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Miracle at St. Anna (2008)

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Set in 1944 Italy, the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.



(screenplay), (novel)

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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Christmas, 1983. A New York postal clerk, a Buffalo Soldier in Italy in World War II, shoots a stranger. In his apartment, police find a valuable Italian marble head, missing since the war. Flashbacks tell the story of four Black soldiers who cross Tuscany's Serchio River, dodging German and friendly fire. With a shell-shocked boy in tow, they reach the village of Colognora. Orders via radio tell them to capture a German soldier for questioning about a counteroffensive. In the village, a beautiful woman, partisans that include a traitor and a local legend, the boy, and the story of a recent massacre connect to the postal worker's anguish forty years later. And the miracle? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some black people will live to tell the Story See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong war violence, language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Spike Lee WWII Project  »

Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,477,996 (USA) (26 September 2008)


$7,916,887 (USA) (21 November 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wesley Snipes was originally cast in the film, but was forced to drop out due to pending tax-evasion charges. See more »


The statue head used as a plot device is described in the movie as "white marble". The density of marble is about 160 pounds per cubic foot. Throughout the movie it dangles off the pack of the actor, bouncing off his leg as he walks or runs. Also, the actors cradle it in their lap or on their chest made it clear the object was definitely not made of stone. See more »


Livingston: Safety is the greatest risk of all, because safety leaves no room for miracles and miracles are the only sure thing in life.
See more »


Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 22 August 2008 (2008) See more »


Vandervoort In Ste-Mere-Eglise
From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack The Longest Day
Composed by Maurice Jarre
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

If This Film Doesn't Put You To Sleep It'll Be A Miracle
7 July 2013 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Spike lee ? Rings a bell somewhere . Let me guess . He's the black writer/director who basically single handedly proved that if you've got ambition and talent in America you can pursue the American dream very well . Started off making low budget indie features that cost very little , got met with great critical acclaim and spearheaded independent film making in general and independent black film making in particular . I'm just trying to think when was the last time the name Spike Lee became associated with a movie he made . The only time I remember Lee's name making headlines is when he accuses other film makers of being racist . Indeed Spike Lee has something of an attitude that goes beyond parody similar to the militant black guy character from BALLS OF STEEL who sees racism in everyday life that doesn't exist . In many ways his career mirrors the last days of the Third Reich with shrieks of racism at every opportunity while blowing up bridges . It's safe to say Lee has burnt enough of his own bridges in Hollywood with his own shouting . If that wasn't bad enough his own film making skills indicate he's blown it anyway

Films like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN , THE THIN RED LINE and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS means you have to bring something new to the world war 2 genre in the 21st century and " Epic " is not the same as overlong . MIRACLE AT ST ANNA isn't an epic war film , merely a very overlong one and shows the faults of what happens when you give too much resources and budget to someone whose roots are in indie cinema

The film starts in New York in 1983 where a war veteran who is black watches John Wayne in THE LONGEST DAY and bitterly laments that " I fought for this country too " . Maybe a bad idea to include John Wayne as a fellow war veteran of the second world war since he never actually fought in the war , perhaps a better choice might have been James Stewart even though he was in the USAAF or Richard Todd even though he was British or Rod Steiger even though he was in the US Navy but there was plenty of decorated war heroes who were movie stars none of whom were John Wayne

The story then cuts to the post office where a man with a foreign accent asks for a stamp , stops to stare in amazement at the cashier then is shot dead by him . Later a newspaper reporter turns up at the crime scene and a detective takes him back to the cashier's flat where he finds a head of a female statue who turns out to be worth millions of dollars . This makes headlines across he world including Italy where due to a couple having an argument an Italian man finds this headline suddenly appear on his table Baring in mind the title of this film miracles do indeed happen . In fact they happen all the time in the first half hour of the movie so much so that if something miraculous doesn't happen then it is a miracle of sorts . One can't even begin to describe the contrived nature of all this and considering the audience are supposed to be watching a war film New York in 1983 isn't much of a battlefield , not unless you're watching DEATH WISH 3 . Thankfully Lee then has the decency to have a flashback to Italy 1944 half an hour in to the running time which now means we have two hours and ten minutes to go before the end credits

This quickly sums up everything that's wrong with the movie . There's enough material here to keep a studio executive in work for a whole decade which has been the exact problem with every Spike Lee movie since the turn of the century . There is a total lack of brevity to the storytelling and every single overlong scene is accompanied with the most intrusive and manipulative music possible . THE MIRACLE OF ST ANNA flopped at the cinema and no doubt Lee will scream he's a victim of some sort of prejudice but the truth is that people are - regardless of ethnic background - prejudiced against overlong , manipulative , boring movies which MIRACLE OF ST ANNA is

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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