'Miracle,' 'Cool Runnings' and more Olympic winners, in the movie category

"Miracle" (2004) -- Kurt Russell was Herb Brooks,

"Miracle" (2004) -- Kurt Russell was Herb Brooks, coach of the U.S. Olympic ice-hockey team who upset the powerful Soviet squad at the 1980 Lake Placid games. In this scene, Brooks is told that his group of college players don't stand a chance at the 1980 Olympic Games against the juggernaut from the Soviet Union. (Credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

Who doesn't get chills watching the Winter Olympics? The games, which got underway Friday in Sochi, Russia, are often the source of dramatic matches and backstage drama -- this year marks the 20th anniversary of the kneecapping attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan orchestrated by rival ice princess Tonya Harding's ex-husband. Less memorable was NBC's hastily made TV movie "Tonya and Nancy: The Inside Story," which followed in April 1994. These other big- and small-screen movies, however, set the standard for Winter Olympic-themed movies.

THE GOLD:

DOWNHILL RACER (1969). Skier Robert Redford travels a slippery slope as his drive for Olympic glory alienates his coach and teammates. Roger Ebert called it "the best movie ever made about sports -- without really being about sports at all."

MIRACLE (2004). Kurt Russell scores as Herb Brooks, the coach who led the U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the Soviets at the 1980 Games at Lake Placid, in this box-office winner that earned $64.4 million.

 

THE SILVER:

ONE IN A MILLION (1936). Norwegian figure skater and gold medalist Sonja Henie starred as an Olympic hopeful whose amateur status is called into question after performing in an ice show. Critics gave her a 10 for her figure eights and 1 for her thesping. Regardless, the film's success made her a hot asset for 20th Century Fox.

COOL RUNNINGS (1993). A team of Jamaicans come bob, bob, bobbing along to Canada in search of glory in the bobsled competition at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta. The movie, which starred funny man John Candy, was a surprise smash that grossed $68.6 million.

 

THE BRONZE:

MIRACLE ON ICE (1981). Massapequa's Steve Guttenberg dyed his hair red to land the role of Irish-American goalie Jim Craig in this TV movie about the U.S.-Soviet hockey showdown that starred Karl Malden as Brooks.

BLADES OF GLORY (2007). OK, technically the fictional World Winter Sports Games was the setting for this comedy starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as the first male-male figure-skating pairs team, but it sure looked like the Olympics. And Ferrell and Heder looked stunning in outfits even Henie would envy.

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