank The Illinois and The Chicago Film Offices for their assistance in the production of this film.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Back Stage
14 Jun 1985.
---
Chicago Tribune
13 Feb 1986
Section 5, p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 1986
p. 3, 16.
Los Angeles Times
13 Feb 1986
p. 1, 5.
New York Times
14 Feb 1986
p. 5.
Variety
13 Nov 1985.
---
Variety
12 Feb 1986
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. presents
A Hawn/Sylbert production
A Michael Ritchie film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d unit dir, Chicago crew
2d unit 1st asst dir, Chicago crew
2d unit 2d asst dir, Chicago crew
2d unit 2d asst dir, Chicago crew
Addl 2d asst dir, Chicago crew
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
Grip best boy
Dolly grip
Gaffer
Elec best boy
Still photog
2d unit dir of photog, Chicago crew
Cam op, Chicago crew
Cam op, Chicago crew
1st asst cam, Chicago crew
1st asst cam, Chicago crew
1st asst cam, Chicago crew
2d asst cam, Chicago crew
2d asst cam, Chicago crew
Still photog, Chicago crew
Key grip, Chicago crew
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
Asst film ed, Chicago crew
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master, Chicago crew
Asst prop master, Chicago crew
COSTUMES
Cost des for Ms. Hawn
Cost supv
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
Men's costumer, Chicago crew
Men's costumer, Chicago crew
Set costumer, Chicago crew
MUSIC
Mus ed
Marching band mus by
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Sd mixer
Boom man
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles & opticals
DANCE
Football dance choreog
Greek pageant choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
Make-up artist, Chicago crew
Hairstylist, Chicago crew
PRODUCTION MISC
Post prod coord
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Loc mgr
Football coach
Football coach/Goldie Hawn
Asst football coach
Asst to the prods
Casting asst
Casting asst
Asst to Ms. Hawn
Asst to Mr. Ritchie
Asst to Ms. Sylbert
Prod secy
Prod's aide
2d unit scr supv, Chicago crew
Transportation capt, Chicago crew
Chicago casting by, Chicago crew
STAND INS
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Color by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Good Hands,” performed by The Isley Brothers, written by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard, produced by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and The Isley Brothers
“Show Me How It Works,” performed by Mavis Staples, written by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and David Pack, courtesy of Private I/CBS Records
“Razzle Dazzle,” performed by Michael Jeffries, written by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard
+
SONGS
“Good Hands,” performed by The Isley Brothers, written by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard, produced by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and The Isley Brothers
“Show Me How It Works,” performed by Mavis Staples, written by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and David Pack, courtesy of Private I/CBS Records
“Razzle Dazzle,” performed by Michael Jeffries, written by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard
“Penetration,” performed by Brenda Russell, written by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard
“Love Lives Alone,” performed by Tata Vega, written by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and David Pack
“Don’t Wanna Be Normal,” performed by Randy Crawford, written by Patrick Leonard, Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard, David Pack and Michael McDonald
“Football Rap,” performed by L.L. Cool J, written by James Todd Smith, courtesy of Def Jam Records
“Rock It,” performed by Sidney Justin, written by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard
“We Stand Alone,” performed by Joe Cocker, written by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and Joe Cocker, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
“Hard To Say,” performed by James Ingram, written by Hawk Wolinski, James Newton Howard and David Pack, courtesy of Qwest Records
Original recordings produced by Hawk Wolinski and James Newton Howard
“Stormy Monday,” performed by T-Bone Walker, written by Aaron T. Walker, courtesy of Gregmark Records
“She Blinded Me With Science,” written by Thomas Dolby and Joe Kerr
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
First And Goal
Jocks
Release Date:
14 February 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 14 February 1986
Production Date:
began June 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Copyright Date:
4 June 1986
Copyright Number:
PA293305
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28032
SYNOPSIS

Molly McGrath loves football, she learned the game from her coach father, but works as a girls’ high school track coach. As a joke, she dresses in a football jersey for the school yearbook and persuades her schoolteacher sister, Verna, to take a photograph. Back from an out-of-town conference, principal Walker visits the athletic field, and encouraged by Verna, Molly asks the principal if she can replace the junior varsity football coach, who is in the hospital with a double hernia. Walker responds that if athletic director Dan Darwell approves, he will hire her. When Molly asks coach Darwell for his support, he promises to discuss the situation with Walker, but the final decision is up to the principal. At a meeting with the principal, Molly learns Dan Darwell has approved home economics teacher, Mr. Remo, to be the substitute junior varsity football coach. Molly quizzes Remo with football jargon, but it is clear that he knows nothing about the game. When coach Darwell arrives late to the meeting, he announces that there is an opening for a varsity football coach at Central High School, a rough, inner-city rival school. Molly decides to pursue the job and intends to have the last laugh. She meets with Central High principal Ben Edwards, and discovers that football practice before the start of the fall term is nonexistent, and there are no assistant coaches to help her. When she considers turning down the position, she is told that if word spreads she passed up the opportunity, future offers may dry up. On the first day of practice, the Wildcats varsity football team greets Molly, wearing uniforms from the waist ... +


Molly McGrath loves football, she learned the game from her coach father, but works as a girls’ high school track coach. As a joke, she dresses in a football jersey for the school yearbook and persuades her schoolteacher sister, Verna, to take a photograph. Back from an out-of-town conference, principal Walker visits the athletic field, and encouraged by Verna, Molly asks the principal if she can replace the junior varsity football coach, who is in the hospital with a double hernia. Walker responds that if athletic director Dan Darwell approves, he will hire her. When Molly asks coach Darwell for his support, he promises to discuss the situation with Walker, but the final decision is up to the principal. At a meeting with the principal, Molly learns Dan Darwell has approved home economics teacher, Mr. Remo, to be the substitute junior varsity football coach. Molly quizzes Remo with football jargon, but it is clear that he knows nothing about the game. When coach Darwell arrives late to the meeting, he announces that there is an opening for a varsity football coach at Central High School, a rough, inner-city rival school. Molly decides to pursue the job and intends to have the last laugh. She meets with Central High principal Ben Edwards, and discovers that football practice before the start of the fall term is nonexistent, and there are no assistant coaches to help her. When she considers turning down the position, she is told that if word spreads she passed up the opportunity, future offers may dry up. On the first day of practice, the Wildcats varsity football team greets Molly, wearing uniforms from the waist up but nothing from the waist down. When she orders them onto the field, some players smoke, and make remarks about her female anatomy. Molly warns that anybody who is not willing to work can leave immediately. A player turns up the volume of his boom box and drowns out her lackluster speech about teamwork, while another player turns his back and passes wind in her direction. The players resist doing calisthenics, and two of the best players leave the field to talk to a student hustler in a trench coat selling pocket watches named “Bird.” Later, Molly learns from Verna that Darwell has started an office pool to see how long she will last as varsity coach. As she leaves, her sister, Verna, hands Molly a present. Molly intends to quit, but as she talks on the phone to Ben Edwards, she opens the box, and finds a new stopwatch. The inscription from her two daughters makes her change her mind. The next day, top players Trumaine and Marvel watch from the bleachers as Molly successfully teaches the team a new play, and they are persuaded to join the other players on the field. A player deliberately knocks Molly down, and gives her a black eye. Later, Molly tells Verna that she is going to ask for her old job back. Verna informs her that Darwell has hired another coach to replace her, and she has no choice but to make the new job work. The next day, she discovers her office has been vandalized, and her new stopwatch is broken. In the locker room, when the players tell her that they want a real coach, she replies that she is the only one willing to take the job. On the field, she challenges her players to see who can run the longest. If they quit, she gets to call the shots. Soon, the players cramp up and drop out. A rainstorm develops, and Trumaine, the last player on the field, sinks to the ground in the mud. She tells the team they owe her a new stopwatch, throws the broken one in the mud, and leaves. When Molly’s former husband, Frank, hears about her new job as a varsity coach, he is not happy. They fight and he storms out of Molly’s house. The next day, the players follow Molly’s conditioning exercises without protest. In the locker room, she tells them they are ready for their first game. During halftime, Molly gives the team a pep talk. They are only four points behind but can win the game if they push through. Although their level of play is much improved, the team loses. The following day, principal Edwards congratulates the players on their improvement, but warns that the Jackson High School team’s mascot goat was stolen, and must be returned immediately or the guilty parties will be expelled. After Molly returns the goat, she arrives home late. Her older daughter, Alice, complains that the team is taking up too much of her mother’s time, and locks herself in her room. Molly explains to Alice and her sister, Marian, that the hard work is necessary to be the best coach she can possibly be and she expects them to work equally hard to be the best at whatever they want to do when they grow up. The next day, Molly demands principal Edwards show her the stats of quarterback Levander Williams, a star player who has been banished from the team for criminal activities and truancy. Molly tracks Levander down at the local pool hall, and discovers that he is actually “Bird,” the high school wheeler-dealer. Bird and his friends ride in Molly’s van, and she persuades him that her coaching will help the team win games. Bird’s friends seek to retrieve a lucky nightgown for their friend's mother in the hospital, but the effort turns into a break-in. The friends escape when they see a police car, while Bird and Molly hide in a dumpster. She threatens to turn him in unless he plays for the team. With Bird, the Wildcats win their game against Dearborn High. Later, Molly’s former husband Frank walks in on Molly’s team victory party, and is upset by the raucous language, and underage drinking. He gathers his daughters for the weekend, but later has his attorney send Molly a letter, claiming that her coaching job is jeopardizing the welfare of their children. Molly turns to her father’s college football buddy, attorney Walt Coes, for help, and he assures her that he can keep her from losing custody. He urges her to keep winning, and tells her that her father would have been proud. Meanwhile, Darwell tells Molly that her coaching job is nothing but a joke, her presence diminishes male sports, and she is the laughing stock of the town. Molly uses her anger to persevere, leading her team to the playoffs. However, player Cerulo gets a concussion after betting student Philip Finch that he can open a locker using his head. Molly insists that 400-pound Philip take Cerulo’s place on the team. Later, Walt Coes informs Molly that Frank has requested a custody hearing to force her to take a dreary coaching job at the conservative Chatham boarding school where he wants to enroll their daughters. At a pep rally, when the team presents Molly with a new inscribed stopwatch, she is swayed to remain on the job instead of caving in to Frank’s demands. Daughter Alice becomes drunk from drinking spiked punch, and Trumaine drives her home without telling Molly. After getting a phone call from Alice, Frank is furious that she is drunk and drives to Molly’s. At Molly’s house, when Frank accuses her of being an unfit mother, Molly reminds him how she took care of the children after he left the marriage. The fight ends when Frank insults football player Philip and receives a knockout punch. At a custody hearing, even though the football team acts as character witnesses, Molly is afraid she will lose custody completely and agrees to quit her job after the season is over. At the playoff game, Molly watches as Darwell and his Prescott football players pull dirty tricks on the field. At halftime, Prescott leads fourteen to zero, and the Wildcats are depressed. Molly realizes they are demoralized that their coach lost in court, and marches to the bleachers. She tells Frank she will not take the job at Chatham and send her daughters to a creepy school. She intends to keep coaching at Central, and wants to teach her daughters not to be quitters. When Frank agrees to work out the details with her, the Wildcats are reenergized and start scoring points. As the score is tied at twenty-one, even Frank cheers. On a crucial play, Philip blocks a throw and his teammates intercept the ball for a touchdown and win the game. Darwell is irate, and accuses Molly of paying Philip to play. When Darwell insists on searching Philip’s jockstrap to find the payola, Philip lifts Darwell in the air. After Darwell congratulates Molly and shakes her hand, Philip drops him in the mud, and the players hold a victory parade on the field.
+

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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