IMDb > The Heart of the Game (2005)
The Heart of the Game
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The Heart of the Game (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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The Heart of the Game -- Trailer
The Heart of the Game -- US Home Video Trailer from Buena Vista Home Entertainment
The Heart of the Game -- US Home Video Trailer from Buena Vista Home Entertainment


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Ward Serrill (written by)
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Release Date:
7 July 2006 (USA) See more »
THE HEART OF THE GAME captures the passion and energy of a Seattle high school girls' basketball team, the eccentricity of their unorthodox coach, and the incredible true story of one player's fight to play the game she loves. See more »
A documentary Roosevelt Roughriders, a girls' high-school basketball team in Seattle, and one player's fight to regain her eligibility to play. | Add synopsis »
3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
2nd Best Sports Movie Ever! See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ludacris ... Narrator (as Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges)

Darnellia Russell ... Herself

Bill Resler ... Himself
Devon Crosby Helms ... Herself (as Devon Crosby-Helms)
Meghan Miller ... Herself
Jade White ... Herself
Lindsey Wilson ... Herself

Michael Silva ... Himself (as Mike 'Riderman' Silva)
Emily Watson ... Herself
Hillary Seidel ... Herself
Aaron Jack ... Himself
Maria Mendoza ... Herself
Keasha Beward ... Herself
April Swafford ... Herself
Maude Lepley ... Herself
Joyce Walker ... Herself
Joel Waters ... Himself
Marjorie Russell ... Herself
Jerry Ronk ... Himself
Shannon Costello ... Herself
Jenny Wild ... Herself
Alex Jessup ... Himself
Emiko Harris ... Herself
Leondrae Morris
Betty Harris ... Herself
Urika Russell ... Herself
Leyla Khastou ... Herself
Tracey Leddo ... Herself
Secoy Clemmons ... Herself
Trekayla Clemmons ... Herself
Kenyon Luce ... Himself
Malia O'Neil ... Herself
Mike Colbrese ... Himself
Kelli Cutright ... Herself
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Directed by
Ward Serrill 
Writing credits
Ward Serrill (written by)

Produced by
Alice de Muizon .... associate producer
Larry Estes .... executive producer
Lois Greenberg .... associate producer
Liz Manne .... producer
Richard Palacios .... associate producer
Ward Serrill .... producer
Amy Stodghill .... associate producer (as Amelia Stodghill)
Original Music by
The Angel 
Cinematography by
Ward Serrill (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Eric Frith 
Production Management
Mary Daisey .... post-production manager: Flying Spot
Kelli Garces .... post-production manager: Flying Spot
Thomas Carl McGuinness .... post-production supervisor
Art Department
Alex Bates .... graphic designer
Lucy Woodworth .... graphic artist: Flying Spot
Sound Department
Pat Cockburn .... sound recordist: narration, Bad Animals
Gideon Cohen .... sound recordist: narration, Bad Animals
Mark Griswold .... additional sound: Bad Animals
Steve Heinke .... sound recordist: narration, Bad Animals
Dave Howe .... sound mixer: Bad Animals
Matt Hutchinson .... sound recordist: narration, Bad Animals
Michael McAuliffe .... sound designer: Bad Animals (as Mike McAuliffe)
Joshua Monroy .... sound recordist: narration, Bad Animals
Peter Roberts .... additional sound: Bad Animals
Ward Serrill .... sound recordist: Bad Animals
Eric Soma .... additional sound: Bad Animals
Wendi Wills .... sound supervisor: post-production, Bad Animals
Daniel Sperry .... sound consultant: Dolby (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Katherine Bragdon .... additional camera operator
Wendy Jo Carlton .... additional camera operator
David Fox .... additional cinematographer
Bruce Hudson .... additional camera operator
Charlie Kirkwood .... additional camera operator
Kirk Miller .... additional camera operator
Richard Palacios .... additional camera operator
Ryan Purcell .... additional camera operator
Ryan Purcell .... lighting
Hilary Seidel .... additional camera operator
Scott Seidel .... additional camera operator
Aaron Stadler .... additional camera operator
Diana Wilmar .... additional cinematographer
Ray Woodhouse .... additional camera operator
Editorial Department
Shane Dillon .... on-line editor: Flying Spot
Kurt Feldhun .... additional editor
Tim Harader .... additional editor
Steve Harris .... on-line editor: Flying Spot
Troy Murison .... on-line editor: Flying Spot
Stephen R. Myers .... post-production consultant (as Stephen Myers)
Tim Neff .... on-line editor: Flying Spot
Amy Stodghill .... assistant editor (as Amelia Stodghill)
Jeff Tillotson .... electronic film timer: Flying Spot
Tiffany Verzal .... additional editor
Daniel Niemiec .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Music Department
The Angel .... music producer
Steve Delbert .... music recordist: band
Kurt Feldhun .... additional composer: score
Susan Jacobs .... music supervisor
Brian Richards .... music editor
Robert Russell .... musician: upright and electric bass
Michael Sackler-Berner .... assistant music supervisor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Steven 'Crash' Arroz .... driver: van
Other crew
Alex Bates .... technical supporter
Katherine Bragdon .... story advisor
Matt Clarke .... story advisor
Tricia Cooke .... story advisor
Jake Farmer .... web site designer
Steve Hay .... story advisor
Dave Hunsaker .... story advisor (as David Hunsaker)
David Liu .... story advisor
Michael McMann .... story advisor
Bill Neal .... legal services
Cathleen O'Connell .... consultant: stock footage
Allison Roberts .... tape logging
Pat Sanford .... chief executive: Flying Spot
Doug Serrill .... usher
June Serrill .... usher
Daniel Steinman .... legal services
Amy Stodghill .... tape logging (as Amelia Stodghill)
Neil Sussman .... legal services
Lucy Woodworth .... title designer: Flying Spot
Cassandra Barbour .... rights and clearances (uncredited)
Kurt Feldhun .... story consultant (uncredited)
Laura Sevier .... rights and clearances (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
97 min | Canada:102 min (Toronto International Film Festival)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Bill Resler:One of the things really that makes coaching fun is when you tell teenagers "Go do 'ABC'", and they'll look at you and say "Yes, we're going to go do 'ABC'", and they're excited about "ABC", and five seconds later you watch them do "XYZ", and sometimes I'll ask them "Why did you do 'XYZ'?" and they never have an answer. They always look at you like, "Why would you ask a question like that?"See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofs Braveheart (1995)See more »
Believe ItSee more »


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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
2nd Best Sports Movie Ever!, 23 July 2006
Author: Richard S. Russell (RSRMadison) from United States

For my money, "Miracle" (2004) is the best sports movie ever. That's mainly because it's subject matter was the greatest moment in sports history — the wildly improbable victory of the United States hockey team over the Soviet Union's in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

My main carp about that film was that it didn't adequately portray to the viewer just how staggeringly great the Soviet team was. Picture a baseball team that featured Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Nolan Ryan, and a dozen other players of comparable magnitude, all at the peak of their powers, and you'll have some idea of what an overwhelming force the Red Army "amateur" team was. The movie doesn't mention it, but they had made it to the medal round by defeating Japan 16-0, Nederland 17-4, and Poland 8-1, in a sport where typical scores are on the order of 3-2.

The movie may not beat you over the head with the amazingness of the Soviet team, but it did do a terrific job of conveying it subtly. As the game entered the last 2 minutes, with the Americans ahead 4-3, the film shows head coach Herb Brooks discussing with his assistant exactly what to do when the Soviet coach, Viktor Tikhonov, pulls his goalie (a common hockey tactic, a gamble, since it leaves the net open, but it gets an additional attacker on the ice). As the seconds tick away, they keep looking at Tikhonov, who appear frozen, just staring at the game. Finally Brooks remarks, in wonder, "He doesn't know what to do!". And at that point it dawns on you: it's because he's never lost before.

I have many more good things to say about "Miracle" (and I don't even like hockey very much), but here in 2006 I'd like to tout the 2nd best sports movie ever: "The Heart of the Game". And, amazingly enuf, it's a documentary! No famous actors, no huge production budget, no award-winning novel on which to base a screenplay, no opportunity to do retakes if things don't go according to script -- just real life, captured as best as they can by director Ward Serrill and his crew with hand-held cameras over a period of 7 years.

The film follows a girls' basketball team, the Roughriders of Seattle Roosevelt High School, and their quirky coach, Bill Resler, University of Washington tax professor by day and motivator of teenage girls by night. The main subplot for the 2nd half of the film is the struggle of star guard Darnellia Russell (no relation) to gain legal eligibility to play for the team after sitting out a year due to pregnancy. Meanwhile, across town, Garfield High School has a new coach, Joyce Walker, herself a former Seattle high-school star who went on to success and fame at the college, Olympic, and pro levels. The Bulldogs are tall and deep, and their star player, who proudly claims she can take Darnellia to the hoop any time she feels like it, happens to be Darnellia's best friend. And Garfield proposes to take no crap from nobody.

There are about 5 seconds' worth of "X"s and "O"s and not quite enuf action footage for my taste (tho what there is is top-quality camera-work). But most of the film is about Resler's interactions with the girls. (And let there be no mistake, they ARE girls, not women.)

I would say more, but let me leave it at this: if there weren't plenty of evidence that this all actually happened, you'd swear it was fiction. A terrific story, very well told.

And now let me say a kind word for Title 9. This was part of Educational Amendments of 1972 (signed into law by President Richard Nixon), and it prohibited sex discrimination in any education program or activity within an institution receiving any type of federal financial assistance. That notably included athletics.

Here are some statistics of interest:

 • In 1997, women received 41% of medical degrees, compared with 9% in 1972.  • In 1997, women earned 44% of law degrees, compared with 7% in 1972.  • In 1997, 41% of all doctoral degrees to U.S. citizens went to women, compared with 25% in 1977.  • Prior to Title 9, there were 32,000 women on intercollegiate teams, today there are 150,000.  • Prior to Title 9, there were 300,000 girls on competitive high-school teams (or 1 in every 27 girls), now there are 2.78 million (1 in every 2.5).

I am a huge fan of girls' high-school and women's college basketball (which goes a long way toward explaining why I'm so fond of this movie). And the fact of the matter is that there isn't a woman playing basketball at any level today who remembers a time when it wasn't considered a perfectly normal and natural opportunity available to the female half of the human race.

But I do.

Thank you, Title 9!

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Winning free throw Johnny____
What was the WIAA thinking? marcia_lou
Over glorified... dyne5000
Title IX Success Story KathyZoo
Whatever happened to Darnellia Russell? GennaJourney
Any other poetic game you know Xtiam
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