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Cipher in the Snow (1974)
Seems Like Faculty is the Real Audience for This Film
I remember Cipher In The Snow from 5th grade, more than 25 years ago. What I distinctly remember is Cliff Evans' teacher trying to piece together the kid's tragic story. The film concludes with the teacher vowing to never again ignore (in so many words) "the kid in the back of the room, staring off, lost..."
I wonder if the there was an ulterior subject being addressed here: suicide. Cliff simply dies of a broken heart or spirit, but more often in reality kids like him take their own lives rather than succumb to poor health, as seems the case here. There's plenty for any viewer of this film to ponder, certainly students too. It just seems more tailored to adults, as the story is told from the teacher's perspective.
Miracle on Ice (1981)
Good for 1981, but Ready for Remake
As a 12 year-old I ate this movie up. It came on ABC on the anniversary (or thereabouts) of the Lake Placid games. It has plenty of drama off the ice, but settles for stock Olympics broadcast footage in most of the game action. As a Cold war relic, it does play up a little on the US vs. Them theme with the Soviets (a poor cousin of 'The Imperial March' plays as the USSR group marches into the opening ceremonies).
The movie plays and looks a lot like late-70's TV movies (i.e. musical interlude on a bus trip with one of the players singing "Homeward Bound" with a guitar). Casting could have been better. Andrew Stevens was a hot property for the time, but a little too severe for Mike Eruzione. Karl Malden as Herb Brooks? Twenty years too old and doesn't look remotely like him. Robert Conrad would've been a lot closer on both. Kurt Russell looks like a good choice for "Miracle".