7.6/10
6,584
30 user 114 critic
Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
The story of the Soviet Union's famed Red Army hockey team through the eyes of its players.

Director:

Gabe Polsky

Writer:

Gabe Polsky
5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Viacheslav Fetisov ... Self (as Slava Fetisov)
Vladislav Tretiak ... Self
Scotty Bowman ... Self
Vladimir Pozner ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herb Brooks ... Self - US Olympic Coach (voice) (archive footage)
Don Cherry ... Self - Hockey Commentator (voice) (archive footage)
Mark Deakins Mark Deakins ... (voice)
Alan Eagleson Alan Eagleson ... Self - Hockey Agent (voice)
Lada Fetisov Lada Fetisov ... Self - Wife Of Vladislav Fetisov
Anatoli Karpov ... Self
Alexei Kasatonov ... Self
Vladimir Krutov ... Self - Red Army Right Wing
Ken Kurtis Ken Kurtis ... (voice)
Lawrence Martin Lawrence Martin ... Self - Journalist
Felix Nechepore ... Self
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Storyline

Red Army is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union. Written by Anonymous

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

(voice): When you die, this is gonna be your legacy.
Viacheslav Fetisov: [Taking phone out] I know and I appreciate it. You're a good guy. I'm lucky to have you.
(voice): I think we're both lucky to have each other.
Viacheslav Fetisov: [Not paying attention, calling on phone] That's even better. California boy and good guy.
(voice): Chicago.
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Connections

Featured in Docventures: Urheilu (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Romany Rythm
Composer: Aaron Wheeler
Courtesy of Firstcom Music
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User Reviews

 
Bleeding Red
25 February 2015 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. You need not be a hockey fan to be familiar with the "Miracle on Ice" upset of the seasoned Russians by the upstart Americans at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. Often referred to as a battle of cultures – "our way vs their way, capitalism vs communism" – most articles, TV shows, and movies have been presented from the American perspective. It's only now, in this informative and entertaining documentary from filmmaker Gabe Polsky, that we gain some insight into the Russian players and their way of life.

Mr. Polsky is the son of Russian immigrants, and grew up playing hockey in Chicago and later for Yale. His research into Russian hockey evolved into a documentary that blends sports, geopolitics, history, culture, and personal stories. He mixes in some fantastic archival film footage from the 1970's and 80's, but the heart of everything here flows from the interviews with Russian hockey legend Vyacheslav Fetisov, who is a vital and unique link to past and present.

Fetisov is sometimes playful and sometimes snide in his remarks, but he basically narrates the history of Russian hockey – starting with Stalin's founding of the organization, through the two key coaches: father figure Tarasov and the militant Tikhanov who followed. Stalin was convinced that Russian domination of global sports would clearly establish communism and the Russian culture as far superior to capitalism and the carefree ways of the west. This led to the Red Army hockey camps being run by the military. The players were isolated for eleven months each year, training and playing in a manner that generated ultimate teamwork, but also quite unhappy young men.

We see the influence of Russian chess (Karpov) and the Bolshoi ballet for training methods, and we also see the ever-present KGB ensuring no "escapes", or what we might know better as defections. We learn about the Russian Five (including Fetisov) who were so dominant that the team went two years without losing. Gold medals in Sarajevo (1984) and Calgary (1988) occurred just prior to the 1991 dissolution of the U.S.S.R. and the economic crisis of the region.

This is what opened the door for Russian hockey players to enter the NHL, though the transition was smoother for some than others. After a few years of adjusting, it was coach Scotty Bowman's 1997 Detroit Red Wings that won the Stanley Cup with a contingency of Russian players (including Fetisov) who were given free reign to play their own game while on the ice. Their movements and intricate teamwork clashed mightily with the individualistic style of westerners … and that group of Russian players can be credited with helping the game to evolve to its current style.

Much of the insight comes from the faces of the men who are interviewed. Their stoicism and lack of emotion is a microcosm of the society in which they were raised. Their country was obliterated by war, and then led by a megalomaniac who wanted to rule the world. Human emotion and the rights of individuals mattered little, and we see that despite the years of hardship, these players remain (mostly) true and loyal to their country. This is a fascinating look at human nature and how the culture of one's youth can directly impact the beliefs as an adult, so many years later.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Russia

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

29 January 2015 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Army See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,100, 25 January 2015

Gross USA:

$694,600

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$798,680
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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