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Director: Jon Turteltaub
Movie Type: Sports Comedy
Themes: Success is the Best Revenge, Underdogs
Main Cast: Leon, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, Rawle D. Lewis, John Candy
Release Year: 1993
Run Time: 98 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
Cool Runnings fictionalizes the true story of a bobsledding team from Jamaica making it to the Olympics. The tale begins when Derice Bannock (Leon), realizing that due to an accident his chances of qualifying for Jamaica's 1988 Olympic track team are dashed, scrounges around looking for another sport for the competition. Since ex-United States gold medal bobsledding winner Irv Blitzer (John Candy) now lives in Jamaica, Derice chooses bobsledding, convincing Irv to coach the team. Derice then forms his team. He gets his friend Sanka Cofie (Doug E. Doug) to join up and recruits Junior Bevil (Rawle D. Lewis), a young man who lacks self-confidence, and Yul Brenner (Malik Yoba), a disagreeable and bitter malcontent. After setbacks and near disasters, the group jells as team members and they head off to the Olympics to compete for an Olympic spot. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide
Cool Runnings is a likable sports comedy that manages the unusual task of being both heavily cliched and highly offbeat. In terms of storytelling and structure, director Jon Turteltaub relies on tried-and-true cinematic sports conceits: underdog athletes, not taken seriously, become worthy competitors due to heart, grit, and determination, egged on by a coach in whom nobody believes anymore. It's been done to death, but Turteltaub understands that the formula works, just as it did in Rocky (1976), The Bad News Bears (1976), The Natural (1984) , and any one of two dozen other sports films. What sets the film apart is its sly self-awareness. The casting of the absurdly out of shape John Candy as the team's ex-champion-athlete coach, and the characters' goofball names (two teammates are Sanka Coffie and Yul Brenner) are just two examples of the film's wickedly juvenile, joyous sense of humor. The proceedings are handled with just such a delicately funny touch, the film's intentions not to be taken seriously made so clear that Cool Runnings (1993) becomes an instantly enjoyable confabulation. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide
Leon - Derice Bannock
Doug E. Doug - Sanka Coffie
Malik Yoba - Yul Brenner
Rawle D. Lewis - Junior Bevil
John Candy - Irv Blitzer
Larry Gilman - Larry; Peter Outerbridge - Josef Grool; Paul Coeur - Roger; Raymond J. Barry - Kurt Hemphill; Jay Brazeau - Kroychzech; Charles Harvey - Cop #1; Charles Hyatt - Whitby Bevil Jr.; Campbell Lane - Shindler; Phill Lewis; Winston Stona - Coolidge; Matthew Walker - German Official; Fitz Weir - Uncle Ferte; John Morgan - Himself; Michael London - Heckler; Jaki Brown-Karman; Chemin Sylvia Bernard; Bill Dow - Registration Official; David Lovgren - Swiss Captain
Gary Kosko - Art Director, Richard Roberts - Art Director, Grania Preston - Costume Designer, Bruce Franklin - First Assistant Director, Jon Turteltaub - Director, Bruce Green - Editor, Susan B. Landau - Executive Producer, Christopher Meledandri - Executive Producer, Hans Zimmer - Composer (Music Score), Larry Sutton - Musical Direction/Supervision, Stephen Marsh - Production Designer, Phedon Papamichael - Cinematographer, Rexford Metz - Cinematographer, Casey Grant - Production Manager, Daniel Steel - Producer, Dawn Steel - Producer, Lesley Beale - Set Designer, Scott Jacobson - Set Designer, Bill Orr - Special Effects, Warren Hamilton - Sound Editor, Kelsee Devoreaux - Stunts, Tommy Swerdlow - Screenwriter, Michael Ritchie - Screenwriter, Anthony C. Winkler - Screenwriter, Lynn Siefert - Screenwriter, Michael Goldberg - Screenwriter, Kevin Bartnof - Foley Artist
The Bad News Bears; Crocodile Dundee; The Mighty Ducks; Mr. Baseball; The Air up There; Little Big League; Race the Sun; Snowboard Academy; Mystery, Alaska; Waterboys; Hardball; Kingpin; Hot Rod
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Susan B. Landau
Leon Robinson John Candy Doug E. Doug Malik Yoba Rawle D. Lewis
Phedon Papamichael Jr.
Walt Disney Pictures
October 1, 1993
Cool Runnings is a 1993 comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub. It is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsled team's debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. It stars Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Malik Yoba, Rawle D. Lewis, and John Candy.
Irving "Irv" Blitzer is an Americanbobsled double gold medalist at the 1968 Winter Olympics, who finished first in two events again in 1972 but was disqualified for cheating and retired in disgrace to Jamaica, where he leads a destitute life as a bookie. He is approached by top 100m runner Derice Bannock, who failed to qualify for the 1988 Summer Olympics when another opponent, Junior Bevil, tripped at the trials, and pushcart driving champion Sanka Coffie, who both wish to use his previous experience as a coach in order to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics as bobsledders. Irv had been good friends with Derice's father, Ben, a former sprinter whom Irv had tried to recruit for the bobsled team years ago. Yul Brenner, another runner who was tripped at the qualifier by Junior, also joins the team. After Irv is convinced to coach the team, the three months of practice begins, initially resulting in embarrassment. However, the four men acclimate to the sport and travel to Calgary and the Olympics.
The Jamaicans' first day on the track results in, once more, embarrassment, and a last-place finish. The second day proves better; the Jamaican team finishes with a fast time which puts them in eighth position. For the first half of the final day's race it looks as though they will break the world bobsled speed record, until tragedy strikes; their sled, due to one of the blades falling off, flips on its side coming out of a turn towards the end of their run, leaving them meters short of the finish line. However, the team lifts their sled up and walks across the finish line to rousing applause from onlookers. The team, at the end, feels accomplished enough to return in four years to the next winter Olympics. A brief epilogue states the team returned to Jamaica as heroes, and upon their return to the Winter Olympics four years later, they were treated as equals.
John Candy as Irving 'Irv' Blitzer
Leon as Derice Bannock
Doug E. Doug as Sanka Coffie
Malik Yoba as Yul Brenner
Rawle D. Lewis as Junior Bevil
Siddharth Saini as Winston
Peter Outerbridge as Josef Grull
Winston Stona as Mr. Coolidge
Charles Hyatt as Whitby Bevil (Junior's father)
Bertina Macauley as Joy Bannock
Pauline Stone Myrie as Sanka's mother
The film had total domestic earnings of $68,856,263 in the United States and Canada, and $86,000,000 internationally, for a total of $154,856,263.
Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (February 2010)
The bobsledders portrayed in the film are fictional, although the people who conceived the idea of a Jamaican bobsled team were inspired by pushcart racers and tried to recruit top track sprinters. However, they did not find any elite sprinters interested in competing and instead recruited four sprinters from the Army for the team.
Irving Blitzer is a fictional character; the real team had several trainers, none of whom were connected to any cheating scandal. At the time of the movie's release, the United States had not won a gold medal in Bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics since the four-man event in 1948.
A fictional sports governing body, the "International Alliance of Winter Sports" appears in the film. (In reality, every winter sport has its own separate governing body.) Also, "England" is listed on the board shown in the tavern in Jamaica, whereas in the Olympic Games, English (as well as Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish) athletes actually compete as members of the Great Britain team.
Completely unlike the story in the movie, the Jamaican team was not in conflict with any of the other international bobsledding teams. They were in fact supportive of the Jamaican team. One of the other teams even lent the Jamaican team a back-up sled so they could qualify.
The bobsled competition in the film consists of three individual runs, whereas in reality the Olympic bobsled competition is two runs a day held over a two-day period.
In the film, the Jamaicans are on world-record pace during the final run of the competition when their sled crashes. They emerge from the sled and carry it across the finish line. In real life, however, the crash occurred before the finals (disqualifying the Jamaicans) and Jamaica was not on a world-record pace. After the crash, the team walked next to their sled as track officials slid it down the track.
Tropical nations at the Winter Olympics
^YouTube Video of the real 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team's crash
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