The Miracle Match

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Overview

In 1950, most Americans had only a passing familiarity with the game of soccer, even though it was the world's most popular sport, and few athletes in the United States played the game with any particular degree of expertise. However, when an invitation was extended to the United States to participate in the World Cup tournament in Brazil -- the international soccer championship held every four years -- Bill Jeffrey was determined that America participate. In less than two weeks, Jeffrey assembled a team ...
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Gerard Butler, Wes Bentley, Jay Rodan, Gavin Rossdale, Costas Mandylor September 12, 2006 DVD Run time: 96 mins. Aspect ratio: 2.40: 1. Originally released: 2005. Language: ... English. Brand New Factory Sealed DVD. Mill Creek/Disney Release. Our SKUH2D-4oz Read more Show Less

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Overview

In 1950, most Americans had only a passing familiarity with the game of soccer, even though it was the world's most popular sport, and few athletes in the United States played the game with any particular degree of expertise. However, when an invitation was extended to the United States to participate in the World Cup tournament in Brazil -- the international soccer championship held every four years -- Bill Jeffrey was determined that America participate. In less than two weeks, Jeffrey assembled a team comprised mostly of players from St. Louis where soccer had developed a small but loyal following and the East Coast where the game gained a foothold on college campuses, with immigrants from Haiti, Portugal, and Scotland filling out the ranks. Against all odds, the Americans not only made it to the World Cup games, but defeated the British team favored by many to win the championship in the greatest upset of the 1950 games. The Game of Their Lives is a sports drama based on the remarkable true story of the 1950 United States team, featuring John Rhys-Davies as Bill Jeffrey, Wes Bentley as team leader Walter Bahr, Gerard Butler as goalie Frank Borghi, Jimmy Jean-Louis as Joe Gaetiens, a dishwasher born in Haiti who found his way onto the team, and Patrick Stewart as a journalist covering the games. David Anspaugh, who made the acclaimed basketball drama Hoosiers, directed.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Just as basketball held a mythic appeal in small-town Indiana of the post-WWII era, in the St. Louis immigrant neighborhood known as the Hill, passions ran to soccer. In 1950, the U.S. hastily assembled a squad to compete in the World Cup, combining feisty players from the Hill with more disciplined East Coast athletes, then sending the underdogs off to Brazil. Their improbable victory over the reigning English team, said to be “the biggest shock” in the history of soccer, is the stuff rousing sports movies are made of. Director David Anspaugh and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo, the winning team behind Hoosiers and Rudy, strictly hew to sports film conventions. (The DVD chapter titles practically tell the story: “I Want to Be on That Team”; “Weakness Exposed”; “Team Breakdown”; “Cheers”; and “Who Would Believe?”) Yet missteps aside, The Miracle Match scores through strong performances by Patrick Stewart, as the now aged reporter who covered the historic match, and Gerard Butler and Wes Bentley as the team’s rival star players. By the climactic curtain call featuring actual surviving members of the 1950 team, soccer fans may even forget -- if not forgive -- such soccer-centric misfires as Ladybugs and Kicking and Screaming.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/12/2006
  • UPC: 786936711837
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gerard Butler Frank Borghi
Wes Bentley Walter Bahr
Jay Rodan Pee Wee Wallace
Gavin Rossdale Stanley Mortensen
Costas Mandylor Charley "Gloves" Columbo
Louis Mandylor Gino Pariani
Zachery Ty Bryan Harry Keough
Jimmy Jean-Louis Joe Gaetjens
Patrick Stewart Older Dent McSkimming
Terry Kinney Dent McSkimming
John Rhys-Davies Bill Jeffrey
Tim Vickery
Freddy Adu
Chris Albright
Clint Dempsey
Landon Donovan
Alecko Eskandarian
John Harkes Ed McIvenny
Chris Klein
Jason Kreis
Pat Noonan
Ben Olsen
Eddie Pope
Nelson Vargas Clarkie Sousa
Damani Ralph
Technical Credits
David Anspaugh Director
Jane Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Atwell Art Director
Howard Baldwin Producer
Karen Baldwin Producer
Harold Baldwin Producer
Linda Burton Production Designer
Ian Crafford Editor
Ira Deutchman Co-producer
Bob Eber Sound/Sound Designer
Cathy Sandrich Gelfond Casting
Lee Grubin Editor
William J. Immerman Executive Producer
Johnny E. Jensen Cinematographer
Greg Johnson Executive Producer
Amanda Mackey-Johnson Casting
Molly McBride Choreography
Nick Morton Co-producer
Peter Newman Producer
Chris Parker Musical Direction/Supervision
Ginger T. Perkins Producer
Angelo Pizzo Co-producer, Screenwriter
William Ross Score Composer
Bud Smith Editor
Scott Smith Editor
Christopher Stoia Asst. Director
Eric Wynalda Consultant/advisor
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Miracle Match
1. Remembering the Hill [:00]
2. "I Want to Be on That Team" [:00]
3. St. Louis Vs. East Coast [:00]
4. Something to Celebrate [:00]
5. New York City [9:04]
6. Joe [11:21]
7. Stability [8:10]
8. Weakness Exposed [5:16]
9. Team Breakdown [6:01]
10. Cheers [3:08]
11. A Voodoo Thing [4:07]
12. Magic [6:41]
13. In Uniform [4:13]
14. Goal! [4:14]
15. "Who Would Believe?" [:32]
16. End Credits [4:25]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Miracle Match
   Play
   Scene Selection
   National Soccer Hall of Fame
   Set Up
      Captions & Subtitles
         Captions
            English for the Hearing Impaired
         Subtitles
            French
            Spanish
            None
      Register Your DVD
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Perfect movie for any sports fans!

    I am a huge soccer fan living here in the US and when I found out about this movie I knew I had to have it. It is based from the book The Game of Their Lives by Geoffrey Douglas. The movie is about the true life story of the United States national soccer team and how they beat against all odds the English soccer team, who were considered the favorites to win the tournament they were in called the World Cup. The US team were put together in the last minute and throughout the film you see the hurdles that they went through to become team of brothers. The acting was really good especially from Gerard Butler who played the outstanding keeper for the US. This story is a true underdog story for any sports fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Best soccer movie I've seen

    I know there aren't many films about the world's most popular sport, but this one exceeds all the others I've watched. Gerard Butler was terrific as Frank Borghi, the goalkeeper. I'm only 36, but as soon as Patrick Stewart's character begins telling his story, the feeling of nostalgia gently takes over and we vigorously live through the U.S. team's exploits in 1950. So much was different then: one thing that really stood out for me was the garage shop with its doors open late at night. That's a guaranteed robbery if any company tried that now, and maybe even a death sentence for the employees present at the time. The transformation of "Peewee" from reluctant participant, convinced of impending humiliation, to proud team member was exceptional to see. Charlie Colombo (the enforcer), Gino Pariani (arguably the most talented and enthusiastic/ambitious member of the team), and Wes Bentley's character (can't remember his name!) were also great. And then there was Joe Gaetjens, whose presence on the team was controversial because of the color of his skin; but he was a terrific athlete and scored the goal that conquered England. It was also heart-warming that the scriptwriters noted more than once in the film that several of our players served their country in World War II. From needing official outfits to finding a way to gel with two sets of players from different parts of the country to forgetting about an awful defeat in an exhibition v. England (with most players not even making the Three Lions' World Cup squad), this is a timeless and inspiring David & Goliath tale.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews