Hard Work Breeds Success
Release Date: February 06, 2004
Genre: Drama/Sports Drama
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 111 minutes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista/Walt Disney Company
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Executive Producer: Justis Greene and Ross Greenburg
Producer: Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray
Writer: Eric Guggenheim
Address Comments To:Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Caravan, Hollywood, Miramax, and Touchstone Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
GENRE: Drama/Sports Drama
MIRACLE opens with historical footage from the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in the late 1960s to the Watergate scandal in 1974 to the hostage crisis in Iran during 1979-1980. This footage sets the stage for the lack of confidence and hope that Americans began to feel for their future after a decade of heart-rending social and political problems. Herb Brooks is not thinking about these things, however, when he takes the reins of the U.S. Ice Hockey team in the summer of 1979. He wants to make amends for the terrible losses the team faced in 1976. He also wants to make up for being cut 20 years ago from the 1960 U.S. Olympic team that went on to win the gold medal. Coach Brooks figures that the only to make a good showing is by learning a fusion of the Canadian brand of hockey and the style played by the Soviet team, which was back then considered the fastest, most formidable hockey team to ever play the game.
After choosing 26 young men to compete for 20 spots on the team, Coach Brooks puts them through a grueling seven months of conditioning and training. It looks like all has gone for naught when, in an exhibition game just before the Olympics, the Soviet team beats the U.S. team 10 to 3. Later, however, with the whole world watching, the American team rises to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels to exclaim, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”
The exciting victory over the invincible Soviet team, products of a Communist program, inspired a renewed spirit of confidence and hope in Americans in 1980. One could argue, in fact, that it helped set the stage for the Reagan/Bush administration’s ultimate political victory over the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989-1991 and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. The brilliant policies of President Ronald Reagan and pressure from Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians living in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union also fired the way to Liberty. Of course, God was the ultimate cause and it is telling that the culmination of the Collapse of Soviet-style Communism came during the Christmas season of 1991 as the world celebrated the birth of its lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Vital to the success of MIRACLE is Kurt Russell’s impressive performance as Coach Brooks. Russell makes viewers identify with Coach Brooks’ determination to mold his team, even when Coach Brooks seems to go too far or the inevitable bumps in the road occur.
Director Gavin O’Connor and his crew also do a masterful job of re-creating events. It’s like watching instant replays of the original games themselves.
Best of all, MIRACLE shows that the success of the 1980 hockey team was not just some fluke or happy coincidence, but was the result of hard work, persistence, and detailed preparation. Hard work builds confidence and breeds its own success. Or, to put it another way, no pain, no gain.
In a similar fashion, there is no gain of eternal life in Heaven with God without the painful sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross. Every man and woman can have hope when they place their trust and confidence in that.
Regrettably, Coach Brooks died in a tragic car accident last year. As the epilogue to the movie says, “He never saw it. He lived it.”
Vital to the success of MIRACLE is Kurt Russell’s impressive performance as Coach Brooks. Director Gavin O’Connor and his crew also do a masterful job of re-creating events. It’s like watching instant replays of the original games themselves. Best of all, MIRACLE shows that the success of the 1980 hockey team was not just some fluke or happy coincidence, but was the result of hard work, persistence, and detailed preparation.