When the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics came to an end I found myself going through a Olympic withdrawal. So I searched out a copy of Walt Disney's "Cool Runnings" to give me a quick fix. This movie was a childhood favorite of mine and I was quite pleased to find that even years later I found it just as entertaining.
The plot line is based on the real life story of the very first Jamaican Bobsled team and how they came to attend the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Though the facts may have been altered a bit as they are in most films the idea of the movie still rings true. In other words if you were hoping to watch this movie and get all the information you needed for your school paper I would advise you to check out the book "Cool Runnings and beyond: The story of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team" (written by Chris Stokes) instead. This book is jammed packed full of info on this real life underdog tale.
However if you are looking for a great family movie that is filled with quirky characters, lots of laughs, and a little bit of educational value then this movie will definitely be a hit for you!
The movie was directed by Jon Turteltaub and has won both the Golden Screen award and the BMI Film Music Award and was nominated for (but did not win) the Artios award for "Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy" and Young Artist Award for "Outstanding Family Movie - comedy"
To top it all off this movie has a triple douse of Canada in it. The obvious being the story line speaks of the 1988 Calgary Olympics but the movie was also filmed here in Canada and has a Canadian acotor in the main cast.
The movie was mostly filmed in and around Calgary, Alberta with the exception of the bar scene which was filmed at the Palomino Night Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ontario born actor John Candy plays Irving Blitzer a former bobsled gold medalist who Derice Bannock (the Jamaican team captain) tries to recruit as their coach. Frankly Blitzer wants nothing to do with bobsledding anymore and puts great effort into getting this message across. Evidentially proving to be less then helpful for the Jamaican underdogs.
You will probably recognize Candy from his roles in "Uncle Buck", "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", "The Great Outdoors", and "Canadian Bacon" (among many others).
John Candy was beloved across Canada, he made us laugh, he helped to create many of our childhood classics and in turn many of us came to think of him as our very own "Uncle Buck". On March 4th 1994 the sad news of Candy's sudden death spread across the country, and Canadians everywhere shed a tear as if each one of us had lost a very dear relative, and in a way we had.
Buy Cool Runnings on Amazon and have it delivered straight to you!
You can also snag yourself a copy of Chris Stokes' Cool Runnings and Beyond: The Story of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Team at Amazon as well!
Websites that have helped with the research for this article:
The Internet Movie Database
Other mediums used to obtain research for this article:
Cool Runnings the movie