Dates

The Hoosiers Time Line: 1981 through 1987

1981

Novice screenwriter Angelo Pizzo begins working on the screenplay that will become Hoosiers. He continues working on it for the next couple of years.

1983

May 18: Pizzo registers a 115-page draft of the screenplay with the Writers Guild of America.

1984

January: The future Hoosiers filmmakers contact the two-year-old Indiana Film Commission to get information on possible shooting locations. They are especially interested in the southern part of the state, with its hilly scenery.

December 23: The first mention in the media of plans to film Hoosiers—an article in the Fort Wayne (IN) Journal-Gazette

1985

January

More stories about Hoosiers appear in Indiana newspapers.

March

Location scouting begins.

March 6: Hoosiers is mentioned in Hollywood trade paper Variety, in an article about six movies Hemdale Film Corp. plans to shoot in 1985.

April

Location scouting continues. The filmmakers announce that their first choice for shooting all the town, school, and home-gym scenes, Waveland in Montgomery County, has fallen through. Therefore, they will start the search over.

August

Day City Notes
20 Gene Hackman announced in lead role
26–27 Indianapolis Open casting call to find the Hickory Huskers and opposing players
28 Indianapolis First round of callbacks for team member casting

September

Day County Town/City Notes
2 Marion Indianapolis Second round of callbacks for team member casting
4 Marion Indianapolis Press conference at Hinkle Fieldhouse announcing the five towns still in the running as filming locations. Hackman is mentioned as the lead actor, but the female lead has yet to be chosen.
6 New Richmond and Knightstown officially announced as filming locations
9 Some crew members arrive in Indianapolis
10 Nineveh officially announced as a filming location
16 More crew members arrive in Indianapolis
26 Marion Indianapolis Final round of team member casting
28 Montgomery New Richmond Tryouts for extras

October

Day County Town/City Scenes Filmed Notes
4 The young men chosen as the Huskers are notified
9 Marion Indianapolis The Huskers begin basketball practice and rehearsals
12 Boone Lebanon Tryouts for extras
13 Henry Knightstown Tryouts for extras
14 Marion Indianapolis Press conference announcing Hackman and Barbara Hershey as the lead actors and introducing the Huskers. Dennis Hopper is not mentioned.
15 Driving exteriors?
16 Exteriors?
17 Exteriors?
18 Montgomery New Richmond Norman drives into Hickory
19 Hendricks Brownsburg Tryouts for extras; gym prepped for filming; Norman’s Ithaca Warriors team photographed
21 Hendricks Brownsburg Sectional game First filming of basketball scenes
22 Boone Terhune Gas station/general store in opening credits The majority of this scene was cut. The scene is shown in its entirety on the 2005 Collector’s Edition and 2012 Blu-ray DVDs.
23 Montgomery New Richmond Norman walks past townsmen sitting outside the barbershop; Norman encounters Opal and Myra outside the feed-and-grain store
24 Montgomery Liberty Chapel Inside Cletus’s barn with Norman, Loetta, and Buddy; Summers farm exteriors?; Myra and Norman talk along the fencerow? The barn interior scenes were cut. One of them appears on the DVDs.
25 Hendricks Harvesting corn This scene was cut but appears on the DVDs.
26 Johnson Nineveh School interiors; Norman tours the school and meets Myra A couple of deleted school scenes appear on the DVDs.
28 Johnson Nineveh School interiors; principal’s office
29 Johnson Nineveh School exteriors; Jimmy shoots baskets outside while Norman speaks to him
29 Montgomery Farm and driving scenes Second-unit filming
30 Hendricks Sorghum grinding; Fleener house interiors A couple of deleted interior scenes appear on the DVDs.
31 Hendricks Bridgeport Norman packing in a motel room, preparing to go to Hickory This scene was cut.

November

Day County Town/City Scenes Filmed Notes
1 Hendricks Summers house interiors Most of these scenes were cut. Some appear on the DVDs.
2 Henry Knightstown Mob of reporters in gym; pep session introducing team
4 Henry Knightstown First practice, in which George and Buddy are kicked out and Whit also leaves; movie’s final shot: state champs photo
5 Henry Knightstown Basketball practice is interrupted by townspeople; Norman meets Jimmy in the gym; Norman talks to Everett about Shooter after practice The scene with Norman and Everett was cut but appears on the DVDs.
6 Henry Knightstown Locker room: Before the first home game; first game halftime; after the first game; Norman sits alone
7 Sectional locker room? This scene was cut but appears on the DVDs.
8–9 Hendricks Brownsburg Sectional game, away games for montages Dennis Hopper’s first day on the set
11 Hendricks Fleener house exteriors: Norman and Myra go on a walk. Team bus drives to first away game; Norman and Strap talk
12 Hendricks Dale house interiors: Shooter visits Norman at home; Norman dunks Shooter in the sink
13–15 Henry Knightstown Oolitic game First home game of the season
16 Henry Knightstown Verdi game Shooter’s first game as assistant coach
16 The 120-page revised final shooting script is registered with the Writers Guild of America
18 Henry Knightstown Lyons game
19 Henry Knightstown Dugger game
20–21 Boone Elizaville Town meeting Parts of this scene that were cut are on the DVDs.
22, 23, 25 Boone Lebanon Regional game
26 Boone Lebanon Away games for the montage; exterior shot of Avon Theater at night
27 Hendricks Norman and Everett find Shooter unconscious in the woods; Norman visits Shooter at home
29 Marion Indianapolis Hospital
30 Marion Indianapolis Cedar Knob away game The only regular-season away game shown as a full scene and not as part of a montage

December

Day County Town/City Scenes Filmed Notes
2 Montgomery New Richmond Barbershop meet-and-greet
3 Montgomery New Richmond Caravan lined up to head to state finals; Norman meets Shooter in the diner; the Huskers get haircuts The majority of the caravan scene was cut. It appears in its entirety on the DVDs.
4–7 Marion Indianapolis Butler Fieldhouse interiors and exteriors; state-finals game
9 Second-unit filming
10 Henry Knightstown Holland game
11 Second-unit filming
12 Second-unit filming; wrap party for cast in Indianapolis

1986

Month Day Notes
February 7 It is announced that Hoosiers will be released in late August or early September.
Officials with the Indiana Film Commission report that they hope to hold the world premiere in Indianapolis.
June 24 A successful sneak preview is held in Costa Mesa, California, in front of a test audience. They give Hoosiers a score of 74 out of 100.
The film is scheduled for release on September 26.
July 10 The release date is moved to early October.
August 26 A preview is held for the cast and crew in Hollywood.
28 The release date is moved to January.
September 12 Orion announces that the film will have its world premiere in Indianapolis on November 10 and will open throughout Indiana on November 14.
27–28 Filming site New Richmond holds a Hickory Festival to celebrate the first anniversary of Hoosiers’ filming. This festival is held annually through 1990.
October A preview is held for movie critics from several national publications.
The first reviews of Hoosiers appear in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Seventeen.
30 A preview is held for Indiana theater owners, press, and local cast members.
November McCall’s and Playboy print reviews of Hoosiers. Reviews begin appearing in Indiana newspapers as well.
8 Hoosiers is discussed on the popular syndicated movie review show Siskel & Ebert. Ebert gives it thumbs up, calling the film wonderful, heartwarming, and amazingly exciting. Siskel gives it thumbs down. Although he agrees with Ebert that Hackman is effective in his role, he believes the character is asked to do too much. He also wishes the movie were more fresh and less predictable.
10 World premiere in Indianapolis at Circle Theatre
12, 13 Sneak previews in several Indiana cities and towns
14 Premiere throughout Indiana
December 12 Hoosiers opens in Los Angeles before the end of the year in order to be eligible for Academy Award consideration for 1986.
The national premiere is set for February 13.

1987

Month Day Notes
The soundtrack is released on LP in Europe under the title “Best Shot.”
January Hoosiers is shown out of competition at the U.S. Film Festival (Sundance) and receives a standing ovation.
The movie is rolled out to 90 theaters in Western cities, including Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego, and other southern California locations.
February 11 Hoosiers is nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Dennis Hopper) and Best Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith).
27 Nationwide premiere
March 30 Hoosiers does not win any Oscars.
May Late in the month, Hoosiers leaves Indiana theaters after playing for more than six months.
September 9 Hoosiers is released on videotape.
October The videotapes are pulled from store shelves. HBO Video tells distributors to stop selling and renting the tapes because of a lawsuit filed against HBO by Vestron Video in a dispute over who owns Hoosiers’ home video rights.

Read about what happened with Hoosiers in later years.