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Miracle at St. Anna (2008)

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2:33 | Trailer
Set in 1944 Italy, the story of four black American soldiers who get trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writers:

James McBride (screenplay), James McBride (novel)
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek Luke ... 2nd Staff Sergeant Aubrey Stamps
Michael Ealy ... Sergeant Bishop Cummings
Laz Alonso ... Corporal Hector Negron
Omar Benson Miller ... Private First Class Sam Train
Pierfrancesco Favino ... Peppi 'The Great Butterfly' Grotta
Valentina Cervi ... Renata
Matteo Sciabordi Matteo Sciabordi ... Angelo Torancelli (The Boy)
John Turturro ... Detective Antonio 'Tony' Ricci
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Tim Boyle
John Leguizamo ... Enrico
Kerry Washington ... Zana Wilder
D.B. Sweeney ... Colonel Driscoll
Robert John Burke ... General Ned Almond
Omari Hardwick ... Platoon Commander Huggs
Omero Antonutti ... Ludovico
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Storyline

Christmas, 1983. A New York postal clerk, a Buffalo Soldier in Italy in World War II, shoots a stranger. In his apartment, police find a valuable Italian marble head, missing since the war. Flashbacks tell the story of four Black soldiers who cross Tuscany's Serchio River, dodging German and friendly fire. With a shell-shocked boy in tow, they reach the village of Colognora. Orders via radio tell them to capture a German soldier for questioning about a counteroffensive. In the village, a beautiful woman, partisans that include a traitor and a local legend, the boy, and the story of a recent massacre connect to the postal worker's anguish forty years later. And the miracle? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some black people will live to tell the Story See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong war violence, language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Spike Lee WWII Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,477,996, 28 September 2008

Gross USA:

$7,919,117

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,323,833
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Naomi Campbell was originally cast in the film, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. See more »

Goofs

Bishop offers Italian girl an "unfiltered" cigarette. All cigarettes during WWII were "unfiltered". See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Bishop Cummings: Girl, let me trim your garden.
See more »

Connections

References Inside Man (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

He's Got The Whole World In His Hand
Traditional Negro Spiritual
Vocal Arranged by David Morrow
Orchestral Arrangement by Terence Blanchard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Competent, but one of Lee's least achieved films
22 March 2010 | by ArgemalucoSee all my reviews

Miracle at St. Anna starts like this: retired black soldier Hector Negron (Laz Alonso) is watching the film The Longest Day on TV, which shows John Wayne (1907-1979) heroically fighting on World War II.To the display of North American value and fervent patriotism from white soldiers, Negron says: "We also fought on that war".The next day, he goes to his modest work, which consists on selling stamps in the postal office.Then, a familiar face appears behind the window...and Negron kills him with an old German gun.

After that provocative beginning, I was expecting to see a movie overflowing of the classic racial message from director Spike Lee.However, the ideological excess quickly disappears when the story becomes into a tapestry of cultures and events which do not only celebrate the black soldiers who fought in the war, but also to the brave members from Italian resistance...and even some honourable Nazis who followed orders, but without forgetting the human compassion, and without blindly accepting the ravings from the Führer.

However, those interesting elements also make the movie a bit tiring on some moments.At diverting the attention on tangential situations and individuals to the black regiment, screenwriter James McBride looses the focus on some occasions, and that makes the movie to get a bit boring on those parts.The sub-plot of the "magic" kid is particularly irrelevant and useless, as well as the rivalry between two soldiers for the love of a woman.I know that the dramatic slopes are valid tools frequently employed in Lee's movies; but the result in Miracle at St. Anna was not as good as, for example, in Do the Right Thing or Summer of Sam.

On the positive side from Miracle at St. Anna, we have solid performances, good setting and brutal and realistic battle scenes, which may not reach the level from Saving Private Ryan, but which generate appropriate intensity, chaos and suffering.

I mentioned on other occasions I am a fan of Lee.I understand why his usual position, which is simultaneously challenging and explosive, makes his movies difficult to assimilate by many people.But I think his big talent as a director is undeniable, even if we only take his least political movies (like 25th Hour and Inside Man).Miracle at St. Anna is clearly one of the least achieved films from his career, but that does not mean it is bad at all.In fact, I think the film deserves a recommendation because it is well done and it is generally interesting.However, I cannot deny that with more focus on the screenplay and a stricter edition, this movie could have been much better.


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