Winter 2007 Main series
Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 7:00pm
Monday, March 19, 2007 at 7:00pm
Directed by Charles Binamé
Starring Roy Dupuis, Patrice Robitaille, Rémy Girard, and Julie Le Breton
Rated NR ·
English and French
In 1996 Maurice Richard stood in the Montreal Forum to a standing ovation that lasted more than ten minutes. “Enough,” he said, “I was only a hockey player.” But Maurice ‘the Rocket’ Richard was so much more. Charles Binamé (Seraphin) brings hockey’s greatest legend to the big screen in his latest feature, The Rocket. With Roy Dupuis (Looking for Alexander, Monica la Mitraille) laced up in Richard’s skates, the film captures the culture of hockey in its early days, and more importantly conveys what Richard meant and still means to Québécois and hockey fans everywhere.
Initially discounted as having bones too brittle for the game, Maurice Richard’s intensity on the ice made him a force to be reckoned with during his tenure with the National Hockey League from 1942 to 1960. Richard was the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games, and the first to score 500 regular season goals. But Richard represented much more than career statistics to the sport, and especially to the Montréal Canadiens. His fiery temper got him slapped with a controversial suspension in 1955 that not only kept him out of the next game, but the entire play-off season. A game against Detroit at the Montreal Forum erupted into the infamous ‘Richard Riot,’ resulting in a level violence the NHL has not seen since. It is said Richard’s suspension that day in March fanned the flames of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution.
The film’s script, written by Ken Scott (Le Grand Séduction), captures the essence of Quebec’s icon. With a keen eye for detail, Binamé has recreated not only Montréal’s historic Forum but also the game as it was played at the time, and to fulfill this task recruited a number of NHL stars: former Canadiens defenceman Stephane Quintal, San Jose Sharks’ Mike Ricci and Ian Laperriere and Tampa Bay Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier.
The film also boasts a supporting cast comprised of some of Quebec’s best actors, including Rémy Girard (The Barbarian Invasions), Julie Le Breton (Québec-Montréal) and Patrice Robitaille (Horloge Biologique). The Rocket succeeds in capturing the iconic character of Richard and his role in a tumultuous time in Canadian history. Film-goers and fans alike will be transported to hockey’s glorious past and revel in the story of its greatest player.