The Miracle Match
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There really isn't any need for spoilers because it is a sports movie--and sports movies have happy, victorious endings about 99% of the time. But this story isn't really about the ending--which any viewer could predict--it is more about a team coming together at the last minute and working to form cohesion and camaraderie while facing unbeatable odds.
When the US World Cup team was formed, it was mainly comprised of 2 groups, the players from St. Louis' "Hill" and the "East Coasters." A lot of these men had played soccer well, but not professionally. They were men with other jobs like a mailman, undertakers, and a dish washer. The 2 groups had different styles to overcome and each had its own leader: Frank Borghi (Gerard Butler) led the men from the Hill and Walter Bahr (Wes Bentley) led the East Coasters. I really enjoyed these two characters. The film did an excellent job of showing their effort to create a sense of team spirit in a very limited amount of time.
There are plenty of colorful characters in the film, which strengthened the point of how they were all plucked from their lives for a mere 3 weeks to head down to Brazil and play their hearts out. There was Pee Wallace (who is afraid to fly) and Gino Pariani--who are known as a lethal combo on the field or "pitch." There's Charlie Colombo and Joe Gatjaens--Charlie who wears gloves for every game and Joe--a Haitian--who turns cartwheels and shows infectious optimism. There's Harry Keough, the young mailman learning Spanish at home so he can converse with his girlfriend.
Many of these men were veterans.Read more ›
Based on a real event with real, still living, people it is about heros of WWII who came home and went about their lives until asked to form a team for the World Cup Soccer matches. They have only weeks and decide to get some players from the east coast and some from one area of St. Louis, MO. from the Italian enclave known as The Hill.
Frank Borghi (Gerard Butler) is the goalie and a leader of the group. The challenge is to get the whole group to pull together and mesh the different styles to make a team that may make a good showing. They don't expect to win as most of the teams they will play are more or less professionals and/or have played together for years.
The soccer playing is exciting even for this old gal who knows little about the game. The cinematography is very good and keeps the pace of the game and shots of the crowds and sports announcers ticking along and by the end when time runs out on the English players, and the Americans have won this great upset, I was ready to cheer too.
I disagree with most of the reviews I have read. This is a good sports movie and the performances and pacing are as good as "Rudy" or any other underdog film.
One thing I loved was the look of the people and homes and cars. It was the 1950's again and the music I danced to was just right. One for my movie collection. 4/5
Gerard Butler stars as the goalie and leader of the group, Frank Borghi, and if you are a fan of Gerry's, you will love his try at an Italian-American-St. Louis accent (the man also looks great in a pair of shorts). Wes Bentley plays Walter Bahr a player from the east coast. Bahr and Borghi are the glue that keeps the team together, and with their leadership, beat England 1-0 in a first round 1950 World Cup game.
There are side stories as we get to know the other players - one who is afraid to fly, another who moves his wedding date to be able to go to Brazil to compete and yet another who is recruited late for the team, but is adaptable to the different styles of his teammates.
After seeing the movie, I bought the book by Geoffrey Douglas and read it with great interest. It provides more of an insight into what happened to all these players after their amazing win. Something the film lacks.
This is a nice family movie that I recommend to any sports fan and any Gerard Butler fan!
I loved the camaraderie between the guys from "The Hill" in St. Louis. You can tell they have known each other all their lives, and that was how growing up in the 1950's was. I know nothing about soccer and have never gone to a game...but the story was so good...because it wasn't really about, how to play the game, but how to work as a team. What worked, for them, was that they all learned each others strengths and learned to depend on each other...there was no STAR Player. Hard work and treating each other as equals was what made the story great and it also won the game. The United States and all countries should watch this and learn what it takes to be a team and WIN The Game of OUR Lives.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie tells, pretty accurately, the story of one of the great upsets in team sports - as the United States, fielding a soccer team of working class St Louisans and Ivy League... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Barbara Fox
I love to see Gerard Butler playing soccer. True he is the goalie but he does a magnificent job in the role.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this movie. Shows how patriotic Americans were at time story takes place. Also shows strong character of the soccer players. Read morePublished 7 months ago by BarbaraT
Really a great movie...love it will watch it again and again!Published 10 months ago by Jane Gentile