Tonight, the Colony will feature what is pretty much the greatest hockey movie ever made. Admittedly, the only competition I can think of is the Rob Lowe-starring Youngblood, the Mighty Ducks trilogy and something called MVP: Most Valuable Primate. But none of them satirized the combination of hustling, showmanship and straight-out insanity of the rink as well as George Roy Hill's 1977 Paul Newman vehicle.
Inspired by the experiences of screenwriter Nancy Dowd's hockey player brother Ned (who used this film to become a successful movie producer himself), it's the tale of a small-town hockey coach (Newman) who keeps his team afloat through scheming, trickery and the addition of the Hanson brothers, a trio of Coke-bottle-glasses-wearing goons. So memorable were the Hansons that their portrayers made real-life careers touring as the ultra-violent pucksters, even inspiring a line of action figures. Filled with language as salty as any real locker room (Newman later admitted he rarely swore before making this), it's one of the best of the gritty sports films of the 1970s. Take to the ice at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $5.50 and there are classic trailers to boot. (And avoid the direct-to-DVD sequel with Stephen Baldwin; even Most Valuable Primate outranks it.) —Zack Smith