6.7/10
24,746
128 user 48 critic

Mystery, Alaska (1999)

This comedy is about the residents of a small town who get over-excited when their hockey team gets chosen to host a televised event

Director:

Jay Roach
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Crowe ... John Biebe
Hank Azaria ... Charles Danner
Mary McCormack ... Donna Biebe
Burt Reynolds ... Judge Walter Burns
Colm Meaney ... Mayor Scott Pitcher
Lolita Davidovich ... Mary Jane Pitcher
Maury Chaykin ... Bailey Pruitt
Ron Eldard ... 'Skank' Marden
Ryan Northcott ... Stevie Weeks
Michael Buie ... Connor Banks
Kevin Durand ... 'Tree' Lane
Scott Grimes ... 'Birdie' Burns
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Bobby Michan
Brent Stait ... Kevin Holt
Leroy Peltier Leroy Peltier ... Ben Winetka
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Storyline

When Mystery, Alaska's (amateur) hockey team accepts a challenge to play the New York Rangers, the entire population must put their petty differences aside, and band together, as their small town becomes the centre of a nationally televised event. Written by Ranger Mode

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Small Town on the Outskirts of Greatness.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,102,191, 3 October 1999

Gross USA:

$8,891,623

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,891,623
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dates-wise, the movie's premise makes no sense. The NHL regular season runs from October through April. The movie begins in the second week of December; shortly after, the game is scheduled for 32 days later. Unless not specifically stated, one would think the game is played in January. NHL players would not be traveling to Alaska for a scrimmage game during the middle of the season. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie in the credits the year is MCMXCVIX, an impossible combination of Roman numerals (it should read "MCMXCIX"). See more »

Quotes

Janice Pettiboe: It's a Rockwellian Christmas up here. Skating. Barbecues. Snow. We're here with defenseman Matt Marden, and... cut!
Charles Danner: What?
Janice Pettiboe: I can't feel my fingers.
'Skank' Marden: You need to rub 'em on a nice, warm Yuletide log.
Janice Pettiboe: I beg your pardon?
'Skank' Marden: Look, Christmas is a lonely day for a guy to be chokin' his own chicken. And as women reporters go, I find you supple.
Janice Pettiboe: Oh, that was lovely. It's a shame we weren't rolling for that.
Charles Danner: I'm sure he'd be happy to repeat it.
'Skank' Marden: [laughing] You need to relax!
Janice Pettiboe: Charles!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ben Affleck/Fiona Apple (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Drive
Written and Performed by Ian Anderson
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's More Than A Hockey Game
15 August 2000 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

It's cold in the small hamlet of Mystery, Alaska, but there's plenty of warmth in `Mystery, Alaska,' the film, directed by Jay Roach, about the town and the sport that is ingrained in the collective consciousness of the community. Hockey is the game, and when a former resident, now a journalist, writes a story about Mystery's home-town team and their `Saturday Game,' and it ends up as a three page spread complete with pictures in Sports Illustrated, it has far reaching effects on the populace of this small dot on the map. Soon the town is turned upside down, embroiled in an event, the proportions of which, to them, are huge. Needless to say, it involves hockey and an encounter with a high-profile professional team. Yes, there is a lot of hockey in this movie, but be advised, this film is not `about' hockey; this is a movie about people– real people– and what makes them tick. Roach has crafted a thoroughly entertaining and emotional story of want and need, dignity and desire, obsession and love, and he's captured it all through the winning performances of a stellar ensemble cast, the most prominent of which is Russell Crowe. The charismatic Crowe, finally on his way to superstardom thanks to his turn in `Gladiator' plays John Biebe, Mystery's sheriff and captain of the hockey team. His rugged good looks and persona fit the character perfectly, and he puts all of his myriad personal resources to work to put it across, and that he does. Also notable is the personable Mary McCormack as John's wife, Donna, who does a great job of fleshing out the character of this woman who made what she deems to be the right choices in her life, without regrets or apologies to herself or anyone else. It's a refreshing portrayal, and the chemistry between her and Crowe is unmistakable. Also adding to the overall texture of this film are Hank Azaria, as Charles Danner, the journalist who gets the whole thing rolling; Burt Reynolds, as Judge Walter Burns, a man forced to deal with his own personal issues, which include a son, Birdie (Scott Grimes), a member of the hockey team; Colm Meany, as Scott Pitcher, Mayor of Mystery, and Lolita Davidovich as his wife, Mary Jane; Maury Chaykin, as Bailey Pruitt, the man who seems to personify the very essence of Mystery's spirit; and Ron Eldard as `Skank,' another member of the team who's good for two things–suffice to say that hockey is one of them. Mercifully, `Mystery, Alaska' never pursues the beat-the-dead-horse cliched mentality that sports `teaches one to be a team player and builds character.' Instead, Roach has given us a worthwhile, memorable movie with a human touch, and because of that, in the end these are people you care about, as individuals as well as a community. The climactic game is exciting and far from predictable, beginning with the celebrity they bring in to sing the National Anthem. This may not be one of Russell Crowe's biggest or highest profile movies, but this is one he's going to be able to look back upon with pride, because it's right up there with his best. Remember, you don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy this movie; all that's required is that you have a membership in the club know as Mankind. I rate this one 9/10.


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