Carter after finding out that his players have failed to live up to the
conditions of their contracts regarding academics locks the gym and
forces them to study in the library. The result is that the Richmond High
School team fails to achieve an undefeated season. While this extreme
action of Carter’s brings him social media attention and makes him a
local pariah inside the movie, I identify this scene as the milestone of
Carter’s coaching career, marking the turning point of his character
from the standard, inspirational basketball coach into a conscientious
and responsible educator. This is the most significant of the
controversies in dramatic terms, and it serves to reveal Coach Carter’s
deep love for and expectations of the players as well as his unflinching
efforts to make effective changes in the education system.
Hoosiers, on the other hand, tells a very different story, though
both are based on real people and actual events. Although Coach
Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) also has an unruly team playing for him,
his problems are more serious than those Coach Carter has in at
Richmond High School. Arriving at Hickory, Indiana, a rural town that
never shows up on some maps and where probably has no building is
over three stories high, Coach Dale takes over a team of seven farm
boys, including a team manager who is six-feet tall and the leading
scorer, but Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis) refuses to play. Of course,
nothing is impossible in the world of basketball. The movie begins with
the coach driving to Hickory, which shows viewers that the local people
have a strong passion for basketball because there is a basketball court
at nearly every building the car passes. The movie depicts the extreme
love residents of Indiana have for basketball, which sets expectations
and hope for the Hickory team, but that hope does not help Coach Dale
at the very beginning. In addition to Jimmy Chitwood’s absence, a
female teacher zeroes in on another challenge the coach is facing. Myra
Fleener (Barbara Hershey) makes a pointed but true comment about
Coach Dale, “A man who comes to a place like this, either he’s runnin’
away from something or he has nowhere to go.” Sure enough, Dale is
running from an earlier career from when he coached at the college
level, and this is his chance for redemption. Of course, redemption is a
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