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Slap Shot Movie And The Hanson Brothers

Updated on July 21, 2012

Slap Shot is movie that came out in 1977, starring Paul Newman. It centers on a struggling hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs that is coached by Newman. He plays Reg Dunlop, who also is a player on the team. These guys are a bunch of boozing, womanizing, and poker playing guys. They have terrible management, and to make matters worse is that the town's mill which employs 10,000 people is closing, which is the main source of their fan base.

When the management brings in three brothers because: "they got a good deal on them", Paul Newman seems almost at the end of his rope. These guys are immature and do questionable things to say the least, like play with toys, and at first He keeps them on the bench. Unable to win a game and generate interest in the team, Paul Newman decides on a tactic to increase their ever shrinking fan base.

When he sees the crowd going crazy when one of his players gets in a fight, he gets an idea. He decides to resort of a more physical style of play, by getting inside his players heads, and making them want to go out and fight. Well he then decides to play the Hanson brothers, and that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Well they go in the game, and they trip, punch, slash, and fight all the players on the other team, which really gets their home crowd going. All the other players also adapt this style of play, resulting in a larger fan base. Well word spreads quickly about these guys, and suddenly they are the hottest ticket in town, and they also start winning games much to the excitement of their fans, which begin to follow the team around when they go on the road.


This movie is based actually on a real life minor league hockey team, the Johnstown Jets in Pennsylvania, who had on the team three brothers, Jeff, Steve and Jack Carlson, and they also had a guy on the team called Dave "Killer" Hanson, Who was a tough player who reeked havoc for opposing teams. Another player on the team who name was Ned Dowd. Ned used to tell stories to his friends and family funny stories about the antics of these guys, when Ned's sister, Nancy Dowd, heard these stories she decided to write a screenplay about these guys and the team, and she wrote the screenplay to Slap Shot.

When casting for the movie began, they were having a hard time finding actors that could skate that would portray these four guys in the movie. What they decided to do then was to cast the real guys that played on the team for the roles of the Hanson brothers who were the main focus of the movie. So Jeff, Steve, and Jack Carlson, and Dave "Killer" Hanson were hired to play themselves for the movie, which would be easy for them because they would be playing hockey players, which is what they did. So it really wouldn’t be acting for them.

Another ironic twist to this story is that Jack Carlson was called up by the Edmonton Oilers, who made the playoffs and was unable to star in the movie, because the movie was being shot in the off-season. So Dave Hanson was asked to replace Jack Carlson in the Movie and actor Jerry Houser was brought in to play Dave Hanson.

So in the movie the Carlson brothers became the Hanson Brothers, and Dave "Killer" Hanson, became Dave "Killer" Carlson, Yeah I know a little confusing right? Well after the movie shooting was over, all four guys went back to playing professional hockey. Jeff played 11 years, Steve played 14 years, Dave played ten years, and Jack played 12 years.

This movie became a cult classic, and was one of the most popular sports movies of all time. These guys became underground stars especially among hockey fans, and they frequently visit NHL, and Minor league hockey games all over the USA, andCanada

Nobody envisioned what this movie would do for these guys. They just thought they would make the movie and then go on with their regular life, which is essentially what they did. But the cult status of this movie, it enabled them to do something even more special.

Since 1994 these guys have raised over twelve million dollars for charity, making appearances all over North America. If you would like to find out about appearances, and charity events, or would like to host one yourself, check out the links below:


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