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In the late 1930s, a young machinist named Maurice Richard distinguished himself as an ice hockey player of preternatural talent. Although that was enough to get him into the Montreal Canadiens, his frequent injuries cost him the confidence of his team and the fans. In the face of these doubts, Richard eventually shows the kind of aggressive and skillful play that would make him one of the greatest players of all time as "The Rocket." However for all his success, Richard and his fellow French Canadians face constant discrimination in a league dominated by the English speaking. Although a man of few words, Richard begins to speak his own mind about the injustice which creates a organizational conflict that would culminate in his infamous 1955 season suspension that sparks an ethnic riot in protest. In the face of these challenges, Richard must decide who exactly is he playing for. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All of the NHL game scenes were filmed at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City, as the Montreal Forum was converted to retail space after closing in 1996 and the other arenas depicted in the film were demolished by the time filming commenced. The Colisée was home to the Quebec Nordiques, which played in the World Hockey Association (1972-1979) and the NHL (1972-1995). Maurice Richard himself briefly coached the Nordiques during their inaugural WHA season. See more »
The RCAF officer who rejects Maurice Richard's enlistment is wearing an only slightly modified modern Canadian air force uniform. At that time, the RCAF uniform was virtually identical to that of the RAF, which features light- and dark-blue bands on the cuffs as officer insignia. This officer's uniform very clearly had gold insignia on the cuffs, in keeping with what the modern air force has worn since the mid-1980s. See more »
I have been a hockey fan for almost 40 years and have collected almost every dramatic film ever made about the sport. But, I'd have to say that "The Rocket" is far and away, the best one ever made. The cinematography is stunning, the acting spellbinding and the story gripping. It tells the story of a simple and tortured man who drives himself to excel at the sport he loves. It leads him to become the reluctant hero of French-Canadian culture, self-perceived as being held back and oppressed by the anglophones.
Roy Dupuis, who portrayed Maurice in no less than two other cinematic projects, perfectly captures the fire and intensity of the man in a most fitting, if not THE crowning tribute, to the legend of Maurice "The Rocket" Richard. Biname goes to great lengths to duplicate the look and feel of the late-30s, on into the mid-50s and certainly captures the collective agony and anger of early-to-mid 20th century French Canada.
Julie LeBreton is beautiful and amazing as Richard's wife, Lucille. Notable also are the cameo appearances made by NHLers Sean Avery (Bob Dill), Vincent Lecavalier (Jean Beliveau); Mike Ricci (Elmer Lach), Ian Laperierre (Boom Boom Geoffrion) and Stephane Quintal (Dollard St. Laurent). What "Slap Shot" proved, "The Rocket" confirms. Pro hockey players are damn good actors!
I realize funding for this movie was brought up in the infamous "Sponsorship Scandal" that dissolved former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal government in 2006, but you can't fault it at any level. It was worth every cent used to make it and it will be hard for Canadian cinema to duplicate this level of quality ever again.
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