Game of Their Lives, The (Miracle Match)

Drama / History / Sport (PG)
David Anspaugh
Running time:
101 minutes
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The Game of Their Lives Gallery
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FAN RATINGS: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (36 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)


Gerard Butler …. Frank Borghi
Wes Bentley …. Walter Bahr
Richard Jenik …. Joe Maca
Jay Rodan …. Frank ‘Pee Wee’ Wallace
Louis Mandylor …. Virginio ‘Gino’ Pariani
Jimmy Jean-Louis …. Joe Gatjaens
Zachery Ty Bryan …. Harry Keough (as Zachery Bryan)
Nelson Vargas …. John ‘Clarkie’ Souza
John Rhys-Davies …. Bill Jeffrey
Gavin Rossdale …. Stanley Mortenson

The most unlikely team ever to represent their nation gathered in Brazil for the first Soccer World Cup since World War II. Of the eleven men to take the field, five were Italian, two were Portuguese, one Haitian, one German, one Scot and one an Irishman. They all wore blue shorts, and white shirts crossed with a thick band of red. On their chests they wore the eagle of the United States of America. Gathered from the meat packing plants and funeral homes of Dago Hill, St. Louis, and the restaurant kitchens of New York City, they hadn’t the silky skills of their Mexican opponents nor the fierce discipline of the mighty English team. But these were proud men, loyal to each other and their communities, and fiercely proud of the country they now called their own. With a less than impressive record they arrived in Brazil, 500-1 outsiders, without hope or expectation. What happened next didn’t change the world, or stop the Korean War that started the next day. It didn’t even affect the ultimate outcome of the competition. It was just one moment, but for the men on the field it was a moment that would define who they were as Americans, as athletes, and as friends. As athletes the Americans were brilliant but unknown, used to playing for pittances in front of small crowds in rickety stands in rented playground fields. The loudest cheers they ever heard were from thirty thousand Brazilians who would never know their names. They were the last of the great amateur sportsmen, pitched against the first of the new professionals- England, the inventors of the game, the greatest soccer team the world had ever known. This is their story.

Watch the Trailer:

Production Notes:
  • Had a limited release in the 10+ US cities in the Spring of 2005.
  • DVD has been released in Japan, Brazil and Australia.
  • The Game of Their Lives was released on DVD on September 12, 2006 by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. It was released under the title “The Miracle Match”. Click here to order from

  • Release Dates:
    USA 22 April 2005 (limited)
    IMDB Rating:
    IMDB ID:
    Filming Location:
    St. Louis/Brazil

    Post Your Thoughts!



    1. Suggestion says:

      Best wishes, Martha

    2. Heather Donovan says:

      I just received this video the other night, part of my collection of GB movies. I too had no clue there was a first soccer team in Missouri at all, and I am a resident of that state. Amazing! The movie was wonderful and I really see now where GB uses his acting skills, his reticense and sensitivity in this movie. The direction is excellent and all the characters have good strengths. The writers kept it true to the story, meaning they didn’t get to fancy. KIS.
      At any rate, good movie, I highly recommend it, and also a great teaching tool for getting along with others.
      Perhaps if all soccer teams watched this movie before playing a season, there would be less violence on the field and in the stadiums.
      If you get a chance to see it, definitely grab some popcorn and a soda and check out Gerry.
      I give it ****** stars.

    3. Rachel Frantz says:

      My third favorite movie. I love this movie because it is a true story, an underdog story and a period piece. Triple threat! Gets me every time. LOL 🙂 I love this story, I didn’t know the US even had soccer before 1970, let alone that they went to the World Cup. This was the story of a group of friends five years out from WWII where they had served in the military and were decorated for their service. When you see them as old men being honored by the young teams coming up and you see the story of what they accomplished it really puts it in context. It is very touching. One favorite scenes is when Gino Pariani gets fussed at by his fiancee’s father. that scene is so cute. I love the scene when Frank Borghi has to confront his mom about taking time off to go to the game. Gerard is so handsome in this movie. Clean shaven, his slender, solid frame in the period baggy pleated pants and the loose cotton shirt. That style of clothing was made for people with that long, lean, solid frame like Gerard’s and he looks very nice in it. 🙂 The way Gerard looked with the long, lean, solid frame, lithe, graceful, powerful, that is the way the human body is supposed to look, especially the male human body. 🙂 He did a great job portraying his character. I love the scene where they have to save good bye at the train station. I love this movie from start to finish, it would take too much space to mention everything that I like about this movie. I loved mostly how the characters learned to work together and respect each other and pull off this amazing feat.

    4. Island gal says:

      not released in my country as yet, but can’t wait to see it

    5. i didnt think i would like this film as im not into football at all, but it was a lovely story about the underdogs coming through the odds. i liked the story behind the different characters and how it all came together for them. its an amazing feat for this small group of players to take on such a large opponent and beat them. a nice film and well worth giving it a go.

    6. Delightful period piece! Fun to see the history of soccer/football in the US – esp. now that it is gaining momentum!