The Game of Their Lives (2005)

PG  |   |  Drama, History, Sport  |  22 April 2005 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 2,483 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 45 user | 21 critic | 13 from

Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1 - 0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Although no US team has ever won a World Cup title, this story is about the family traditions and passions which shaped the lives of the players who made up this team of underdogs.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shooters (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Gilly, fresh out of prison, and J, a hustler with a major drug problem, just can't shake their criminal ways.

Directors: Glenn Durfort, Colin Teague
Stars: Adrian Dunbar, Andrew Howard, Louis Dempsey
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In Denmark, during the 6th century, Danish king Hrothgar and his warriors kill a troll whose son, Grendel, vows revenge.

Director: Sturla Gunnarsson
Stars: Hringur Ingvarsson, Spencer Wilding, Stellan Skarsgård
Guilty Hearts (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

Six short stories from the heart and what made them bleed....

Directors: George Augusto, Savina Dellicour, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Kathy Bates, Gerard Butler, Julie Delpy
Dear Frankie (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him.

Director: Shona Auerbach
Stars: Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler
Fast Food (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A reformed young man with a steady job, Benny, returns to the city of his youth to find the girl he's been in love with since childhood and that's home to his four petty criminal friends, Jacko, Zac, Bisto and Flea.

Director: Stewart Sugg
Stars: Douglas Henshall, Emily Woof, Miles Anderson
Jewel of the Sahara (Video 2001)
Comedy | Short | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Ariel Vromen
Stars: Gerard Butler, Clifford David, Peter Franzén
Timeline (2003)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of archaeological students become trapped in the past when they go there to retrieve their professor. The group must survive in 14th century France long enough to be rescued.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Paul Walker, Gerard Butler, Billy Connolly
Attila (TV Mini-Series 2001)
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A romanced story of Attila the Hun, from when he lost his parents in childhood until his death. Attila is disclosed as a great leader, strategist and lover and the movie shows his respect ... See full summary »

Stars: Gerard Butler, Powers Boothe, Simmone Mackinnon
One More Kiss (1999)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When Sarah Hopson realizes her successful high-rise New York lifestyle is devoid of meaning, she packs her bags and heads for her home town in the Scottish Borders to look for Sam, her ... See full summary »

Director: Vadim Jean
Stars: Valerie Edmond, Gerard Butler, Valerie Gogan
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A former sports star who's fallen on hard times starts coaching his son's soccer team as a way to get his life together. His attempts to become an adult are met with challenges from the attractive soccer moms who pursue him at every turn.

Director: Gabriele Muccino
Stars: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When young Jay Moriarity discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson to train him to survive it.

Directors: Michael Apted, Curtis Hanson
Stars: Jonny Weston, Gerard Butler, Elisabeth Shue

The story captures Cobb's fascinating journey beginning with a challenged upbringing and the appearance of an unlikely mentor in Hermy Alswanger, to college basketball fame and then to the ... See full summary »



Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Borghi
Frank 'Pee Wee' Wallace
Stanley Mortensen
Charlie 'Gloves' Columbo
Gino Pariani
Harry Keough (as Zachery Bryan)
Joe Maca
Nelson Vargas ...
John 'Clarkie' Souza
Craig Hawksley ...
Walter Giesler
Admiral Higgins
Older Dent McSkimming
Dent McSkimming
Bill Jeffrey (as John Rhys Davies)


Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1 - 0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Although no US team has ever won a World Cup title, this story is about the family traditions and passions which shaped the lives of the players who made up this team of underdogs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America's finest moment in the world's greatest game. See more »


Drama | History | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 April 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Miracle Match  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$175,336 (USA) (22 April 2005)


$375,474 (USA) (10 June 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Initially David Anspaugh rejected the film as he didn't believe he could make it on such a low budget. His friend and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo persuaded him to change his mind under the pretext that more money would become available. (It didn't.) See more »


The US captain for this game was Scotsman Ed McIlvenny not American Walter Bahr. See more »


Get Ready for This (Rap Version)
Written by Phil Wilde (as Filip De Wilde), Jean-Paul DeCoster (as Jean-Paul Henriette De Coster), Ray Slijngaard (as Raymond Slijngaard) & Simon Harris
Performed by 2 Unlimited
Courtesy of Byte Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

We got Game!
24 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

O.K., how many of you know that the U.S. beat a heavily-favored English team in a 1950 World Cup Soccer upset? No? No-one? Researching the annals of Sports headlines would not necessarily provide you with the correct information, as the win was so astonishing that the final score of 0-1 was assumed by British journalists to be a typo, and was reported as an English victory of 10-1! And the American Press was too busy covering the onset of the Korean War to pay much attention to the unexpected triumph by a hastily thrown-together U.S. team in a sport which had not yet caught on in the States.

The Game of Their Lives exists to correct this glaring omission in Sports History. David Anspaugh (Hoosiers, Rudy) has directed the quintessential Soccer movie, compelling in its simplicity. Forced by an extremely limited budget to pare this true story down to its bare bones, what emerges is a straight-forward accounting of the American Spirit. On my way to the St. Louis premiere, an African taxi driver put it succinctly, yet enthusiastically, commenting, "Yes! Yes! That's what you Americans do! You make up your minds, pull things together and get things done!" The minimalist story is told in flashback.

Patrick Stewart (Yes, Star Trek) lends his authoritative voice to narration, in the role of Dent McSkimming, the only American reporter to cover the game in Brazil, traveling at his own expense. The setting is primarily "the Hill," a working class Italian-American neighborhood of St. Louis, MO. Against a visually accurate if somewhat nostalgic depiction of post-WW2 optimism and Family Values, the team players selected just weeks before the first round World Cup matches are introduced. It is immediately clear from their devotion to the game that Soccer is a thinly-veiled metaphor for Life for these amateurs. Against this backdrop of a simpler time, a result-oriented male psyche is exposed.

Gerard Butler gives a stand-out performance as Frank Borghi, the steadfast Goalie who is the heart of the team. Mr. Butler has demonstrated incredible range in recent films, going from action hero (Tomb Raider II) to big budget musical (Phantom of the Opera), to independent foreign film (Dear Frankie), to this near-documentary Sports ensemble piece. Just as Borghi is the glue which cements the U.S. team, Butler holds the cast together with an unrelenting presence. His measured determination is balanced against the frustrated pessimism of the titular Team Captain, the less-than-charismatic yet eminently practical Walter Bahr - who went on to coach at Penn State, played by Wes Bentley (American Beauty). Also turning in notable performances are the Mandylor brothers, Costas and Louis, together in a movie for the first time, portraying unrelated players. The personal stories rivet the audience to the chain of events which culminate in the eponymous game.

The match in question was played and shot on location in Brazil. Despite foreknowledge of the outcome, game play is heart-stoppingly exciting and the camera angles place you in the thick of the competition. There is some real Soccer being played on screen! Although I am not an avid Sports fan, I was surprised to find myself on the edge of my seat and carried away by the immediacy of the action. At the premiere in St. Louis, it was heart-warming to see several of the original players in person, including Frank Borghi, being finally honored after 55 years for their remarkable achievement.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does ANYONE know the USA DVD release date? malty_mom2003
The real upset of the 1950 World Cup leo_curbelo
I worked in the film mika05
Decent Football(soccer) movies...? Steino
Two words: Loved It!!! AngelOfMusicRJH
Request release on DVD pamela-66
Discuss The Game of Their Lives (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: