Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon Turteltaub|
|Produced by||Dawn Steel
Susan B. Landau
|Written by||Lynn Siefert
|Story by||Lynn Siefert
Doug E. Doug
Rawle D. Lewis
|Music by||Jimmy Cliff
|Editing by||Bruce Green|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||98 minutes|
Cool Runnings is a 1993 American sports film directed by Jon Turteltaub, and starring Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba and John Candy. The film was released in the United States on October 1, 1993.
The film received positive reviews, and the film's soundtrack also became popular, with the reggae single "I Can See Clearly Now" by Jimmy Cliff reaching the top 40 in nations such as Canada, France, and the UK.
Irv Blizter was an American bobsled two time Gold Medalist at the 1968 Winter Olympics who finished first in two events again during the 1972 Winter Olympics but was disqualified from the latter for cheating and retired in disgrace to Jamaica, where he leads an impoverished life as a bookie. Irving is approached by two Jamaican athletes: top 100m runner Derice Bannock, who failed to qualify for the 1988 Summer Olympics when another opponent tripped him at the trials, and Sanka Coffie, a champion push cart racer.
The athletes wish to use Irving's previous experience as a Coach in order to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics as bobsledders. Irving had been good friends with Derice's father, Ben, a former sprinter whom Irving had tried to recruit for the bobsled team years ago, who is presumed to be deceased. Yul Brenner, another runner who was tripped at the qualifier, joins the team as does Junior Bevil, the runner who tripped Yul and Derice. Eventually Irving is convinced to coach the team.
The four try to find various ways to earn money to get in the Olympics; singing on the street, arm wrestling, and holding a kissing booth, but all fail. Junior, however, sells his car, which gets the team the money that they need. Later on in a hotel room, Junior reprimands Sanka for hurting Yul's feelings and tells him about his father's past and how he became rich with hard work. He encourages Yul not to give up on achieving all of his goals.
In Calgary, Irving manages to acquire an old practice sled, as the Jamaicans have never been in an actual bobsled. The Jamaicans are looked down upon by other countries, in particular the East German team whose arrogant leader, Josef, tells them to go home, resulting in a bar fight. The team resolves to view the contest more seriously, continuing to train and improve their technique. They qualify for the finals, but are briefly disqualified. At the primary judge meeting, a frustrated Irving immediately confronts his former coach from the '72 Olympic Winter Games Kurt Hemphill, now a primary judge of the '88 Olympic Winter Games, for disqualifying the Jamaicans for his mistake. He confesses that he made the biggest mistake in his life and resorted to cheating by hiding weights underneath the sled to make it run faster. Irving’s 1972 Gold Medals were revoked and he embarrassed his country with the scandal. He says that if Hemphill wants revenge, just punish him and not his team. He begs Hemphill to let the Jamaicans qualify and represent their country in the Olympics. Later, the judges overturn their decision and the Jamaicans are back in.
The Jamaicans' first day on the track results in more embarrassment and a last place finish. Sanka convinces Derice to stop copying qualities of the Swiss team. Once the team develops their own style, the second day proves; the Jamaican team finishes with a fast time which puts them in eighth position. Later, Irving tells Derice the truth about his past and convinces him to think of himself as a champion even if he doesn't win the gold, saying, "A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it."
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 being old, has one of the blades fall off, and 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 the sled over their shoulders and walks across the finish line to rousing applause from spectators, including Josef, Hempill, and Junior's father. 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.
- Leon as Derice Bannock
- Doug E. Doug as Sanka Coffie
- Rawle D. Lewis as Junior Bevil
- Malik Yoba as Yul Brenner
- John Candy as Irving "Irv" Blitzer
- Raymond J. Barry as Kurt Hemphill
- Peter Outerbridge as Josef Grull
- Paul Coeur as Roger
- Larry Gilman as Larry
- Charles Hyatt as Whitby Bevil
- Winston Stona as Coolidge
- Bertina Macauley as Joy Bannock
- Kristoffer Cooper as Winston
A soundtrack album with 11 tracks was released by Sony in 1993 on 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 sound track also featured in a little know musical "Rasta in the Snow", which was based on events of the real Jamaican sled team.
|1.||"Wild Wild Life - Wailing Souls"|
|2.||"I Can See Clearly Now - Jimmy Cliff"|
|3.||"Stir It Up - Diana King"|
|4.||"Cool Me Down - Tiger"|
|5.||"Picky Picky Head - Wailing Souls"|
|6.||"Jamaican Bobsledding Chant - Worl-A-Girl"|
|7.||"Sweet Jamaica - Tony Rebel"|
|8.||"Dolly My Baby - Super Cat"|
|9.||"The Love You Want - Wailing Souls"|
|10.||"Countrylypso - Hans Zimmer"|
|11.||"The Walk Home - Hans Zimmer"|
|12.||"Rise Above It - Lock Stock and Barrel (bonus track included only on European release reference number 474840 2)"|
The film received generally positive reviews. Cool Runnings has received a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 31 reviews, with 23 being "fresh" and 8 being "rotten". Rotten Tomatoes' consensus reads "Cool Runnings rises above its formulaic sports-movie themes with charming performances, light humor, and uplifting tone."
The film debuted at #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.
Differences between real life and film
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 "Irv" 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 in the four man event since 1948.
In the film, the team is formed by Jamaican sprinters after failing to qualify for the 1988 Summer Olympics. In real life the 1988 Winter Olympics preceded the Summer Olympic trials.
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.)
Completely unlike the story in the film, the Jamaican team was not in conflict with any of the other international bobsledding teams. Other teams were, in fact, very supportive of the Jamaican team and excited to have them there. One of the other teams even lent the Jamaican team a backup 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 (eliminating the Jamaicans) and Jamaica was not on a world record pace. However, real-life footage of the crash was used in the film. After the crash, the team walked next to their sled as track officials slid it down the track. They received sporadic applause, though less than the crescendo response as in the movie.
In the film the crash 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 crashing. In reality it was deemed that driver inexperience, excess speed and egressing the turn too high caused the sled to become unstable and top heavy seconds prior to it toppling onto its left side. Real TV footage of the actual crash was used in the film but heavily edited ("spliced and diced") to fit in with the film's version of the crash.
- Galbraith, Jane (1993-09-30). "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.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- "Cool Runnings Themes - Jamaican Bobsledders: A Cool Running theme". The Los Angeles Times. 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- Thomas, Kevin (1993-10-01). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Cool': Hot on Trail of Feel-Good Comedy". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- Cool Runnings at Rotten Tomatoes
- Fox, David J. (1993-10-19). "Weekend Box Office : 'Demolition Man' Fends Off 'Hillbillies'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-30.
- YouTube Video of the real 1988 Jamaican Bobsled Team's crash
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Cool Runnings|
- Cool Runnings at the Internet Movie Database
- Cool Runnings at allmovie
- Cool Runnings at Box Office Mojo
- Cool Runnings at Rotten Tomatoes