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Varsity blues - James van der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker, Brian Robbins

Threat advisory: Severe - Severe risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Make your own rules.

High school football is king in small-town Texas where 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the gridiron every Friday night.

Varsity blues follows the travails, both hilarious and pained, of five seniors on a high school football team in West Canaan as they approach the end of a near perfect season. With mounting pressure from their hard-driving coach and parents, who live vicariously through the boys' victories, the resolve and determination of the young athletes is put to the test as they seek to finish the season as heroes - their way.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film football American drama grid iron high school Texas sport team fight coach community

Persons of interest

  • James Van Der Beek .... Jonathon "Mox" Moxon
  • Amy Smart .... Jules Harbour
  • Jon Voight .... Coach Bud Kilmer
  • Paul Walker .... Lance Harbour
  • Ron Lester .... Billy Bob
  • Scott Caan .... Charlie Tweeder
  • Richard Lineback .... Joe Harbour
  • Ali Larter .... Darcy Sears
  • Tiffany C Love .... Collette Harbour
  • Eliel Swinton .... Wendell Brown
  • Thomas F Duffy .... Sam Moxon
  • Jill Parker-Jones .... Mo Moxon
  • Tonie Perensky .... Miss Davis
  • Joe Pichler .... Kyle Moxon
  • Mark Walters .... Chet McNurty
  • Brady Coleman .... Bigelow
  • James N Harrell .... Murray
  • Jesse Plemons .... Tommy Harbour
  • Tim Crowley .... Coach Bates
  • W Peter Iliff .... Screenwriter
  • Brian Robbins .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Hard-core USA high school football.

The action is pretty full on at times, with more slomo replays than Channel Nine, but the film captures the bone jarring body crunching that is Yank football. However, Varsity blues is not just about footie, it's about footie in a small town (read: white trash) where footie is the only way to greatness (read: escape). I seem to recall Tom Cruise being in a film like that once, but that was a steel town, while West Canaan is just a small town. (I wonder what it's like in East Canaan.)

James van der Beek acts pretty darned well, apart from the inspirational "We are all winners" speech near the end. He's just too much of a nice guy to pull it off. I expect this sort of crap from an American script, but if you close your eyes and block your ears it's all over pretty soon. Jon Voight is a hard-ass baddie. Imagine. Other than that, it's just your usual assortment of rednecks.

By this stage you have probably figured out that Varsity blues is a film for the boys: tits and testosterone, what more could a guy ask for? It would be useful if your guy picked up an American flag to wave at appropriate moments (good for a laff), and perhaps he could consume a few brewskis - that would aid his enjoyment hugely.

I take this small moment to bemoan the lack of irony in the American diet. *Sighs*

Feel free to watch Varsity blues, you may even have a good cry over all the excessive masculinity and heroics. I certainly did; guys should note that it's ok to cry if sport is involved. Just don't expect Shakespeare. you know, the guy who wrote the script for that film Leonardo Di Caprio was in.

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level coarse language, sexual references)

Surveillance time

105 minutes (1:45 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS retail: 6 April 2000

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