6.1/10
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193 user 149 critic

Miracle at St. Anna (2008)

Trailer
2:33 | Trailer
Set in 1944 Italy, the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writers:

James McBride (screenplay), James McBride (novel)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Luke ... 2nd Staff Sergeant Aubrey Stamps
Michael Ealy ... Sergeant Bishop Cummings
Laz Alonso ... Corporal Hector Negron
Omar Benson Miller ... Private First Class Sam Train
Pierfrancesco Favino ... Peppi 'The Great Butterfly' Grotta
Valentina Cervi ... Renata
Matteo Sciabordi Matteo Sciabordi ... Angelo Torancelli (The Boy)
John Turturro ... Detective Antonio 'Tony' Ricci
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Tim Boyle
John Leguizamo ... Enrico
Kerry Washington ... Zana Wilder
D.B. Sweeney ... Colonel Driscoll
Robert John Burke ... General Ned Almond
Omari Hardwick ... Platoon Commander Huggs
Omero Antonutti ... Ludovico
Learn more

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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel L. Jackson turn down the offer to play as Corporal Hector Negron to work on Lakeview Terrace (2008). See more »

Goofs

The SS-Man who leads the execution of the civilians is addressed as Major. The rank Major didn't exist in the SS. The adequate rank was Sturmbannführer. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Bishop Cummings: Girl, let me trim your garden.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 27 June 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Vigne/Marina
Written by Matteo Bonetti
See more »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps Spike Needs More Focus...
2 March 2009 | by fwompSee all my reviews

MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA got panned pretty severely. And I can see why. Lacking cohesion and hopscotching around like a child with A-D-D, the story is tough to follow. And what about the title? Exactly what is "the Miracle"? Some might say it's that this film ever got made. But there are some upsides to it that I think make this a semi-watchable flick.

The first plus is that it focuses on a little known regiment of black WW II fighters called "The Buffalo Soldiers." Spike Lee had apparently been aching to do another "black story" and found his muse in Nazi occupied Italy.

Although there's been some bashing related to overacting on the main characters' parts, I didn't find that to be the case. Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, and the rest of these band of brothers did fine in my eyes. Although Spike did have them doing things that weren't being done during this time (specifically the "high five" which wasn't realized until the late 70s), I did find their delivery of the story to be engaging enough, and kept me watching during its entire, lengthy, 2 hours and 40 minute run time.

I also really liked the on-site filming locations in Italy, which gave the entire production a very real quality. The cobbled streets, twisted landscape, and ancient-looking buildings were all well-shown in the film and had me ogling at various times.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Although Spike Lee tries admirably to keep the story together, he too often wanders off on tangents that have nothing to do with the story. One particularly infuriating scene involves John Leguizamo (THE HAPPENING). He's in modern day Italy with his lover and his only use for being in the film is that he throws a newspaper out a window so that it lands on a man's table. Why couldn't the man have simply seen it at a newsstand? Why the whole set up with Leguizamo and the hot chick? Sex for the sake of sex, perhaps? The other, less infuriating, item that shows Spike wandering away was when he films the Buffalo boys being refused food service at a place back in the States before they were shipped overseas. Why this played a role in the film and what it had to do with the Miracle is anyone's guess.

Finally, there's the tough sell of the Miracle itself. Although people can debate what qualifies as a miracle, I think most would say it equates to something supernatural that cannot be explained by normal evidence. And here lies perhaps the biggest problem for Miracle at St. Anna. There really isn't a miracle. Perhaps it's well enough that one of the Buffalo men made it home and found his way to peace. Perhaps it's that the world spun and allowed the last surviving Buffalo Soldier to avenge the people of St. Anna and his fallen brothers. Perhaps ...but not likely.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Spike Lee WWII Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,477,996, 28 September 2008

Gross USA:

$7,919,117

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,333,654
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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