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Friday Night Lights (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Drama, Sport | 8 October 2004 (USA)
Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.

Director:

Peter Berg

Writers:

Buzz Bissinger (book) (as H.G. Bissinger), David Aaron Cohen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,830 ( 500)

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Bob Thornton ... Coach Gary Gaines
Lucas Black ... Mike Winchell
Garrett Hedlund ... Don Billingsley
Derek Luke ... Boobie Miles
Jay Hernandez ... Brian Chavez
Lee Jackson ... Ivory Christian
Lee Thompson Young ... Chris Comer
Tim McGraw ... Charles Billingsley
Grover Coulson ... L.V. Miles
Connie Britton ... Sharon Gaines
Connie Cooper ... Mrs. Winchell
Kasey Stevens Kasey Stevens ... Flippy
Ryanne Duzich ... Melissa
Amber Heard ... Maria
Morgan Farris ... Jennifer Gaines
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Storyline

Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives. Written by Zac Abrams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hope comes alive on Friday nights See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Friday Night Lights See more »

Filming Locations:

Abilene, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,269,025, 10 October 2004

Gross USA:

$61,255,921

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$61,950,770
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life Brian Chavez did go to Harvard and got a law degree. But then he moved back to Odessa and started going to Permian football games with one of his old teammates, longing for his old glory days on the field. One day, angered by a historic Permian loss in a heated rivalry game, Chavez rounded up a posse, broke into a house party and started brawling with the attendants. His motivation: His girlfriend's ex-husband was at the party, and had been fighting with her over the phone while Chavez was trying to watch the game. Chavez was eventually forced to plead guilty to "burglary with intent to commit assault", and had to settle lawsuits with the victims. Although he avoided jail time, he did have his law license invalidated by the Texas State Bar. He has since turned his life around, but this incident had ultimately proved that the pull of Permian high school football was too much for even the smartest and most grounded player to escape. See more »

Goofs

After the final game, when Gaines is removing the seniors' names from the board and dropping them in a desk drawer, Christian's name tag can be seen already in the drawer. In the next shot, Christian's name is the one removed. See more »

Quotes

Charles Billingsley: Can't hold on to the lamp, can't hold on to the football.
Don Billingsley: I can hold on to the football, Dad. Now get the hell out of here!
See more »


Soundtracks

Just Got Paid
Written by Billy Gibbons (as Billy F. Gibbons), Bill Ham
Performed by ZZ Top
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nostalgic
16 August 2008 | by rdowbSee all my reviews

This is the most human sports movie I've ever seen. Most sports movies follow a very basic formula of being either inspirational or comedic. Some try to be dramatic, but most fail because unless a person is playing a sport they often don't feel the tension, the struggle, the pain, or the elation. Where most others fail, Friday Night Lights soars.

Peter Berg does a wonderful job using the shaky-cam technique to create a documentary type of feel to the movie. We see the characters in their daily lives as if we are walking side by side with them. This is especially effective considering the plight many of those people feel. They all want to escape. Through football they can. Berg captures this.

The acting is extremely balanced. Even Tim McGraw surprises. Derek Luke is exceptional tackling(no pun intended) a tragic superstar. Everyone shines.

For anyone who loves sports and remembers when nothing else mattered when you played, this is a beautiful parallel.


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