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GABE KAPLAN IN FAST BREAK

year: 1979 cast: Gabe Kaplan, Harold Sylvester, Reb Brown, Michael Warren rating: ****
On the iconic TV series WELCOME BACK KOTTER, Gabe Kaplan’s acting was nothing to write home about. Then again, he’s just being himself while others perform around him (like Jerry Seinfeld years later).

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Gabe starred in a few films, and while the slapstick comedy NOBODY’S PERFEKT didn’t shake any ground, FAST BREAK proves the man can really act.

Plot centers on a delicatessen owner who coaches basketball on the side. He’s given a chance to head a small town college team in the middle of nowhere, and he has to import street kids onto the team: These include the troublesome D.C. (the always dependable Harold Sylvester), Tommy (Michael Warren), a con artist preacher with a price on his head; and perhaps the best player of the bunch is Swish, who’s got a secret: he’s a woman.

Gabe Kaplan’s David Green has to keep everything in line – all the while trying to con rival coach Bert Remsen into participating in a big game with multiple stakes.

Kaplan nails the coaching scenes – up against obstacles like a roughneck football player (Reb Brown) making more fouls than shots, while the urban players deal with the mundane small town existence, struggling to keep their grades up in this completely entertaining movie, from start to finish. 
Reb Brown standing above the rest
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