Miracle (2004)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 15 mins

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The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team's coach, Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Incorporating innovative new techniques, a positive attitude, and indomitable spirit Herb brought together the youngsters to play in a united and rugged fashion, creating history. Despite the long odds, Team USA carried the pride of a nation yearning from a distraction from world events. With the world watching the team rose to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels' now famous question, to the millions viewing at home: Do you believe in miracles? Yes!

Cast: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson

Crew: Gavin O'Connor (Director), Dan Stoloff (Director of Photography), Mark Isham (Music Director)

Genres: Drama, Family, History

Release Dates: 06 Feb 2004 (India)

Tagline: What America needed was a miracle. What it got was a hockey game.

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Did you know? To avoid confusion, during filming Kurt Russell referred to the actors/hockey players cast as Team USA exclusively by their corresponding characters' names or nicknames, not their real names. For the most part, the Team USA actors maintained this policy among themselves also. Read More
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as Herb Brooks
as Patti Brooks
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Jim Craig
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Ralph Cox
as Doc Nagobads
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
as Jack O'Callahan
Supporting Actor
as Rob McClanahan
Supporting Actor
as Craig Patrick
as Mike Eruzione
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
as Walter Bush
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Story Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director
Music Editor


Sound Editor
Sound Effects Editor
Boom Operator


Production Designer
Set Decorator


Casting Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Hair Stylist

Post Production

Post Production Supervisor

Special Effects

Special Effects Coordinator
Special Effects Technician


Stunt Coordinator
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, DTS, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
What America needed was a miracle. What it got was a hockey game.
If you believe in yourself, anything can happen.
The story of the greatest moment in sports history.
Their game made them winners. Their spirit made them heroes.
Do you believe in miracles?
The day that Herb has the players skate back and forth over the ice (after the tie with Norway) is known as "Herbie's Day" by the cast.

Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.

Gavin O'Connor: the fan who drapes the flag on Jim Craig's shoulders at the end.

Buzz Schneider is being portrayed by his son, Billy Schneider.

To avoid confusion, during filming Kurt Russell referred to the actors/hockey players cast as Team USA exclusively by their corresponding characters' names or nicknames, not their real names. For the most part, the Team USA actors maintained this policy among themselves also.

Kurt Russell took a pay cut so the 800-1000 extras used as the fans at the hockey game had a full hot meal instead of a brown-bag lunch.

The World Trade center is shown in 1980, a digital recreation of the Twin Towers was used, being the first time they have been created (instead of just filmed) for a movie since the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001.

While Al Michaels joined the film to recreate commentary for the games, Gavin O'Connor decided to use the last 10 seconds of Michaels' original "Do you believe in miracles?" call in the film because he felt he couldn't ask him to recreate the emotion he experienced at that moment. Thus they cleaned up the recording to make the transition to the authentic call as seamlessly as possible.

Kurt Russell is right-handed, but he used his left hand in the movie because Herb Brooks was a lefty, and this attention to detail shows how deeply Russell got into his role and how closely he studied Brooks to BECOME Herb Brooks for this film rather than just being an actor playing a hockey coach named Herb Brooks for the film.

During filming at a residence of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, rowdy residents disturbed filming by hanging USSR flags in the residence windows, reporting the shoot to the fire marshal, yelling distracting taunts at the actors, and even stealing Kurt Russell's chair.

Herb Brooks died in a car accident during principal photography of this film. A dedication is made for him before the ending credits.

Michael Mantenuto got into a fight with another player who picked on him and other guys on the ice during tryouts. He apologized to director Gavin O'Connor afterwards, to which Gavin responded, "No, that was good." Michael ended up winning the part of Jack O'Callahan, the defenseman dubbed "the first one to drop his gloves".

At the national team hockey tryouts, one of the main characters, Jack O'Callahan greets another player Jim Craig, by saying, "What's up, you sieve!" In ice hockey slang, a sieve is a goal tender who allows too many shots to go through into his/her net. Jim Craig was the goalie for the American team.

The shots of the NHL-Soviet game on Herb's TV where Mikhailov is seen scoring is real footage.

The referee for the semifinal game is played by Ryan Walter, an ex-NHLer and Vancouver native who finished his career as a Vancouver Canuck and was a technical consultant for the movie. He "choreographed" all the hockey scenes to be realistic and the goals to be exactly as they really were. He has also said that he had to down-grade his skating in order to better impersonate the Finnish referee Carl-Gustav Kaisla.

The scene where Herb Brooks makes the team skate back and forth on the ice all night, after their 3-3 tie with Norway, was actually done by the real actors over a span of three days - 12 hours a day. The director wanted the moment to be as realistic as possible.

The young men chosen to portray the members of Team USA were chosen primarily for their hockey skills due to the intensive nature of the filming; acting ability was secondary. In fact, for most of them, this was their first major film.

There are two "bookend" moments in the film. The first is where the audience sees Robbie McClanahan taping his hockey stick in the locker room before the try-outs, and then sees him doing the same thing in the locker room immediately before the Soviet Olympic game. It ties the early, rag-tag hopefuls together with the conditioned, tightly-bonded Olympic team. The second is when Mark Johnson looks nervous and looks away first in the face-off against the Soviet captain in the warm-up game in Madison Square Garden, but in the face-off at the beginning of the Olympic game, Mark out-stares the Soviet captain and forces him to look away first. It shows the confidence and determination of the US team on that fateful evening compared with their insecurity just 13 days previously against the Soviet Union in New York City.

During the actual ABC network broadcast of the game between the USA and Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics, ABC ran two commercials for a made for TV film called Elvis (1979) filmed in 1979 that was to be broadcast on the Monday following the end of the Olympics. Kurt Russell starred as Elvis Presley in the film and is shown in the commercials. Ironically, Kurt Russell then plays Herb Brooks in "Miracle".

Stand-in goalie for the character of Jim Craig was former Edmonton Oilers' goalie Bill Ranford.

Herb Brooks was a former U.S. Olympic player in 1964 and 1968.

Over 4,000 men auditioned for only 20 roles on the US Olympic Ice Hockey Team in the movie.

Over 280 miles of film were shot, more than any other Disney movie.

Although Al Michaels and Ken Dryden recreated the bulk of their commentary for the film, the closing seconds of the game against the USSR use the actual original ABC Sports commentary from 1980.

The national anthem heard at Madison Square Garden is performed by Lauren Hart, who began singing the anthem on a regular basis at Philadelphia Flyers home games in 1997. Hart is also the daughter of late NHL Hall of Fame announcer Gene Hart, who broadcast for the Flyers from 1967-1995.

Scene where Herb talks to Jim Craig about his commitment to the team was filmed on a friday night at the dorms of the University of British Columbia. Rowdy students placed Canadian flags in windows and cranked the music. Kurt Russell's cast chair was stolen.

The game against the Soviets was filmed in Vancouver at the PNO Agrodome - an arena featured in another legendary USA Vs. USSR battle; the Soviet arena where Rocky fought Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (1985).

Prior to joining the U.S. Olympic hockey team both Mike Eruzione and Buzz Schneider played in the International Hockey League. Eruzione for the Toledo Golddiggers and Schneider for the Milwaukee Admirals. When the team played the IHL All-Stars it was a reunion with their old teammates and opponents.

In real life, the "Herbies" after the Norway game did not end with Mike Eruzione saying he played for the United States of America. They instead ended with Mark Johnson's frustration of having to do the Herbies, he smashed his stick against the glass.

The notes for the first film of the Soviets that Coach Brooks is shown watching says, "19 February 1976 Moscow".

For the portions filmed in Rossland, BC, several vintage city buses were provided by Selkirk College in Nelson, BC. Of the three buses prepared by the college, only one survived the trip from Nelson to Rossland. One bus burned up its transmission and another bus kept blowing tires. The bus that did make it to Rossland burned excessive amounts of oil and was said to be extremely troublesome to the film crew.

Phil Verchota and John Harrington played for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team again at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. The team finished Seventh.

The turquoise projector Coach Brooks uses at home to study film in his den is a Bell & Howell 16mm FILMOSOUND Specialist model 552, which was manufactured from 1962-1971.

The "actor" playing the referee in the game vs. the USSR is former NHL player Ryan Walter.

Although Mike Rich's screenplay was used during production and was substantially different from drafts by the film's first writer, Eric Guggenheim, he lost all claim to screenwriting credit to Guggenheim in an arbitration conducted by the Writers Guild of America.