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Encyclopedia > The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh is an American sports/fantasy comedy film that was released in 1979. The PG-rated movie was directed by Gilbert Moses and co-produced by David Dashev & Gary Stromberg. It was released by Lorimar Pictures and distributed by United Artists (Now part of Sony Pictures, which owns the rights). Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... Lorimar Productions was an American television production company, active from 1968-1994. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ... Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is the television and film production unit of Japan-based corporate giant Sony. ...

The movie is considered by many as one of the worst sports films ever made, even though it has attracted a unlikely cult following to this day, most notably for its disco-inspired decor/setting and soundtrack that was infused into the film, as well as the appearances of many NBA stars and the rising careers of Debbie Allen and Harry Shearer.



The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh told the story of a struggling professional basketball team, The Pittsburgh Pythons, whose continuous losing streak and lack of talent made them the laughing stock of Pittsburgh, which would result in several players asking to go elsewhere in the league. Everyone except the star player Moses Guthrie, mostly because he is the highest paid player on the team and is not liked by the teamates. Sara Giauro shoots a three-point shot, FIBA Europe Cup for Women Finals 2005 For other uses, see Basketball (disambiguation). ... Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania, United States. ... Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania, United States. ...

Sensing that the team really needs a miracle, the teams' ball and waterboy Tyrone Millman decides to turn to his favorite hobby, astrology, as a way to turn around the team's fortunes. So he brings his idea to a astrologer named Mona Mondieu, where they come up with the perfect concept: A team comprised of players who were born under the astrological sign of Pisces (matching the star sign of Moses Guthrie), thus the 'birth' of "The Pittsburgh Pisces!" Pisces (Latin for fish (plural), symbol , Unicode ♓) is a zodiac constellation which lies between Aquarius to the west and Aries to the east. ...

While Moses and Tyrone's mother Toby (for whom Moses had feelings) thought that Tyrone's idea was out of his mind, they warmed up to the concept, not knowing that this 'concept' would really take off. Due to an unlikely group of mismatched players whose combination of teamwork and astrology from Mona would pay off as they went from laughing stocks to a powerhouse to reckon with on the road to the league championship.


  • Singer/actor Cher was originally cast as Mona Mondieu, but she backed out at the last minute.
  • During the scene where the timeout took place, the Pisces were trailing Los Angeles 91-101, but when the game resumed the Pisces made ten field goals, which means that they should have won the championship with a double-digit.
  • Although the movie did not license NBA logos, several players did appear in the film playing for fictional teams with the same location and colors as their real NBA teams.
  • At the time of filming, Erving was a member of Pennsylvania's real life NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers. Several years later in 1982, in a case of art imitating life, he was joined by a real player named Moses (center Moses Malone) and defeated the real Los Angeles Lakers (also with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

Cherilyn Sarkisian (born May 20, 1946), better known simply by her stage name Cher, is an Academy Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter, director, author and and all-around entertainer. ... NBA logo, depicting former star Jerry West Location of NBA teams, conferences and divisions NBA redirects here. ... The Philadelphia 76ers (also known as the Sixers for short) are a professional basketball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Moses Eugene Malone (born March 23, 1955 in Petersburg, Virginia) is an American former NBA basketball player who also played in the ABA, as well as on the NBAs Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Bullets. ... The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. ...

Pittsburgh connections

  • The call letters of WTAE, KQV and WDVE are mentioned in the film.
  • WTAE, which served as the 'fictional' TV station in the film, featured a Sports anchor named "Murray Sports", who was inspired by WTAE's then-real-life sports anchor Myron Cope.
  • Connie Hawkins, who plays himself as member of the Los Angeles team, was an alumnus of the defunct Pittsburgh Pipers of American Basketball Association. The Pipers renamed themselves the Pittsburgh Condors in 1970, a year before Erving joined was drafted into the ABA. By 1972 the Condors ceased operations.

WTAE-TV is the ABC affiliate serving the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. ... KQV is a all-news radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... WDVE is an FM radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA at 102. ... Wikinews has news related to this article: Myron Cope, Pittsburgh Steelers color commentator, retires after a 35 year career Myron Cope (born January 23, 1929 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), whose given name is Myron Sydney Kopelman, was a color commentator for the Pittsburgh Steelers radio broadcasts for 35 years. ... Cornelius Connie Hawkins (born July 17, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York) is a Hall of Fame National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association player and New York City playground legend, born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. ... The Pittsburgh Pipers were a professional basketball team in the original American Basketball Association. ... The American Basketball Association (ABA) was founded in 1967 and eventually merged with the National Basketball Association. ...


  • Julius Erving - Moses Guthrie
  • Jonathan Winters - H.S. and Harvey Tilson
  • Meadowlark Lemon - Rev. Grady Jackson
  • Jack Kehoe - Setshot
  • Margaret Avery - Toby Millman
  • James Bond III - Tyrone Millman
  • Michael V. Gazzo - Harry the Trainer
  • Peter Isacksen - Driftwood
  • Nicholas Pryor - George Brockington
  • M. Emmet Walsh - Wally Cantrell
  • Stockard Channing - Mona Mondieu
  • Flip Wilson - Coach 'Jock' Delaney
  • Debbie Allen - Ola
  • George von Benko - P.A. Announcer
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater - Brandy
  • Darrell Brown - Junior Ashland
  • Julius J. Carry III - Malik Jamal Truth
  • Jerry Chambers - Lucian Tucker
  • Alix Elias - Michelle
  • Jessie Lawrence Ferguson - Jackhammer Washington
  • Richard Foronjy - Mike
  • Clayton Hill - Security Guard
  • Davis Johnson - Balloon Vendor
  • Jack Kurtz - Mr. Birdwell
  • Malek Abdul-Mansour - Bullet Haines
  • Arthur Manteris - Stuntman
  • Eric Mercury - Rudy and League Commissioner
  • Dwayne Mooney - Benny Rae
  • Daryl Mooney - Kenny Rae
  • Craig Prosser - Gunnar Boses
  • Branscombe Richmond - Winston Running Hawk
  • Otis Sallid - Calmar and Fishstick
  • Joseph A. Schad - Mr. Robbins
  • Joe Seneca - Mr. Sweets
  • Harry Shearer - Murray Sports
  • Richard Rossi - Roy(Uncredited)
  • Ken Foree - Pythons player(Uncredited)

Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950 in Roosevelt, New York), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American former basketball player who helped launch the modern style of play that emphasizes leaping ability and play above the rim. ... Jonathan Winters (born November 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American comedic actor. ... Meadowlark Lemon (born April 25, 1935) is a famous basketball player originally from Wilmington, North Carolina. ... Margaret Avery is a singer and actress. ... Michael V. Gazzo is a writer whose works incluse A Hatful of Rain. ... M Emmet Walsh as the private detective in Blood Simple Michael Emmet Walsh (born March 22, 1935 in Ogdensburg, New York) is an American character actor who has appeared in over 100 film and television productions. ... Stockard Channing press kit photo Stockard Channing (born Susan Antonia Williams Stockard on February 13, 1944) is an American actress. ... Clerow Flip Wilson (December 8, 1933 – November 25, 1998) was an African-American comedian and actor. ... Debbie Allen (born Deborrah Kaye Allen on January 16, 1950 in Houston, Texas) is an American actress, choreographer, film director, television producer and a member of the Presidents Committee on the Arts and Humanities. ... Dee Dee Bridgewater (b. ... Branscombe Richmond (sometimes credited in films as Richmond Branscombe, Ranscombe Richmon or Branscom Richmond) is an American Indian character actor, stuntman, and lead singer in a band called The Renegade Posse. He was born in Los Angeles, California on August 8, 1956. ... Joe Seneca was born Joel McGhee January 14, 1919 - August 15, 1996 , in Cleveland, Ohio. ... Harry Julius Shearer (born December 23, 1943, Los Angeles, California) is an American comedic actor and writer who began his career as a child actor in 1950s movies (The Robe) and television (The Jack Benny Program). ... Richard Rossi (b. ... Ken Foree Kentotis Alvin Foree (born October 9, 1946 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American actor. ...

As themselves

Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig on June 12, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York) is a television and radio sportscaster, honored for his work as a member in the Basketball Hall of Fame. ... Francis Dayle Chick Hearn (27 November 1916 - 5 August 2002) was an American sportscaster. ... The Sylvers — Memphis, Tennessee natives Olympia-Ann, Charmaine, Leon, James, Edmund, Ricky, Angela, Pat and Foster — were a popular R&B and soul family group in the 1970s. ... The Spinners are a Detroit, Michigan -based soul band popular in the 1960s and 1970s. ...

Basketball teams

Los Angeles:

New York: Jerry Tarkanian (born August 8, 1930), known as Tark the Shark, was a college basketball coach. ... Ron Carter (born May 4, 1937, Ferndale, Michigan) is an American jazz bassist. ... Cornelius Connie Hawkins (born July 17, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York) is a Hall of Fame National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association player and New York City playground legend, born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. ... Louis Clyde Hudson (born July 11, 1944 in Greensboro, North Carolina is a former NBA basketball player. ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. ... Norman Ellard Nixon (born October 11, 1955 in Macon, Georgia) is a former professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association, who spent ten seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers. ...

Boston: Alfred Butch Beard (born May 5, 1947 in Hardinsburg, Kentucky) is a former National Basketball Association player and head coach. ... Spencer Haywood (born April 22, 1949 in Silver City, Mississippi) is a former pro basketball player. ... Mychal Thompson (born January 30, 1955 in Nassau, Bahamas), is a former National Basketball Association player who was the #1 pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. ...

Detroit: John Williamson (Born November 11, 1951 – November 30, 1996) was an American basketball player. ... Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955 in Kinston, North Carolina) was an American professional basketball player and is now a radio broadcaster for WWZN AM (1510) in Boston, where he announces Boston Celtics games. ...

Christopher Joseph Ford (born January 11, 1949 in Atlantic City, New Jersey) is a former professional basketball player and head coach. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

External link

  Results from FactBites:
SI.com - SI.com Goes to the Movies (788 words)
For Pittsburgh fans I would suggest that the Coca-Cola commercial starring Mean Joe Greene and the little boy has more good acting and action in 30 seconds than does this entire woebegone aural-exploitation flick.
If you must know, this Fish tale is about a basketball team, the Pittsburgh Pythons, that gets taken over by the water boy (the young actor is James Bond III) and an astrologist played by Stockard Channing on the cusp of her acting nadir.
Fish shows that, like punching people on ice skates, no matter how proficient you are at it, the dunk becomes horribly monotonous after a while.
  More results at FactBites »



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