This movie, though better, was similar to Rudy or Hoosiers or Rocky in that it was a sports story of success against incredible odds. I gave those others a 9/10. I've watched thousands of movies and only rated 19 of them as a 10. I'm going to make this only my 20th rating of a 10/10. The reason is because the story is so much more important, so much broader, and the payoff is so much greater than those others. Therefore, it had/has more effect on me directly. The only other sports movie that I gave a 10 to was Field Of Dreams - my all-time #2 movie.
I'm not a hockey fan at all, but it doesn't really matter what the game was. It was the story that was compelling. I can't imagine that I watched the game live in 1980. I don't remember for sure, but I just cannot imagine it. I am pretty sure that I couldn't have cared less. I probably assumed they were going to get the snot beat out of them and, thus didn't watch. Because of this, I don't think I have ever appreciated the full significance of the game.
The movie spends a fair amount of time bringing us up to date through the 70's as to what was going on in the world. The point of that was to try to lay a foundation for the event as well as to essentially lead us to accept that, in a way, this victory marked the first step toward changing the 70's disasters into 80's successes.
But, here is the whole thing for me. Yes, it was interesting and very well done. But, I have to be honest. The last 20 seconds or so of the Russian game literally took my breath away. I actually started to lose my breath. It was so well done that I almost jumped out of my seat and yelled when the buzzer went off. And, believe me, that takes A LOT! In that respect, had I been a fan of the sport (NOT) and would have been watching during the game in 1980, I would have probably gone insanely wild at the end of that game. It was something incredibly special and the movie did a great job of building the suspense and making it real.
"Do you believe in miracles?" is the greatest sports line in history and now I really understand why.
Also, I just have to say - Russell was fantastic.
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