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"Face-Off" (no, not the John Woo movie) comes to DVD

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bob Cook, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I hadn't heard of this movie, but I'm guessing the likes of, oh, JR remember this one.


    As a movie, Face-Off is nothing short of awful, of course. It is based on the equally hackneyed Scott Young novel and spares no cliché in telling the tale of a boy from Northern Ontario who grows up to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He falls for a hippie folk singer with tragic consequences when the hockey world collides with the psychedelic music world of the late 1960s-70s.

    Face-Off stars Art Hindle and Trudy Young as star-crossed lovers Billy Duke and Sherri Lee Nelson. As Leafs coach Fred Wares, John Vernon steals many a scene with a preview of his Dean Wormer character in 1978’s Animal House. But the real stars are the dozens of players seen during actual NHL games along with footage from Toronto circa 1971 and, of course, the most hideous clothes ever made.

    Since the late Johnny F. Bassett was the film’s producer, he was able to get permission to shoot inside several of the NHL’s grand old buildings because his father was part-owner of the Maple Leafs at the time along with Harold Ballard (who had a cameo as a team doctor) and Stafford Smythe.

    The hockey footage is nothing short of spectacular. Maple Leaf Gardens is the setting for most of the action but the old Montreal Forum, Chicago Stadium and the Forum in Los Angeles are also featured.

    Most of the fun is picking out the various NHL players of the day aside from the big stars like Dave Keon, Jean Béliveau, Gordie Howe and a balding Bobby Hull. There are also a couple of sequences of Bobby Orr in his glorious prime. Keep an eye out for an impossibly young-looking Darryl Sittler.

    Scott Young, to those of us in the U.S., is better known for having sired Neil.

    The trailer for Face-Off:

    And just for fun, see how many NHL players you can identify in this clip. Hint: one is Bobby Orr.

  2. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Never seen this one but I bet Double J saw it at a drive in in Owen Sound back in the day. He might have even referenced it in his Slap Shot book.
  3. Greenhorn

    Greenhorn Active Member

    And it features John Vernon from Animal House!
  4. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Has there ever been a movie featuring the Leafs that wasn't awful? Between "Face-Off" and "The Love Guru," the Leafs haven't exactly been cinematic gold.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    If it doesn't have Nic Cage blasting guns and getting launched out of a speed boat in super slo-mo, I don't want any part of it.
  6. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    I know a former NHLer who was in The Love Guru and he told me while he was making it that it was a major piece of shit. He was right.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    SCTV did a takeoff of this called "Power Play," and I'm sure zero percent of its American audience got the reference.

  8. JR

    JR Active Member

    I confess I saw it when it first came out and haven't seen it since. Weird seeing Jacques Plante in that clip I was a Leafs fan but he was my goalie hero.
  9. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    Nice timing. Art Hindle is in "An Insignificant hArvey" which opens Friday.
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Can't wait to see this again. I saw it on TV many years ago, and at one time I owned the Scott Young novel on which it was based.

    And I did in fact make reference to it a couple of times in my own book. :D

    As an aside, if you were a teenage boy in the '80s, you'll know Art Hindle from "Porky's," where he played the police officer brother of one of the main characters.

    P.S. Damn, Trudy Young was hot.
  11. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    As an aside, if you want evidence of the subtle brilliance of SCTV, watch how Rick Moranis and John Candy walk, and stop, when they're off the ice.
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