Top 10 Hockey Movies
The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, baby! I totally BeLeaf that they’re gonna win the cup. (Go ahead and send your responses to that statement to yes@iKNOWitsbeen45years.com.) But for the rest of you I recognize you’re gonna have a problem when your team gets knocked out (I’m looking at you Vancouver fans). How will you get your hockey fix when the Cup dream is dead? With hockey movies of course! Bearing in mind words like “top” and “best” are used pretty loosely when applied to movies about hockey, here are my…
Top 10 Hockey Movies
10. The Mighty Ducks (1992)
I don’t like this movie. I like to refer to it as “The Mighty Sucks.” However, this Disneyfied tale of plucky little underdogs spawned two sequels, an animated series, and AN ACTUAL NHL TEAM. I am still waiting for someone to explain that one to me. I mean, who said “I know, let’s name our professional hockey team after the least threatening animal in the world, via a stupid kid’s movie”? WHO SAID THAT?!?
9. Mystery, Alaska (1999)
This one makes my list because it has Burt Reynolds in it. It seems to me, Burt should be in lots of hockey movies, not just one. This is the story of a scrappy amateur team that takes on the New York Rangers in an exhibition game. One, that sort of thing should actually happen. Two, when it does, Burt Reynolds should be there. Three, if you think that’s Russell Crowe in the pic above you’re nuts! – and absolutely correct.
8. Face-Off (1971)
Hey it’s a cliche – hot shot hockey player falls in love with a folk-singing hippie chick. Ha! For all of you not currently in Canada, I’ve got you wondering if that is a cliche. Made ya think! This movie is awful, however it features cameos from the likes of Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, George Armstrong, Derek Sanderson, Jean Beliveau and Darryl Sittler. Plus, you can see Maple Leafs Garden, which has now been reduced to a Loblaws (love the wall of cheese, though).
7. Youngblood (1986)
You’re gonna want some wine with your cheese when you pop this little gem into your movie machine. All about the trials and tribulation of minor hockey (duh) there’s four exclmatory reasons to watch this movie: Rob Lowe! Patrick Swayze! Keanu Reeves! 1980′s!
6. The Rocket (2005)
This is basically a biopic of Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, player for the Montreal Canadiens from 1942 to 1960. (Incidentally, his younger brother Henri was known as the “Pocket Rocket,” a moniker that I find unendingly hilarious.) The only prob with this movie is that it expects you to have some prior knowledge of Anglo-Franco tensions, but still it’s a great period piece about a great hockey player.
5. Les Boys (1997)
This is kind of the hockey movie that could. Quebec film Les Boys broke box office records, rare for hockey movies and rare for Canadian movies. But hey – it’s hockey, and if Canadians know anything, it’s hockey. They apparently also know a lot about gritty violence, gambling debts, male bonding and mafia bosses, all of which prominently feature here.
4. Do You Believe in Miracles? (2001)
Here’s a hockey movie that will bring a tear to your eye. During the 1980 Winter Olympics in the ironically named Lake Placid, New York, the rag-tag US men’s hockey team defeated the Soviet team who had won nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament since 1954. This is your classic underdog triumph story and carried more political important in 1980 than seems reasonable.
3. Broad Street Bullies (2010)
If I had a time machine and I could only use it one time, I would go back to January 11, 1976 and attend the exhibition game where the Russian Red Army stormed off the ice and refused to come back out because the Philadelphia Flyers were too mean. (I swear, that is what I would use a machine for). But I don’t have the magical contraption, so I have to satisfy myself with this delightful doc about the Flyers in the good old days, when they were known as the “Broad Street Bullies.”
2. Goon (2011)
Yeah, no one expected much from a hockey movie starring that guy from American Pie (Seann William Scott) and Liev Schreiber, but Goon was a surprising break out hit about an unlikely minor league hero. The violence and gloriously filthy dialouge, courtesy of writer and co-star Jay Baruchel doesn’t hurt either.
1. Slap Shot (1977)
This is the gold standard for hockey movies, blending an almost perfect mix of cheese and violence. Featuring a Paul Newman who’s almost old enough to be in the 2012-2013 Detroit Red Wings line-up (almost), it’s really the “fighting Hanson brothers” who steal the show. Derided and deemed too violent in it’s day, Slap Shot is now the THE classic of hockey cinema.