“I play hockey and I fornicate, because those are the two most fun things to do in cold weather” -“Skank” Marden, Mystery, Alaska.
Recently, I was surfing the good ol’ World Wide Web, minding my own business, when suddenly I came across this shocker that sent me in a frenzy of nostalgic:
Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers
( Official Trailer ) pic.twitter.com/iW3JbxD1yD
— Hockey Culture (@HockeyCuIture) February 12, 2017
Goon? Only one of the top ice hockey movies of all time is housing a sequel? Truly bizarre. And while this sequel will most likely be horrid (as most sequels are in modern cinema) this trailer brought me to ponder the most legendary hockey movies of the past. Humorous, inspirational, educational, and otherwise, there are many legendary movies that strike a common chord amongst fans.
Seeing as I do own a part of an up-and-coming hockey-based blog, I decided it would be useful of my biweekly writing slot to make a list of the top five best hockey movies of all time. Of course this cannot be just my own opinion, so I polled 6 other members of our Good Night, Good Hockey staff and tallied totals to create a top five list.
These are all the movies that were mentioned by one, some, or even all of our staff members in their own personal lists (in no particular order):
- Happy Gilmore
- Mighty Ducks
- The Rocket
- The Sweater
- Mystery Alaska
- Sudden Death
- MVP: Most Valuable Primate
- Tooth Fairy
And… without delay, GNG Hockey’s top five best hockey movies of all time:
T-3: The Rocket (2005)
How fitting. When I asked the staff for their lists, my colleague and fellow writer, Chris Carnovale elected this as his top movie. Not coincidentally, he had just written an article detailing Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s historic career not later than a few weeks past: What Made Maurice “Rocket” Richard One of the Greatest Players of All Time?
While I do not agree that this is the greatest hockey movie of all time, it cannot be removed from a list of pristine hockey cinema. A French-Canadian biopic, the film focuses purely on the career and life of Maurice Richard (played by Roy Dupuis) from teenage years until late into his professional career. Accentuating on the many struggles Richard overcomes, the film is breathtaking and allows a true insight on the life of a legend as it was officially reviewed by his closest family, friends, and colleagues for pinpoint accuracy.
T-3: Mystery, Alaska (1999)
Regardless of who you are or where you’ve come from, nobody can resist an underdog story. Directed by Jay Roach, who also directed three Austin Powers movies, Meet The Fockers, Meet The Parents, and so many more, this movie focuses on ten amateur hockey players who challenge the New York Rangers to a game in their fictional hometown of Mystery, Alaska. Only practicing on Saturdays, this team of scrubs is met with a daunting challenge of attempting to defeat a professional team in an exhibition match. Featuring box-office names like Russell Crowe and Burt Reynolds, this comedy-drama does not disappoint.
T-2: Slapshot (1977)
We had a serious movie with The Rocket. We had our underdog story in Mystery, Alaska. Now how about a little fighting? A woeful franchise in the fictional “Federal League,” The Charleston Chiefs’ player-coach Reggie Dunlap (played by Paul Newman) revitalizes the team through encouragement of fighting and physical play. Overcoming obstacles and making enemies along the way, this lower-level team rises back to relevance in the most comedic ways possible. While the original remained supreme, it also holds ownership of two sequels: SlapShot 2: Breaking the Ice (2002) and SlapShot 3: The Junior League (2008)
T-2: Mighty Ducks (1992)
“A team isn’t a bunch of kids out to win. A team is something you belong to, something you feel, something you have to earn.”
The Mighty Ducks. If you don’t know this movie, you probably shouldn’t bother scrolling down. A crucial piece of every 90’s kid’s VHS collection, this film encompasses all stereotypical sports moments. The downtrodden protagonist with a bitter past, the scrub atmosphere of a ragtag bunch, the evolution of the team (and the protagonist himself), and even the final climatic moment where the underdogs win it all! Underrated as a Disney classic and often forgotten amongst the best in hockey cinema, this classic gives us all a reason to keep believing.
1: Miracle (2004)
37 years and 1 day ago. The day this article is released will be one day after the real “Miracle On Ice” happened: The 1980 United States Olympic hockey team defeating the reigning gold medalist Soviets in a thriller game not to be forgotten for the ages.
Yet, no matter how thrilling you can describe that game as, nothing compares to the inspiration and intensity the movie Miracle provides audiences. Kurt Russell plays a sandpaper exterior coach named Herb Brooks who absolutely demolishes the Olympic team to its limits in order to prepare for the Soviets. A never ending battle between mind and body, the players relentlessly push forward and grow into their own over the course of the film. Miracle received Best Sports Movie Award at the 2004 ESPY’s for its fantastic summary of the 1980 Olympic journey.
As if this wasn’t enough, and the pure emotion in the film does not convince you to this being the greatest hockey film of all time, as we at GNGHockey voted by a large margin, then maybe Herb Brooks’ pre-game speech will change your perspective.
So loyal fans of GNGH, what do you think? Do you agree/disagree with our list? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the below comments.
Drew Bishop is the “Hockey America” columnist for Good Night, Good Hockey. You can contact him on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org