Spirit of the Game (2016) Script

Hello, Delyle Condie speaking.

Basketball star.

It's a long time since I've been called that.

Yeah.

Ken Watson?

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.

He was a good man.

Yes. Well, thanks for letting me know.

I'll keep you in my prayers.

Goodbye.


Oh, there's something on your nose.

Every time!

Yeah, one of these days, you'll catch on.

I hope not.

Emily, will you marry me?

I was going to get a ring first and plan it all out, but...

Yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

Oh, shoot. I should have asked your dad first.

What can he say?

Hi, Dad. Hi, son.

Bye, son.

Oh, yeah, I'm getting married.

That's nice, son.

Hi, Mom.

You look happy.

Must have been a good movie.

Mmm.

We saw Lady and the Tramp at the Grand, and I don't know what it was, but something about that movie made me realize that Emily's...

Well, you know, her and I... We just... We just...

Oh, dang it, I just proposed to her!

Oh!

What did she say? Did she say yes? How did you propose?

Wait, you don't have a ring yet? Do you have a ring yet?

Oh, was she excited?

Oh, Delyle, this is so exciting!

Mom, take a breath, okay? I don't have a ring yet.

But she said yes.

Congratulations.

Frank obviously gave you his blessing?

Well, I haven't had the chance to ask him yet.

Dad, I wanted to talk to all of you before I did anything, but it just sort of popped out.

That's just you being you.

You have a great big, loving Condie heart.

Could that be a problem, Dad?

Knowing Frank, I doubt it.

But I would take care of it first thing tomorrow.

Well, we need to get you a ring.

Tomorrow we'll drive to Molinelli's at Pocatello and go shopping.

Oh, my, there is so much to organize.

I need to make a list.

So many people to invite.

All the Wilsons, the Hamiltons.

Oh, dear, we can't forget the McQueens.

Now look what you've done.

Congratulations, son. Come here.

Kids have all gone to bed, Mother.

Time for you as well.

I'm down to the last dozen.

No, they can wait till tomorrow.

May I have this dance?

Mmm.

Well. That was quite a...

Risky move back there.

♪ Your eyes don't shine

♪ Like they used to shine

♪ And the thrill is gone

♪ When your lips meet mine ♪ Hey, Emily. What are you doing here?

I needed to see you.

Sure.

Let's go outside though, before someone sees you.

I have to, um...

I have to go to California to help my sister Jodi with her children.

Is everything all right?

It's just hard for her with Jeff being away.

Do you need me to drive you?

No, thank you.

I'll catch the Hound in the morning.

Is there anything I can do?

You're sweet, but, no, I should only be gone a few weeks.

I want to see you in the playoffs.

I know you'll be great.

This is all I have, but I want you to take it.

I have enough, thank you.

Well, I should go pack, and you have to go back to your studies.

Call me when you get there.

I will.

I love you, Em.

And your shot from the top of the key, it was amazing!

Great game tonight, son.

Dad!

You should have told me you were in town, I would have got you tickets.

I was in town on business, I just wanted to surprise you.

Yeah, well, you did.

It's great to see you.

Have you eaten? You want to get something?

I would love that.

Let's go. Okay.

You know, Lyman's discharged from the Navy next week.

You think you can make it back for his homecoming?

We're on the road in Arizona next week, but I could drive up as soon as we get back to town.

He'd be happy to see you whenever you can get there.

They all will.

How is everyone?

Well, your mother misses you, of course.

There's no one to cook for or fuss over.

Have you heard from Emily? When is she coming back?

Well, she's busy with her sister's kids.

She'll be back in a week, I guess.

Oh.

Oh, and I forgot to mention.

Deverl Herzog had his mission farewell last week.

See, he's leaving for South Texas tomorrow.

No, I got a letter from him last week.

Mmm.

Yeah, he's going to make a great missionary.

You're doing what you love, son.

And that's good, too.

Your brothers would be proud.

All of them.

I know, Dad. Thanks.

Yeah.

How you kids listen to that music I'll never know.

It's just yelling syllables.

You're showing your age now, Pop.

Yeah, well, maybe I am.

Well, you just make sure you get home to see your brother first chance you get. He's been gone a long time.

No, I will, Dad.

See you on home plate.

Bottom of the ninth.

It's a big game, okay, let's just have some fun.

And you try and remember to actually put some in the ring.

Not like last time.

The best shooter in the team.

Get out of here. Give me that!

I always show you how it's done.

You made it!

Delyle.

I, um... I need to speak with you.

I can't now. I'll see you after the game.

We'll go somewhere and celebrate.

I can't marry you, Delyle.

What?

Emily, I'll see you after the game.

We can talk then.

No, there's nothing to talk about. I just...

I can't marry you.

But why?


Here we go, honey.

Oh, thank you, dear.

There must be something we can do for him.

Mother, we can't fight their battles for them.

All we can do is love and support them.

But look at him. He's lost. I'm worried for him.

All right.

I'll talk to him.

Okay. Okay.

Son.

You take a break, your mother brought some lemonade.

Training camp starts in a couple of weeks.

So what are you planning on doing?

Because you've been moping around here like a lame steer, and I think an apology is in order.

I'm sorry, Dad.

Not me, the backboard.

I should have gone to California with her.

I was so stupid to let her go on her own.

Yeah, well, did you ever stop to think that maybe it wasn't meant to be?

You did everything right, son.

But it's God's will, it's not yours.

It won't be the last time that a girl does your head in.

It's not like that with you and Mom.

We've had our moments, we just don't do it in front of you kids.

I'd be a weak man if I let anger control my emotions.

I just...

I thought she was the one.

Hmm.

I know the experts say that you can't truly know love until you've had your heart broken.

Did you ever get yours broken?

No.

And there hasn't been a day that I haven't loved your mother with all my heart.

So what do the experts know, right?

"Ex" means old, and spurt is a drip of water.

"Drip of water."

You can, however, use what you're feeling inside to make you a better person.

Son, the decisions you make now will determine the rest of your life.

So choose things that help you grow.

I know you're gonna choose the right path.


Hey.

I want those boys to be doing fast breaks all the way down the...

Delyle, come on in.

Could I please speak to you, Coach?

You're cutting it pretty fine, son, you almost missed the bus.

I'm not getting on the bus.

Snowy, would you give us a moment please?

I've decided I'm going to...

I'm going to serve a mission.

Why would you want to do that?

It's the right time in my life.

If I don't go now, I'll probably never go, so...

I heard about your fiancee, son.

And I have to tell you from experience that you can't make decisions like this when your head's all messed up because of a girl.

I want you to think carefully about this.

We're creating a legacy here that will be the envy of all other schools.

If you leave now, you're going to miss it.

No, it's not a decision I've come to easily.

It's been on my mind a lot lately.

I need to go and serve.

It's the right thing to do.

You can convince yourself that almost anything is the right thing to do.

Playing basketball could be the right thing.

This team's capable of anything.

You're capable of anything.

But I'm telling you now, if you leave now to serve on some mission, this, all this, is gone.

And I don't think you'll ever play basketball again.

I'm sorry, Coach.

My mind's made up.

Condie.

Good luck, son.


This is heavy.

Bye, brother. Don't forget Ted.

Really?

Oh, you.

Write to me every week, okay?

Let me know if you need some food.

Goodness knows what they eat down there.

And boil the water before you drink it, and don't go into the Outback.

God be with you till we meet again.

Bye.

This is it, Dad.

It's really happening.

It is an honor and a privilege to have you as my son.

I'll see you on home plate.

Bottom of the ninth.

Yeah.


Hi. You must be Condie. I've been waiting for you.

I'm Elder Groberg. Pleased to meet you.

Good times, huh? Yeah.

Grab your stuff, let's go.

So, are you heading to Australia, too?

No, I'm getting off at Tonga.

Tonga? Sounds like heaven.

Yeah.


How are you today, sir?

Buongiorno, Bruno. Welcome.


Elder Condie? Welcome to Melbourne.

I'm Elder Johnson. Brother Jones is driving.

Welcome, son.

This is Elder Christensen.

Good to meet you.

And that gentleman is your companion, Elder Morton.

How's the journey?

Well, I fed most of the fish in the Pacific, but other than that it was okay.

You know, I'm keen to get to the mission home, have a shower and get settled. Oh, you will.

But first we're gonna make a little detour. We got a game on.

Of course, you've just arrived, so why take you straight to the mission home?

Let's go play a game instead.

A game? Basketball.

You're playing basketball? On your mission?

Yeah, I mean, Australia is not like anywhere else on this planet.

You are not in Idaho anymore, Toto.

Thank you.

So, are you Australian?

Excuse me? I'm British.

From Britain?

I speak the Queen's English.

Not the gibberish they call language here.

Don't confuse me with these barbarians again.

Well... I'm kidding. It's a joke.

Ah.

Not about the barbarians though. That bit's true.

Condie, we're a man short. We're gonna need you to play.

I don't have any gear.

What you're wearing will do.

All right, let's toss it.

Right, here we go, boys!

Great work, boys.

Go, Condie! Nice!

Yes, Condie, good! Yeah, nice.

Great work, boys. Nice work, boys.

Yeah! Great game.

Good job, guy.

Well played, Condie, well played.

Hey, good game tonight, Jim.

More Americans?

G'day, I'm Elspeth. This is my husband Jim.

What are you doing? Well, I'm just saying hi.

Sorry, sorry.

You get used to it.

President Bingham's expecting us.

Any advice before I meet him?

He's not too bad, really.

Okay.

Come in!

Elder Condie, welcome to the mission. Thank you, sir.

So, how was the game tonight?

Well, we won, sir.

I understand you played in your regular attire?

Yes, sir, I didn't know I was going to be playing basketball tonight.

Well, it's a good thing you won because I have to inform you that's the last game you'll be playing while you're here with us.

As of today, I'm going to stop all activities that don't directly relate to our work.

We didn't come here to play sport.

We have to get our house in order and that means not wasting time.

This is a very difficult mission, as you'll come to understand.

You'll need to be obedient and steadfast.

Find, teach, baptize.

Now, get some rest.

Tomorrow you hit the ground running.

Thank you. Thank you, sir.

Welcome to the room, Condie.

That's you just there.

Bathroom is just there.

That's it.

This is the most beautiful ring I've ever seen.

I've already picked out our first child's name. Just so you know.

Oh, you have?

Yes. It'll be a boy.

Noah Ethan Condie.

A boy, huh? Mmm-hmm.

Great names, but do I get a say?

You can pick out the girl's names.

Okay. Well, in that case, I like...

Jezebel.

I thought you were serious.

I'm so happy right now.

Well, look at you all keen and eager on your first day.

Well, I'm excited to get out and meet some people.

Yeah, that'll wear off soon enough.

What do you mean?

Eagerness is good, yeah, but, uh, you gotta prepare yourself.

For what?

What?

Never mind, you'll find out soon enough.

Hello, I'm Elder Condie... No.

Well, at least you got to say hello.

Hello, sir.

We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus...

That's the thing. It's really important from the start...

You kids! I oughta... Stop.

Is every day like today?

Ugh.

Not every day. There are some good days.

When you find someone who wants to listen, it's like walking on air.

How do you handle it? The rejection, I mean.

I leave in two weeks, Condie.

I've learned to get over it.

You have to. And you just do what you have to.

Sometimes I say to myself, "Norman, why go through all this for people who don't care?"

Because it's why we're here.

You say that when we have enough tomato seeds to start a market garden.

Your first name's Norman?

Mmm.

Norman the Mormon?

Oh... God sure blessed you.

Yes, he did.

Wow.

Dear Dad.

I've never taken anything for granted or expected things to be handed to me on a platter.

But, boy, I could sure use a break.

It seems every day is a test.

As great as the Australian people are, they are steadfast and stubborn.

Most have little or no time for us, and I fear my foot may soon break from all the doors slammed on it.

Hello, how are you?

Some days really get me down, and I'm worried that too many more of these might take a heavy toll.

Have I made a mistake, Dad?

I would have been married by now.

Elder Morton goes home this week, so I'm getting a new companion, too.

I miss you and Mom so much.

Have you ever heard of Vegemite?

Best to avoid it at all costs.

My dear son, in our life are challenges.

They can make you grow and bring you closer to God, or you can let them destroy you.

The choice, as always, is yours.

You didn't think a mission would be easy, did you?

This is about your faith as much as theirs.

Try to find common ground with these people, something that appeals to them.

You can be all things to all people if you choose to be.

Your loving father.

This is our bungalow.

Mrs. Tonkin is the landlady. She's sweet.

Is she a member?

No, her and her daughters are Salvation Army.

Daughters, huh?

Obviously they don't do the cleaning then?

I... Sorry about the mess.

You can have this bed over here and hang your clothes in there.

Clearly you miss your mom.

Morton was the cleaning lady in this companionship.

So what's your story, Elder?

My story?

Are you writing a book?

We all have one.

Why we're here, I mean.

I'm here to serve a mission.

I was just trying to get to know my companion.

I didn't mean to be intrusive.

If you don't want to talk, that's fine by me.

I'm sorry, I'm just tired.

I almost didn't come here.

I had no intention to serve a mission.

But it didn't turn out that way.

I'm keen to get out and meet the people tomorrow.

Oh, you will. You like tomatoes?

I guess. Why?

You'll see.

Okay.

Don't put your hands or feet near the door if you ever want to use them again.

Hello.

I'm Elder Condie and this is Elder Hull. We're missionaries.

We'd like to share a message with you.

You get away from her!

I know all about you Mormons.

You take young girls away to marry them.

Well, you're not taking my daughter!

Get off my property!

Run! Run!

Melbourne, at this moment, is in the throes of immense preparations for the Olympic Games, which will be the first to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

Six thousand athletes from all around the world will descend on our nation, and construction is well underway to house them just outside town.

For goodwill and fair play it's going to be a red letter day, not only for Melbourne, but for all Australia when the Olympic fanfare rings out and the Olympic flag is hoisted at the stadium.

Hi, Jim.

Stan.

And how are we going?

Have you seen the size of some of the players on the other teams?

Look, obviously we can't compete on height.

We just have to concentrate on skills and tactics.

Look, it's their first Olympics.

We just have to train hard, teach them what we can.

You never know.

Mate, it'd take 20 years to whip this lot into decent shape.

You just gotta have a little faith, my friend.

Come on, boys.

Come on!

I'm starving.

What did Sister Tonkin make for us today?

Oh, Vegemite!

I hate this stuff.

It's like eating axle grease.

It's probably all she can afford.

Well, someone's got to say something to her.

You can. I'd rather suffer in silence.

I'm so hungry, I could eat a Vegemite sandwich.

I hate Vegemite, I hate flies, and I hate rude people.

You sure do hate a lot of things, Condie.

I'm just happy to be here.

Hi, there.

You play basketball?

Yeah. So?

Mind if we take a shot?

If you want.

How did you...

Hello, again.

Elspeth, wasn't it? That's right!

We met at the basketball. Right, Elder Condie.

We were just walking by and saw your son shooting baskets.

We didn't mean to intrude.

Oh, no, Brett's my little brother.

This is Elder Hull. This is Elspeth.

Her husband plays in the local league. He's a good player.

Pleased to meet you, ma'am.

You should see this guy shoot the ball.

He got it in from way over here!

It's been hard on him since Mum died.

Dad's a boozer, so he's never around.

And we're better off without him anyway.

What about you? What are you blokes all about?

Well...

Oh, here's Jim now.

Jim! Come and meet the elders.

I'm so sorry, I... I think that he's had a hard day.

Hull, we best be going anyway.

When can you come back? Tomorrow?

I'll see what I can do.

Thanks for the water.

Oh, wait, should we go back and give them a book?

I think we wore out our welcome today.

I think we're gonna have to be realistic and look at these Olympics as...

As gaining experience.

This isn't a training exercise, Stan, it's the Olympic Games.

Got the whole nation looking over our shoulders.

Mate, there just aren't enough hours in the day to get them to where they need to be.

Imagine if we had the college system here.

Imagine the players we'd have then, the experience.

But we can't replicate that in six months.

Don't worry.

With Rose and Fraser in the pool, I doubt anyone will even know we're there.

You know if our boys could play as well as you can swill beer, we'd win a flamin' medal.

Yes, we would.

Hey, 6:00 swill. Mmm-hmm.

I wanna get home before Betty puts the kids to bed.

I'll see you later. See you, Bill.

See you.

This is becoming pointless.

Come on, Condie.

Things will turn around if we have faith.

Faith is something that is so foreign to these people.

Can't they see that we're just trying to help them?

You've only got 13 months left.

You just gotta keep chipping away.

No, I don't want to chip away.

I want to make a difference in people's lives.

I'm not giving up two years of my life just to pass the time.

There has to be someone here who wants to listen.

I'm not giving up until I find them.

So let's just tract the rest of this street and call it a day.

I'm beat anyways.

Good afternoon, ma'am, I'm Elder Condie and this is Elder Hull.

We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If you have a spare moment, we'd like to share an important message with you.

Oh!

Well, you probably want my husband.

He gets all the important messages.

Ken!

There's some young men at the door with an important message for you!

How important's the message?

Well, I don't know. They didn't say what the message was.

Well, it couldn't have been that important.

Did you ask them? No.

They've got something to do with ladders and snakes.

What? They're visionaries or something.

They look very official.

They've got accents.

What can I do for you chaps?

We're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We'd like to share a spiritual message with you.

Oh, right.

Look, we're...

We're pretty good for spiritual messages today.

Thanks very much.

Thank you all the same, sir.

Have a nice day. No worries.

Were they the police?

No, they weren't the police. Well, I don't know.

Hey, hang on, fellas.

Are you chaps Mormons?

Yes, sir, we are!

Didn't I see you playing basketball?

Yes.

Ken Watson's my name. Elder Condie.

Hello. Elder Hull.

Why don't you come back inside, fellas?

Thank you, sir.

It's a beautiful home. Thank you.

Stan.

Stan, I have solved all our problems.

You have? Mormons.

Mormons?

Mormon basketballers.

Beer, mate?

Uh...

Yes, yes, all right.

Yeah, two beers. Yeah.

Eh?

Mr. Watson, this is my wife, Sister Bingham.

It's very nice to meet you.

Please have a seat. Thank you.

Mr. Watson, could I offer you a refreshment, a glass of water, perhaps?

A cup of tea would be lovely.

We don't have tea. I can offer you milk or water.

Oh, right.

Uh, well, whatever you've got will be fine, thank you.

Adele, would you fetch Mr. Watson and me a glass of water please?

Of course.

Mr. Watson, on the telephone you said that you needed our help.

Yes, yes, I do.

I'm the coach of the Australian basketball team.

As I'm sure you know, the Olympics are coming.

Look, I'll be honest. We're struggling.

And we could really appreciate going up against some players with experience.

Thank you. Thank you.

Otherwise we're gonna get thrashed.

I'm sorry, Mr. Watson, but we have disbanded the basketball program.

Yes, they're here to work, not to play athletics.

Oh... Mr. Bingham... President.

I don't know a great deal about your church.

But I do know those boys are some of the finest examples of basketballers in this country.

Now, in Australia, our religion is sport.

And if you want to connect with Aussies, well, then you do it through sport.

Do you have children, Mr. Watson?

Yes, I do.

Well, then you'll know you must provide them with strict rules and discipline.

These boys need to be attentive and obedient, and not partake in, shall we say, worldly activities.

Oh, missus.

Basketball is a good, wholesome sport.

It was started by Christians.

But I can see you've made up your mind.

It's simply not why they're here.

We could do great things.

To the Church, for basketball.

I hope you'll think about it.

I'm sorry we can't help you, Mr. Watson.

Well, thank you anyway. Thanks for coming.

Goodbye, Mr. Watson. Please.

Wouldn't have a bar of it.

I thought they were here to teach.

Church stuff, not basketball.

He was adamant and his wife even more so.

And do you know what? They wouldn't even give me a cup of tea.

Well, if those Mormon boys are anything like my kids, they won't listen to what they're told.

Ken.

What President Bingham doesn't know won't hurt him.

Now, do not let him shoot, okay?

Hands in there. Put your hands in there.

Don't let him shoot! Don't! Come on!

Thanks for letting us come around.

I haven't seen him smile that much in a long time.

It's good for him.

Because he's small for his age, he has trouble fitting in.

Well, he sure does love basketball.

He doesn't have much of a choice with Jim playing it all the time.

It's a good sport.

He sure does idolize you blokes.

Well, mostly Hull. He's a swell kid.

Would you like to stay for tea?

Yes! Thank you!

Don't! Don't let him shoot again! Yeah! Come on.

Ready? Ready?

Oh, yeah.

Who's Stan Page?

Stan, Stan. What?

Hello. Fellas.

I'm Stan Page. I believe you've already met Ken.

Thanks for coming.

We got your note. How can we help you?

We were hoping to appeal to your sensibilities as sportsmen.

Yes, this is our Olympic squad.

As you can see, they're pretty raw.

We want you to work with us on our skills and drills.

And I could certainly use some help as far as coaching goes.

I'm sorry, Coach, but we're not allowed to play basketball anymore.

No, well, we thought you'd be able to help us on your days off.

You know, sort of on the sly, if you know what I mean?

That's not possible, sir.

Don't you miss it?

The thrill of the game when the buzzer goes!

You have a chance to help these boys with more than just basketball.

I don't think you understand.

What you're asking would go against everything we stand for.

Well, we didn't realize that.

Uh... Sorry.

They could send us home.

Really? Yes.

I'm sorry, sir.

Well, that went well. Mmm.

Can you believe them?

Asking us to be disobedient like that.

Yeah.

Wait, you're not thinking about it?

No! No, no way, of course not.

I mean, you've got to admit it's a great opportunity.

For what?

Think of the doors this could open for us.

Like with Brett and Elspeth.

The only reason we got invited in was because of...

This is different.

Yeah. Yeah, it is. This is bigger!

This is the Olympic team.

Imagine all the people we could reach.

No more being hosed off lawns. No more doors in the face.

Even if you're right, President Bingham said no.

"Find, teach, baptize" is what he said.

You're prodding at a tiger in its cage here.

We should be sharing our skills.

Basketball, it can break down barriers for us.

I'm going to talk to President Bingham. Are you crazy?

Condie, we're being disobedient just by being here.

Just relax, okay?

President Bingham, he's really just a teddy bear.

Yeah, but Sister Bingham's like a dragon.

She's really scary.

At the moment, we're just these strange Americans who knock on people's doors, but...

But they love sport and they're crazy for the Olympics.

If we help them with this, we can break down so many barriers.

We'll be a part of their community.

Elder Condie, your enthusiasm is admirable, but it's misguided.

You need to re-channel all that enthusiasm into your missionary work.

I have been, President Bingham.

Every day we go out tracting, and I can tell you firsthand that getting our message across is that much easier when there's a point of connection, like basketball.

There's this young boy, Brett...

Elder Condie, if you wanted to play basketball so much, you should have stayed in college.

We are not a basketball team, I am not your coach.

No, I understand that, sir, but...

No buts.

We have but one purpose and one purpose only.

We cannot do our work if we are distracted by playing sports.

Now, gentlemen, let this be the last time we talk of this matter.


Are you okay?


"My son is an intuitive young man.

"And he feels that basketball could be the means

"to help them to connect with the people.

"And indeed ingratiate themselves into the community."

Brethren, Elder Tanner passed this on to me from his good friend, Brother Condie.

Missionary work is hard enough without us making it any harder.

We send our fine young men out into the mission field.

And we have an opportunity to assist them to bring others into the arms of the Lord.

And that is exactly what I intend to do.

Elder Condie, you must have prayed very hard.

Salt Lake has proposed that we put a basketball team together in order to help the Australians.

And I'm putting you in charge of it.

We'll do whatever you ask of us, sir.

I want to make it absolutely clear from the outset that there will be certain parameters.

Elders are not to be distracted from their missionary work.

You will be given one day a week to practice.

I want you to work closely together with Elder Burt to handpick the best team from the mission.

Don't let me down.

Johnson was at BYU. Where's he serving at the moment?

He's in Adelaide. But he goes home in a few weeks.

Dang. West and Grant were at the U.

Grant's in Tasmania.

Elder Garn was a starter at Sugar City, Idaho.

Oh, yeah, I remember playing against him. That guy is fast.

Frodsham. He's a good all-around sportsman.

He played at BYU. He's tough as nails, too.

Elder Hull, sit up straight.

That is not a footrest and this is not a Chinese bathhouse.

Do up your tie.

So, are you elders staying for dinner, then?

We hadn't planned to, so please don't go to any trouble for us.

Well, I'm planning for you and I already have, so it's settled.

I still think all of this is a silly idea, but if President McKay thinks we should, then I will support it.

Oh! And don't forget Elder Kimball.

He was a star at Provo High School.

Let me be quite clear.

You are first and foremost missionaries.

You'll manage your time well, but if your work should suffer, then you'll be relieved of this assignment.

Basketball, in and of itself, doesn't convert people to the gospel.

So always remember who you are and what you stand for.

Yes, sir.

When you guard me, you want to stand a little closer if you can.

Yeah, and keep low. Okay.

You'll see which way I'm going to cut.

Good, that's it, well done.

Halt. If you spread your hands wider on the ball, it's easier to control.

I don't need any help from you.

Okay.

Hey, come on. Come, boys. Time out.

Let's just have a spell, fellas.

Can you try and put into practice what it is that they're telling us?

We don't... They're here to help us!

We don't need these guys.

Yes, we do, Jim.

We can't run to the Yanks every time we need our necks saved.

It was bad enough during the bloody war.

So what can we do to improve ourselves?

Playing basketball is one thing.

How you live your life is another.

All I'm saying to you guys, if you're smoking, if you're drinking, you're crucifying your bodies and wasting your life.

You don't see us running up court gasping for air, do you?

Hey! Go back and join your team.

I don't need sermons, and I don't need them to tell me how to live my life.

I think you do, Jim, 'cause you're not doing a very good job of it yourself.

Go back and join your team. Please.

Anyway, I've seen you all doing the shots. That's great.

You've got the two-handed set shot, but we really want to start focusing on the jump shot.

And the point of the jump is to shoot from a higher position to make it more difficult for the defender to block.

It also lowers the angle of the basket.

So let's try some.

And now we're privileged to have in the studio members of the Mormon Yankees basketball team.

We sure do appreciate you taking the time...

Listen! It's the elders!

That's Elder Condie.

I just love their accents.

Yes, sir, that's correct.

Oi! We're listening to that!

I've heard some bad things about these Mormons.

They sacrifice live goats and try to trap you into their cult.

They don't do that, Jim! They're very nice people.

Well, I'll have nothing to do with 'em and neither will you if you want to stay married to me.

And no more going to their church. It's a waste of time.

Stop being a drongo and fix the car.

Shush! I can't hear.

Well, we wish you and your team all the best for the up-and-coming Bendigo game with the state team.

And now a word from our sponsor.

So the state team invite us to play in a city two hours away, and we have to hitchhike while the others drive?

How did we draw the short straw?

Think of it as a way to meet people.

Hey. It says here, "The discovery of gold in Bendigo during the 1850s

"made it one of the most significant

"Victorian boom towns in Australia."

Hey, we might find a nugget.

I need to find a bathroom.

And get bit on the butt by a snake?

I'll hold.

I think we should split up.

Be a lot easier to pick up two than four.

Good idea. We'll run ahead and if you get a ride, have them pick us up.

Is something on your mind, then?

How can you keep pushing all the time?

Doesn't this ever get to you?

Don't you miss your family?

Yeah, I do.

I just keep working.

Yeah, I am working.

More than I've ever worked.

Sacrificed so much, and for what?

I just want to be at home with my family.

You're not the only one who feels like that.

The more I let it get to me, the further away I feel.

As much as I want to be near them, to sit on the porch with my dad, or to smell my mom's cooking...

I know this isn't forever.

But I want to finish what I started here first.

Is your mom a good cook?

Oh, brother, she's the best.

Thanksgiving especially.

What about yours?

Every year my dad would get a turkey before Thanksgiving, and my brother would attach himself to it, claim it as a pet.

He didn't realize we were eating his pet until he was eight or nine.

He's never eaten turkey since.

Hey.

Thanks.

Where you headin', cobber? Bendigo.

Okay, jump in.

Hey, here they are.

Thank you.

Go, go, go!

Come on. You guys, come on.

Okay.

No... Hey!

Guys. Stop kidding around, guys. Come on.

Real funny, guys, really funny.

Nice one, guys.

What do you mean they've cancelled the game?

I don't know any details.

They just said the game was off.

They couldn't notify us earlier?

So we've hitchhiked all this way for nothing?

Well done, Condie, that's another fine mess you got us into.

So, what do we do now?

Head back home, I guess.

I see what they mean about four seasons in one day.

It's freezing!

Hey. Are you guys those Mormon Yankees?

Yes, sir, we are.

Oh, I've been looking everywhere for you.

How did you know where to find us?

Well, there's not too many American-looking fellas above six foot around here.

I'm John Whitaker from the Bendigo prison.

Heard your game got cancelled.

We were wondering whether you'd be interested in having a bit of an exhibition game up at the prison.

A prison? Who would we play?

Prisoners.

I've coached some of them into a team, and we play in the local league.

When they heard you were coming to Bendigo, they all wanted to play the great Mormon Yankees.

Isn't it meant to rain today, sir?

You're Mormons, aren't you?

Can't you take care of that?

Can I have a quick word with my team?

We cannot play in a prison.

President Bingham will freak out.

But can you think of any group of people under the sun who we could help more?

He could send you home.

I'm not just passing the time, Hull.

What if we get stabbed?

We're here. We got nothing else to do.

You know, I saw a James Cagney film once where the prisoners had shivs and stabbed each other.

We'll play on one condition.

We get a hot meal.

And some ice cream.

Done.

I've spent my whole life living right and I end up in prison.

Just don't be here when we leave.

Hey, it's great to see you. Thanks, boys. Thanks for coming.

We really appreciate this.

♪ Well, I got a girl

♪ She's fine

♪ She looks like Frankenstein

♪ She got friends Well, that's true

♪ But I think they come from a zoo

♪ But I love her Yes, I do

♪ 'Cause she is my girl

♪ She got big eyes and droopy lips

♪ And when she walks Her hips do the flip

♪ She's got a smile

♪ Boy, she can giggle a while

♪ But I love her Yes, I do

♪ 'Cause she is my girl, yeah!

♪ If I had to climb a mountain or swim the deepest sea

♪ She's the only girl for me

♪ That's it, that's all

♪ Just look what you have done

♪ But I love her Yes, I do

♪ 'Cause she is my girl ♪


A prison?

What were you thinking?

The opportunity was there, so I did what I thought was right.

What you thought was right.

Elder Condie, I put my faith in you to make good choices.

This was not one of them.

Did you even consider the danger of what might have happened there?

Sir, it's not like we got stabbed.

Sir, there were guards with us at all time.

Elder Condie, that is hardly the point.

This game could set the Church back years if word gets out.

Now, these shenanigans must end.

Or you'll find yourself door-knocking in the Outback.

I doubt they play basketball out there.

Yes, sir.

Mmm.

These things are amazing.

How can he not see it?

I can't think of a better way for them to accept us.

Otherwise, what's the point of being here?

You know, Condie...

At the start, I was just going along with you because you were my companion.

But after the prison match, one of the inmates asked me to teach him about God.

I think you're onto something here, and it's kind of exciting.

Are you sure you don't want some?

It's really good.

So, the Olympic Committee won't allow nations to play each other before the actual games begin.

So, they want to put together a tournament, where countries can play you boys or some local teams to get some match practice before the Olympics.

Us, play against the Olympic teams?

If you can give them some good warm-up games, it makes for a better spectacle.

We'll have to run it past President Bingham first.

I'm not exactly his favorite person right now.

Wouldn't you want to go up against the best in the world?

See how good you can be?

And see us get our trash kicked?

Oh, no, son.

No, you're as good as I've ever seen.

We'll ask. But don't hold your breath.

Excuse me...

Come here.

You boys have got a fan.

Excuse me, sir, could I please have an autograph?

Sure. Do you play?

My brother and I only really just started.

We usually play footy.

Well, basketball will be a blessing in your life.

What's your name? Lindsay.

Lindsay Gaze.

It's nice to meet you, Lindsay.

Thanks.

Don't worry. If Bingham's going to flip, I'll take the heat.

No, you won't. We're companions.

I'm with you all the way.

What is it, my dear?

That was Governor Souter from Bendigo prison.

The inmates have asked that we send missionaries there to teach, at the prison!

Apparently, all this basketball nonsense may have its merits after all.

You have always chosen the right and taken care of the underdog.

And the man I know would never be afraid to admit when he's been wrong before.

They are our boys.

We better find out what these games are all about.

With the Olympics now just days away, basketball fever appears to be sweeping the nation, with teams playing exhibition matches to showcase this growing sport.

Crowd favorites, the Mormon Yankees, are set to take on the Russians after their convincing win over China.

These boys look set to win hearts and minds all across the country with their on-court skills shining against the best in the world.

When you're on defense, you have to be on your man.

Use your body. Don't be afraid to use your body.

That's right, that's good!

Nice. Really good.

Use your body. It's okay. You're not gonna hurt him.

You just pass it off. Dribble it across to me.

Good, good, good. Really nice.

We should play these Americans.

Play against these Mormons?

They don't even represent their country.

No, no, it's pointless.

But coach we need to train.

We haven't played anyone since getting here.

Train with idiots?

This is the Olympics, Beugnot, OK!

We're not going to church!

Come on.

You're gonna watch any events, Frank?

I wouldn't know what to watch.

So many weird sports I've never heard of.

You should still support your country.

Really?

Well, when they have football or cricket in there, I'll go along and watch.

Think I'll go and watch Dawn Fraser in the pool.

Hey!

Are you blokes those Mormon Yankees?

Yes, sir, we are.

Fair dinkum?

That's you blokes in the paper?

We've got some famous people in here, Syd!

No charge for you blokes.

Thank you, sir. Hey.

Make sure you give those Ruskis a run for their money tonight, all right?

We'll do our best.

"So, I'll sign off now.

"Give my love to James and the girls, and Mom, "of course, and thank you again, Dad.

"As always, your loving son."

Oh. Would you look at him?

That's great, that's against the Russians.

He looks like he's doing well, Pop.

Dear Dad.

Our exhibition games have been going well and have led to many opportunities with the Australian people.

Their love of sport is very strong and has given us the chance to talk to them in a more meaningful way.

It has certainly lifted the spirits of a lot of the elders on the team.

I finally feel like I know why I'm here.

Our game against the French team proved to be one of the toughest challenges we've had so far.

Their coach picked a disused warehouse out of town and kept the press and public out.

He runs a tight ship.

I think a lot of his team are actually afraid of him.

This is going to work in our favor, Stan. I just know it, mate.

Nice.

We started strongly and managed to get in a few early baskets.

Come on let's go! One, two, one, two.

But it's not easy keeping one of the best teams in the world behind you.

They didn't take too kindly to a bunch of missionaries taking the lead, that's for sure.

Very good, very good!

Come on, keep up, boys. Keep it tight!

What's the matter? This is rubbish.

Boys, if they're going to play like that, watch yourselves!

What's going on?

Stay strong, stay strong!

Front and guard!

Let's keep focus, boys. We need to...

Look, he plays like an idiot.

Front and guard!

Come on, ref!

Pretty soon, we learned the hard way that not everyone plays by the same rules we do.

But we kept our cool, even when the French were losing theirs.

Let's go! The game is up the other end... look.

Keep your hands to yourself, mate!

Focus. Put it in.

That was nice. Good work.

Get ready, boys.

Nice. Good work. Keep it up, man.

Let's go, boys!

He can't do that!

He can't do that!

Come on, come on. Why is no one ahead!

Let's go! Come on, boys, you've got this!

Game!

We're still aching from the encounter.

But can you believe it?

We beat one of the best teams in the world.

Thanks for the great game.

Pathetic...

Pathetic...

Losing to this religious bunch.

Coach, they are much better than we thought.

You will not speak of this game. Not to each other. Not to anyone! Ok?

Just pass it off. Move across. Really good.

French are going around saying that they beat you boys.

They can say whatever they like.

We know what happened.

They're insisting on a rematch.

Yeah, we'll play them again.

But this time under our conditions.

Olympic Stadium, open to the public, with Olympic referees.

And TV cameras. They'll hate it!

But anything to see the French get their knickers in a knot!

I'm sure we can arrange that.

Yeah. Good. Good.

We better get back. Yes, yes.

Nice work, guys.

Just pass it off.

Dribble it across to me. Nice work!

Condie!

Bill Russell!

Delyle Condie.

I played against you at Utah, right?

That's right, sir.

I'm down here on a mission for my church.

Well, that's one basketball player who got it right.

This here is Coach Tucker.

This is my team.

Guys, this is Bill Russell, Coach Tucker and the entire American squad.

Saw your match the other day.

Some good defense.

Thank you, Coach.

You boys got it. You all doing our country proud.

Delyle, best jump shot I ever seen, man!

You should have been on our team.

So, are you guys up for a match against us?

You know, you're a tough team to track down.

Are you kidding?

No, we wouldn't stand a chance against you guys.

It wouldn't feel right playing against our national team.

Well, you think about it.

Anyway, I was hoping you could give us the lowdown on the Russians.

Well, their tall guy is just that.

He doesn't do much else.

The one you need to watch though is the short guy.

He's fast. All right.

Faster than anybody I've ever seen.

The way he brings it down the court like that.

He'll put it up and score two before you can do anything.

With only days to go before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, we're thrilled to bring you this live television event on ABC TV tonight.

Behind me, people are gathering to watch this exhibition basketball game between the Mormon Yankees, a team made up of young church missionaries, and the French Olympic team.

This is the second time these teams will have met, and we should be set for an exciting game.

Elder Condie.

Tell me, are you anxious about this evening's game?

"Anxious"? Uh... I'm excited.

The French are incredible players. They're a great team.

But the Mormon Yankees, we're excited to get out there and play our best, so...

That's fantastic. Congratulations and good luck, sir!

Roger Breeny, ABC TV.


Welcome to the official telecast of the much anticipated rematch between the French Olympic basketball team and Australia's adopted favorites, the Mormon Yankees.

The Yankees have been preparing our very own boys for the Olympic Games, and taken time out from their training for this exhibition match, coming to you live from Olympic Stadium, right here in Melbourne.

If I could have a moment.

After today's over, we go back to being just missionaries.

Go on, go on.

My father once told me that basketball could bring people from all walks of life together, no matter what color or religion you are.

These people are here to watch us.

We've been blessed.

Just want to say thank you to all of you.

Including you, President.

I was told that serving a mission would be the best two years of my life.

And it has been.

To be able to use the game that I love to bring people towards salvation...

It's a story worth telling our kids about, right?

As you all know, I wasn't in favor of allowing my missionaries to play organized basketball.

But I was wrong.

The sportsmanship that you have exhibited to everyone who's seen you play is going to change people's hearts.

You've done us proud.

Now, I don't know much about basketball, but I know that tonight we're going to beat the pants off the French.

Elder Garn, would you lead us in prayer, please?

Dear Heavenly Father...


The crowd are on their feet as the Mormon Yankees enter the stadium.

There he is. Who?

Delyle. Where?

He's the star player of the team.

These young American missionaries are set to take on the best in the world.

Coming to you live from Olympic Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

Yankees on three.

One, two, three.

Yankees!

The starting lineup for the Mormon Yankees are Condie, Hull, Frodsham, Kimball and Garn, with the French team fielding Ray, Antoine, Monclar, Beugnot and Grange.

♪ The bombs bursting in air

♪ Gave proof through the night

♪ That our flag was still there...

Dad, what are they singing?

The national anthem.

♪ O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

♪ O'er the land of the free

♪ And the home of the brave ♪

If they pull those roughhouse tactics on us again, I want you to be our enforcer.

Within the spirit of the game, of course.

You don't have to ask me twice.

I'll show those wine sippers how we play ball.

Missionary style. And, Garn, Monclar's their go-to guy.

If you give him space, he'll score on you.

Not tonight, he's not.

Let's play ball, boys!

Very short shorts.

And we're all set for the tip-off.

The French are certainly athletic and one of the best teams in the world.

They'll be looking to dominate this young American Mormon team.

First possession goes to the Mormon Yankees, Hull carrying the ball.

A low pass from Garn to Kimball.

The Yankees look in complete control here.

Frodsham to Condie who goes up, and the Yankees are first to score!

Ray is bringing the ball down for the French, but the Yankee defense is looking solid.

To Antoine now, who makes short work of Garn and passes to Monclar.

Monclar is going in and... He goes down!

Just minutes in and this game is already getting physical.

Seven, push.

Prepare for war.

Oh, yeah? How'd the last one work out?

Monclar easily taking his free throws as the tension mounts between these two teams.

And another Mormon boy goes down.

That was on 12 white, push.

What are they doing?

That was an interesting call, ref.

If you don't like it, too bad.

No, you were spot on, it was most definitely a foul.

Thank you. It's just for the wrong team.

A foul called on the Yankees!

The crowd clearly showing their displeasure at this decision as the French score, slowly starting to pull ahead.

A long ball finds Hull.

Shoots it to Condie.

He's contacted by Beugnot.

Condie's on his feet, but they are really taking a beating.

Come on, come on!

Clearly, the French are trying to intimidate the Mormon Yankee team with some rough tactics.

With Hull now.

And he, too, goes down as we hit halftime.

Oh, no!

The French are the fourth-ranked team in the world and are pulling out all the stops against these young Mormons, leading them by just four points at this stage of the game.

Right, listen, listen!

Those guys are going to throw everything at us.

Prepare yourselves.

If we can ride the knocks and hold them steady, we can win this.

Hull, Hull? Are you okay?

Yeah. Okay.

What is that?

You continue to be humiliated by this bunch of religious fools.

But this time in front of the world.

But coach it was a superb basket.

And you, you play for your superb country...

France...

Does that mean anything to you?

Remember why we got on that boat to come out here.

This is not for us, but for all of those who are following us.

And for those who are cheering for us.

Okay, this, this is our time. Come on, boys!

Come on, boys, come on!

And Condie scores again!


Antoine is moving up the court, the momentum shifting to the French as they swiftly close the gap.

Let's go, Yankees! Tight defense!

Boo!

A pass to Beugnot. Hull steals.

And he's running down the clock.

Foul by the French captain! That's five fouls for him.

And he takes a seat on the bench.

Those Mormon Yankees, they're the best I have ever played.

This match has been a war of attrition by the French, wearing down the Yankees who are showing clear signs of fatigue.

Here, Kimball!

And Condie goes down!

He appears to be out cold.

Come on, kid, you gotta get up and keep going.

And he's up! Condie is on his feet! Just listen to that crowd!

We got this.

Time out! Time out, ref!

Hey. You all right?

There's no shame in retiring, son.

Your health is much more important than just a game.

No. This is more than just a game, sir...

To them.

Yes, it is.

Look around at the bleachers.

These people who used to shun us and slam doors on our faces are cheering for us.

And here, tonight, I want people to remember the Mormon Yankees for who we are, and what we stand for.

Yankees will have to forfeit the match.

Says who? How can they be three on the floor?

Are you prepared to tell all these people that they have to forfeit?

It's an exhibition game, mate!

They can hang from the bloody rafters if they want to.

Play ball.

Let them play, let them play, let them play!

Did you hear what I said?

Let them play, let them play, let them play!

Did you hear what I said?

Blow your whistle and let's get started.

Go on.

"Play ball," said the referee!

This is extraordinary.

The Yankees, with only three men on the court and just seconds remaining.

This game is going to go down to the wire.

We can run down the clock and score two to win it.

But we must get possession.

Hull, Kimball.

There are no plays that I can tell you from now.

All right, now it's all instinctive.

Let's go, Yankees! Come on, come on!

So now the Yankees are down to three fit men on the court.

Well, you'd never know that these two countries were allies during the war.

This is what you'd expect from the Russians.

Come on.

Come on!

Stay open!

Come on, boys, come on.

Come on!


Score! The French Olympic team have beaten the Mormon Yankees by the narrowest of margins in what can only be described as a nail-biting finish.


We played that game fair and square!

You can't have an extra free throw! "Travel"?

We'll protest, son.

Protest to who, Ken?

We're here to give them practice, and that's what we did.

When I'm wrong, I admit it.

Good game, Condie.

You're a great player.