- Based on a true story, this is the comedic saga of four Jamaican athletes going to extremes to compete as bobsled racers at the Winter Olympics. With few resources and virtually no clue about winter sports, it's an uphill course for this troupe from the tropics who are sliding on thin ice as they go for the gold in Calgary.
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- Cool Runnings (1993) Movie - John Candy & Leon.
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|Directed by||Jon Turteltaub|
|Story by||Lynn Siefert|
|Edited by||Bruce Green|
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$154.9 million|
Cool Runnings is a 1993 American comedy sports film directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, and John Candy. It is loosely based on the true story of the Jamaica national bobsleigh team's debut in competition during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Cool Runnings was released in the United States on October 1, 1993 to generally positive reviews. The film's soundtrack also became popular with Jimmy Cliff performing a cover of Johnny Nash's 'I Can See Clearly Now', which reached the top 40 as a single in the United States, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom.
In November 1987, Jamaicansprinter Derice Bannock trains to qualify for the 100 metres in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He fails to qualify when fellow runner Junior Bevil accidentally stumbles, knocking himself, Derice, and Yul Brenner down.
Derice vents his frustrations to Barrington Coolidge, the President of the Jamaica Olympic Association. He spots a photograph in Coolidge’s office, featuring his late father Ben, standing next to a fellow Olympic gold medal winner. Coolidge identifies the man as disgraced American bobsled medallist Irving Blitzer, who was disqualified for cheating in the 1972 Winter Olympics. Derice realizes he could participate in the 1988 Winter Olympics by forming a bobsled team, recruiting his friend Sanka Coffie, a pushcart derby champion.
Blitzer, working in Jamaica as a bookie, at first refuses to help Derice, until learning he is Ben Bannock’s son. A recruitment drive fails, but the arrival of Junior and Yul allows Derice to form the required four-man bobsled team. The team train with Blitzer, though Coolidge refuses to fund the $20,000 needed to participate in the Olympics, believing the team's inexperience will bring shame to Jamaica. The team find various ways to raise the money, ranging from singing on the street to arm wrestling. Junior, who avoids telling his father about the team, sells his car to finance the trip to Canada.
In Calgary, Blitzer registers the team, receiving an old bobsled from his former teammate Roger. The Jamaicans struggle to drive the bobsled and adapt to the cold, though exercise and hard work eventually pay off. Derice begins to copy the techniques of the Swiss team. Sanka, Junior, and Yul get into a bar fight with the snobbish East German team, and are reprimanded by Derice.
After weeks of training, the team successfully qualifies for the finals, only to be disqualified by the Olympic committee, as retribution for Blitzer’s prior cheating scandal. Blitzer confronts Kurt Hemphill, his former coach, now a judge in the committee, asking him not to punish the Jamaicans, as they had nothing to do with his cheating scandal. That night, the team are informed that they have been reinstated. On the night the Olympics formally open, Junior’s father arrives to retrieve his son, but Junior stands by his commitment to compete, earning Yul’s respect.
The team’s first day on the track is a disaster, finishing in last place. Sanka realizes Derice is copying the Swiss team’s methods, and encourages the team to 'bobsled Jamaican'. They improve on the second day, finishing in eighth place. During their final race, one of the bobsled’s blades detaches, causing it to flip over and crash. Determined to finish the race, the team pick up their bobsled and carry it across the finish line, earning the applause of the other teams and the spectators, including Junior's father. An epilogue explains the team would return home as heroes, then return to the 1992 Winter Olympics to participate as equals.
- John Candy as Irving 'Irv' Blitzer
- Leon Robinson (credited as Leon) as Derice Bannock
- Doug E. Doug as Sanka Coffie
- Rawle D. Lewis as Junior Bevil
- Malik Yoba as Yul Brenner
- Raymond J. Barry as Kurt Hemphill
- Peter Outerbridge as Josef Grool
- Paul Coeur as Roger
- Larry Gilman as Larry
- Lewis Hinds and Charlotte Frasca as School Kids
- Alex ‘The Menace’ Frasca as Bus Driver #1
- Charles Hyatt as Whitby Bevil
- Winston Stona as Barrington Coolidge
- Bertina Macauley as Joy Bannock
- Kristoffer Cooper as Winston
- Bob Del Torre as USA team Driver
- Martin Hub as Czech Bobsled Driver
According to Leon Robinson, 'there were script problems. It wasn't funny enough, the key elements were lacking, and it just wasn't working. It was meant to happen when it happened.' Leon, Doug E. Doug and Malik Yoba have all confirmed in their interview with Empire that it was originally meant to have been a serious sports drama film. The film's working title was Blue Maaga. Before Jon Turteltaub was officially hired, Jeremiah S. Chechik was slated to direct until he moved on to do Benny & Joon (1993) instead. Brian Gibson was also considered to direct, but he dropped out to do What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) instead. Turteltaub used the actual ABC sports footage from the 1988 Olympics and incorporated it into the film.
According to Robinson, 'The script has been following me around for 31⁄2 years.' Robinson signed on when Gibson was then the director at the time. Robinson told The Seattle Times, 'I was signed more than a year before we actually started.' Doug got involved with the film in 1990: 'I found Cool Runnings three years ago, when my agent had it on his desk. I knew about the actual event it's based on, the Jamaican bobsled team that went to the '88 Olympics, and even though it's based pretty loosely I thought it made a great yarn.' At the time of Doug's audition, Chechik was attached as the director. Doug told The Baltimore Sun: 'I got the offer to play Sanka, the guy I'd wanted to play from the very beginning.'
Lewis had very little experience and was not even allowed to audition at first. He told The Seattle Times, 'I was hired to read lines to auditioning actors for just one day. That turned into three weeks. At first they told me they were looking for names, big stars, so I wouldn't be considered, but then they asked me to do a screen test.' He also told The Baltimore Sun, 'I came in to this film at first to coach the players in the authentic accents.' Lewis was officially hired in November 1992. When asked by Empire how he got involved with the film, Yoba was introduced to the casting director, Jackie Brown, by 'a gentleman by the name of Jamal Joseph.' At the time of Yoba's official casting, Gibson was still slated to direct. Yoba later told Entertainment Weekly that he wrote the Jamaican bobsled song for his audition. Lewis claimed that the executives at Disney wanted Kurt Russell for the role of Coach Blitzer. However, John Candy personally insisted on portraying the coach and agreed to take a pay cut to do the movie. According to Yoba, Scott Glenn was also considered for the role.Cuba Gooding Jr., Jeffrey Wright, and Eriq La Salle were each considered for a role as one of the four Jamaican bobsledders.
The film was shot in Calgary and Jamaica in February and March 1993. The cast and crew filmed in Calgary first, to take advantage of the snow. Then they filmed at the Jamaican parishes of Discovery Bay and Kingston. Dawn Steel was on the set every day in Calgary and Jamaica. According to Robinson, '(Steel) worked on the second unit for a while, and she said 'Never again. I never want to direct.''
A soundtrack album with 11 tracks was released by Sony in 1993 on cassette and compact disc (Columbia Chaos OK 57553).
In some European countries, the soundtrack album was released by Sony with a 12th (bonus) track being 'Rise Above It' performed by Lock Stock and Barrel (Columbia 474840 2). Songs from the soundtrack also featured in a little known musical 'Rasta in the Snow', which was based on events of the real Jamaican sled team.
|1.||'Wild Wild Life'||Wailing Souls||3:36|
|2.||'I Can See Clearly Now'||Jimmy Cliff||3:16|
|3.||'Stir It Up'||Diana King||3:49|
|4.||'Cool Me Down'||Tiger||3:50|
|5.||'Picky Picky Head'||Wailing Souls||4:10|
|6.||'Jamaican Bobsledding Chant'||Worl-A-Girl||4:16|
|7.||'Sweet Jamaica'||Tony Rebel||3:51|
|8.||'Dolly My Baby'||Super Cat||3:32|
|9.||'The Love You Want'||Wailing Souls||3:59|
|11.||'The Walk Home'||Hans Zimmer||4:37|
|12.||'Rise Above It'||Lock Stock and Barrel||3:32|
Cool Runnings debuted at No. 3. The film had total domestic earnings of $68,856,263 in the United States and Canada, and $86,000,000 internationally (with $416,771 earned in Jamaica), for a total of $154,856,263 worldwide.
Cool Runnings received positive reviews, including one from Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times which referred to the film as 'a sweet-natured, high-spirited comedy, that rare movie that plays effectively to all ages. Even rarer, it celebrates genuine sportsmanship, placing the emphasis back on how the game is played in the face of the winning-is-everything philosophy that permeates every aspect of contemporary life.'
Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote 'a wholesome, engaging, frequently hilarious, ultimately inspirational film.'
Cool Runnings has received a rating of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 42 reviews. The site's consensus states 'Cool Runnings rises above its formulaic sports-movie themes with charming performances, light humor, and uplifting tone.' On Metacritic it has a score of 60% based on reviews from 17 critics, indicating 'mixed or average reviews'. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A on scale of A to F.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2006: AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers – Nominated
- 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:
- Nominated Sports Film
Differences between real life and film
The Jamaicans were disqualified temporarily by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but it was not an appeal by the coach that led the IOC to reverse this decision. The IOC received several appeals to reverse their decision, including one from Prince Albert of Monaco.
While the Jamaicans did crash their bobsled on their third out of four scheduled runs, the film implied the team was a medal contender, having run a world record pace prior to the crash. In reality, they were in 24th place (out of 26) after their first run was completed in 58.04. Their second run was completed in 59.37, which was the next-to-worst time (25th). On the third run, they had the worst time (1:03.19, good for 26th place), due to the crash, which was almost five seconds behind the 25th fastest run. Of the 103 runs that were completed in the four-man competition, nobody else posted a time over one minute. Thus, after three runs, the Jamaicans were in 26th (last) place with a cumulative time of 3:00.60 after three runs which placed them 3.23 seconds behind Portugal for 25th place, and 10.19 seconds behind the Soviet team that was in third-place, heading into the final run. If they had taken part in the final run, they would have had to complete a world-record shattering time under 48.00 seconds to bring home a medal.
In the film, the crash happens on the third and final run and is depicted to have been caused by a mechanical failure in the front left blade of the sled. As the driver steers, a nut and bolt on the control column work loose, eventually causing a loss of control as the bobsleigh comes out of a turn and subsequently crashes.
In reality, the crash happened in the third out of four runs, and it was deemed that driver inexperience, excess speed, and regressing the turn too high caused the sled to become unstable and top-heavy seconds prior to it toppling onto its left side. The team did not start the fourth and final run.
Real TV footage of the actual crash was used in the film but was heavily edited to fit in with the film's version of the crash. Both the run and the high speed crash were disorienting: team member Nelson Chris Stokes 'felt a bump' when they tipped but did not realize they had turned over until he started to smell his helmet (which was fiberglass) friction-burning on the ice, 'which is something that stays with you for many years afterward.'
Cool Runnings Movie Download Online
After the crash, the film depicted the Jamaicans carrying their sled on their shoulders to the finish to a slow-building standing ovation. In reality, they did not carry the sled but walked next to it. When the sled tipped, they were doing 130 km/h (81 mph), and their helmets scraped against the wall for 600 m (2,000 ft) until they came to a stop. They also received somewhat sporadic applause, less than the crescendo response in the movie, but the real bobsled driver Dudley Stokes cites the spectator applause as the reason the run turned from tragedy to triumph for him.
Four-man sled vs two-man sled
The movie also gives the impression that the Jamaicans were the only team from Central America and the Caribbean. This was the case in the four-man sled competition, which the movie focuses on. However, in the two-man competition there was also a bobsled team from Netherlands Antilles which finished 29th (one place ahead of Jamaica's two-man sled team) and two teams from United States Virgin Islands which finished 35th and 38th.
The film focuses entirely on the four-man bobsled team, which crashed their sled and finished last out of the 26 teams, as all 25 other teams were able to complete all four runs. It ignores the fact that two members of the team (Dudley Stokes and Michael White) also competed in the two-man sled competition and successfully completed all four runs, finishing in 30th place out of 38 teams that finished all runs, with three other teams which did not finish. The remaining members of the four man sled team were Devon Harris and Chris Stokes (Dudley's younger brother). In fact the whole formation of the bob-sleigh project as depicted in the film is incorrect. The film depicts them as forming the team as a four-man bobsleigh team right from the start. In reality, they started the project intending to compete in the two-man bobsleigh event only. They only decided to compete in the four-man event after having already completed the two-man event in Calgary.
In the movie, the weather is depicted as bitterly cold with a temperature of −25 °C (−13 °F). Actual temperatures in Calgary during the Games were well above normal, including some daytime highs above 16 °C (61 °F).
On November 11, 1994, the film was released on VHS and laserdisc by Walt Disney Home Video in the United States. On August 24, 1999, the film was released on DVD by Walt Disney Home Video in the United States in Region 1. On September 1, 2000, the film was released on VHS by Walt Disney Studios in the United Kingdom. On January 22, 2001, the film was released on DVD by Walt Disney Studios in the United Kingdom in Region 2. On March 28, 2017, the film was released on region free Blu-ray as a Disney Movie Club Exclusive title.
The film was made available for streaming on Disney+ on January 1, 2020.
- ^ abcGalbraith, Jane (September 30, 1993). 'From Real Life to Screen Proved Tough Sledding : Movies: Despite being dropped by Columbia and two directors, 'Cool Runnings,' the film about Jamaican snow bobbers, makes it across the finish line'. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
- ^ abcdefHartl, John (October 2, 1993). 'Some Rough Sledding Making 'Cool Runnings''. The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^McKnight, Franklin (October 1, 1993). ''Cool Runnings' Tells About Jamaicans' Tough Sledding'. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ abPlumb, Ali. 'Leon Robinson: Derice On The Coll Runnings Cafe and Dressing Up As A Zombie'. Empire. Archived from the original on July 14, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ abPlumb, Ali. 'Doug E. Doug: Sanka Himself Reveals Where He Keeps His Lucky Eggs'. Empire. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ abcPlumb, Ali. 'Malik Yoba: Yul Brenner On Pride, Power And People Wanting To Draw Lines On His Head'. Empire. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ abcdHighfill, Samantha (February 12, 2014). ''Cool Runnings': An oral history'. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ ab'Interview with Actor Rawle D. Lewis, Star of Cool Runnings'. Justmyshow.com. February 25, 2010. Archived from the original on July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ abcPrice, Michael H. (October 6, 1993). ''Cool Runnings': Serious comedy for Doug E. Doug'. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^ abPlumb, Ali. 'Rawle D. Lewis: Junior Bevil On Talking To Mirrors And Getting Recognized In Pizza Hut'. Empire. Archived from the original on February 11, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
- ^'Interview with Cool Runnings Star Rawle D. Lewis AKA Junior Bevil'. YouTube. October 7, 2010. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- ^Fox, David J. (October 19, 1993). 'Weekend Box Office : 'Demolition Man' Fends Off 'Hillbillies''. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- ^Thomas, Kevin (October 1, 1993). 'MOVIE REVIEW : 'Cool': Hot on Trail of Feel-Good Comedy'. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
- ^Harrington, Richard (October 1, 1993). 'Cool Runnings - review'. The Washington Post. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
- ^Cool Runnings at Rotten Tomatoes
- ^'Cool Runnings'. Metacritic.
- ^'COOL RUNNINGS (1993) A'. CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
- ^'AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees'(PDF). Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- ^'AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees'(PDF). Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved 2016-08-19.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- ^ abAtkin, Nick (5 February 2014). 'The real Cool Runnings'. ESPN.
- ^'Bobsleigh at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games: Men's Four'. Sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- ^16x9 - Cool Runnings: Truth Behind Original Jamaican Bobsled Team. YouTube. June 6, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- ^ ab16x9 - Cool Runnings: Truth Behind Original Jamaican Bobsled Team. YouTube. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- ^jamaica original bobsled. YouTube. August 16, 2008. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- ^'Online Donors Send Jamaican Bobsled Team To Sochi'. NPR. January 22, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- ^'Bobsleigh at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games: Jamaica'. Sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- ^lanzamr (February 17, 2014). 'Winter Olympics Weather in Context'.
- ^Joseph Zucker. 'Jamaican Bobsled Team Qualifies for 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics'. Bleacher Report. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- ^'Funding woes ease, Jamaicans promise Sochi we fight'. Reuters. January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
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