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In the late 1930s, a young machinist named Maurice Richard distinguished himself as an ice hockey player of preternatural talent. Although that was enough to get him into the Montreal Canadiens, his frequent injuries cost him the confidence of his team and the fans. In the face of these doubts, Richard eventually shows the kind of aggressive and skillful play that would make him one of the greatest players of all time as "The Rocket." However for all his success, Richard and his fellow French Canadians face constant discrimination in a league dominated by the English speaking. Although a man of few words, Richard begins to speak his own mind about the injustice which creates a organizational conflict that would culminate in his infamous 1955 season suspension that sparks an ethnic riot in protest. In the face of these challenges, Richard must decide who exactly is he playing for.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
In the shaving scene which takes place in the mid-1950's Dupuis (as Richard) is using a safety razor that hadn't yet been invented - it wouldn't be invented and marketed until about 1963. The razor has a numbered dial, which the film shows in close-up, round its handle; this dial changed the spacing between the razor blade and the head of the shaver; safety razors in the 50's, and earlier, did not have this space-setting dial feature. See more »
This is an excellent film. I think that thing that I enjoyed most about this film is its humility. Despite his passion and brilliance on the ice, Maurice Richard was a humble man who never wore the mantle of greatness easily. Many of his accomplishments are depicted in this movie, but in a way that reflects this humble, yet utterly brilliant and great man. I was fortunate to be at the last game played in the Montreal Forum, almost 40 years after Richard last played for the team. The sixteen minute standing ovation and outpouring of emotion for this man when he was brought to centre ice is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.
If you're not from Quebec, and more specifically from Montreal, then it may be hard to understand the impact that this man had on the province. He was, during his playing days, literally seen as a religious icon. This movie does an amazing job at telling the story of the Rocket's lasting social impact upon Quebec, and it does so in a very quiet and compelling fashion.
I should also point out the incredible detail that has gone into this film. As well as being an excellent actor, Roy Dupuis is a dead-ringer for the rocket. Mike Ricci is a carbon copy of Elmer Lach, and Vincent Lecavalier is a ringer for Jean Beliveau. The cages separating standing room from the seats were an actual feature of the forum through the 40s, and very much a symbol of French-Canadian working class discontent in Montreal at the time. The photograph sequence of Sugar Henry the Boston goalie who shakes Richard's hand after his game/series winning goal in the playoffs is lifted right out of the hockey history books--an amazing detail.
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