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Short summary

A story about a man's personal struggle to victory in the 1971 Madison, Indiana hydro-plane regatta.
Madison, Indiana, 1971. The Ohio river port is in full economic decline, its last pride and obsession being its uniquely town-owned power boat, although the raggedy old donation from a millionaire decades ago never comes close to a win. With his doted upon son Mike as most devoted fan, air-conditioner repairman Jim McCormick, who had to stop piloting it after a near-fatal accident, devotes all his 'spare' time to it, turning down professional opportunities as that would mean moving, as his wife suggests. Things climax when he realizes the town will either be scrapped from the national racing circuit or host the Gold Cup itself, requiring $50,000 fund raising.

Trailers "Мэдисон (2001)"

The film footage that represents the crash involving Buddy Johnson is actually taken from KING-TV film of the 1962 Miss Seattle Too disintegration on Seattle's Lake Washington.

The year that the film was set in was significant for a number of things: for being the first and only time that a community-owned boat has ever won the Gold Cup. It also broke the Rolls-Royce powered boat dominance of the APBA's Crown Jewel race as an Allison powered boat had not won a race since 1966. The race marked the end of an era in terms of boat design, as the Miss Madison of 1971 was the last Unlimited hydroplane with the old-style rear cockpit-forward-engine, shovel-nosed bow configuration to ever achieve victory.

After winning the 1971 Gold Cup, Jim McCormick and the Miss Madison made it 2 wins in a row, when he won the Atomic Cup in Tri City, Washington, three weeks later on July 26, 1971.

Many of the real life characters names of the Miss Budweiser team have been changed for the film, they are: Roger Epperson, who was based on the real life late Miss Budweiser owner, Bernie Little; his son Bobby was based on either of his sons, Bernie Jr or Joe Little and Rick Inston was based on Dean Cheonoweth, the driver of the team until his fatal accident in 1981.

The character Buddy Johnson, who drove and died when driving the Atlas Van Lines boat in the film was loosely based on Bill Muncey, who was however, fatally crashed in 1981 on a boat bearing the same name.

The sub-plot involving Jim McCormick's relationship with a young driver, played by Richard Lee Jackson, was based on McCormick's real life friendship with George "Skipp" Walther. Walther was fatally injured at Miami Marine Stadium in 1974 while testing the McCormick owned Red Man hydroplane.

Filming of the movie Madison started back in 1999 but the film wasn't release until 2005. That's six years after filming had started, the movie was finally released to the public.

The boat depicted as the Miss Budweiser, actually raced under the Budweiser name in 1980. The Budweiser hydroplane at the time flipped and was severely damaged while trying to qualify in the Seattle Seafair race. Chuck Hickling, who was the builder and owner of the boat then known as the Tempus, agreed to race the boat under the Budweiser name and number, U-12, to finish the season and win the National High Point Championship.

Song playing at the end is Grass Roots' "Glory Bound" from 1972.

As of 2016, this is the last film to star Jake Lloyd.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Anarius
    This turned out to be a "sleeper," a good film that few people have heard of, I suspect, outside of Madison, Indiana. Being in an area that used to host hydroplane races, it intrigued me. I also usually enjoy movies that star Jim Caviezel.

    Mainly, this was a nice film with a feel-good David vs. Goliath story based on a real-life occurrence back in 1971. It involves the sport of hydroplane racing, meaning extremely fast boats raced in different bodies of water around the USA. A town nearby where I live used to have these, but I haven't heard of them in decades.

    Anyway, this story takes place in a small Indiana town that was on the skids by 1970 but plants closing all the time and people moving elsewhere. The hopes of its boat, "Miss Madison" also seem to be about lost until, as fate would have it, the town is awarded the opportunity to host the "Gold Cup," the biggest event of the sport.

    A string of failures, followed by new disasters, include the death of the pilot, near-death of another one and the boat being just about totaled in the process. How the town - led by former racer "Jim McCormick" (Caviezel) - can raise the money to resurrect the town, the boat and the driver himself, are all shown here. McCormick not only has to pull off several miracles but also try to win the support of his wife and son, who have had their fill of disappointments with this sport.

    The film winds up being a sports movie and a drama about a family, a team of workers and an entire small town trying to pull together and beat tremendous odds. I have to use two clichés here: it's a heartwarming story and, yes, it's a good family movie. You don't have to worry about offensive material. It reminds me, in spots, of a made-for-TV movie. It kind of plays old-fashioned corny but in a way that makes you glad you watched it.
  • comment
    • Author: lucky kitten
    I'd like to first address the folks who haven't seen the film and are unfamiliar with it, or its topic...

    This sleeper film, as noted, is based around the true story of an under-dog hometown racing boat team that tried to win the "big one" against long odds in front of their home crowd. But the boat, the effort required to make the race happen, and the race itself is really secondary to the relationship between a 10 year-old son (Jake Lloyd) and his father (Jim Caviezel) as the demands of work, family, the sense of civic duty and the boat begin to pull the relationship, as well as his marriage, apart under a great deal of stress.

    Some have criticized this film as a formula driven "feel-good" sports film, and I suppose that this is true to a point. However, the acting is very believable and heart-felt. In fact, I think the emotion that Lloyd exhibits in the film is far superior to the rather wooden appearance he later made in Star Wars as young Anakin. Caviezel also does a great job as Jim McCormick, the father and husband who finds himself thrown into situations not necessarily of his choosing.

    The cinematography definitely conceals the low-budget nature of the film. Filmed in the "where it really happened" location of Madison, Indiana, "Madison" definitely shows off this visual gem on the Ohio River as well as its surrounding country side and wide vistas of the river valley.

    The film was shot and then set on a shelf for about five years. I was tickled to see that it at least was allowed distribution to the general public via DVD.

    This film will fill an evening of family entertainment and allow you to see a fine performance from two actors before they went on to add their talents to two block busters: The Passion, and The Phantom Menace.

    OK, part two... This is for the fans of the sport featured in this film that have been critical of the way things are portrayed in the movie. Two words: Lighten Up. I've been a sporadic fan of the Hydros, my in-laws are from the Madison area, and I had the fortune to be at the 1971 Madison "Gold Cup" race (granted I was seven at the time) and remember the hoopla surrounding the race (I also still have my admission badge). Despite all of the carping about the dramatic license taken with the story line, the fact remains that the core of the film is true. People looking for a documentary on the Miss Madison of 1971 should look elsewhere.

    This film is hardly the first non-fiction related sports event that has been "re-worked" for the big screen. Take a look at any informed fan's review of their favorite past-time as presented in the cinema and you'll find plenty of the same: "XYZ batted left-handed, but was a 'righty' in the film", "They didn't really play XYZ in the final game", "They got the score wrong", "The fuel those race cars use burns flameless", "They spliced footage from different locations together during the scenes of the game", "They didn't use that type of equipment back then", etc., etc., etc. Here's a newsflash people: Movie-goers that aren't passionate about your favorite sport don't care. That's right, read that again... "They don't care." They want good "entertainment". Sure it's nice if all the facts are dramatic enough to make it to the screen, but don't be surprised if you see a "blow-out" turned into a "nail-biter", or a plot twist or two thrown in for effect. Don't get all bent out of shape and let it ruin your enjoyment of the film. People aren't going to think "Madison" is a fraud if they learn, among other things, that a P-51 was never parked in the courthouse square in Columbus in 1971. Nor to they care what the APBA calendar looked like that year.

    At least the plot and acting in "Madison" are great. My number one sports passion is open-wheel Champcar racing and when "Driven" came out, not only was the film full of technical inaccuracies and impossibilities, the plot and acting stunk. Now THAT was an embarrassment to that form of racing! Finally, considering that Jim McCormick's son, his widow, and many others were more than happy with the treatment that "Madison" gave to the U-6 of 1971. If they are OK with it, then why can't you be too? If nothing else, it gives people a peak into the world of something they might never have heard of before: unlimited hydroplane racing. It might actually be good for the sport… For example, I now have a pretty good idea where I'll be come next 4th of July weekend. Sitting on the banks of the Ohio, eating one of my mother in-law's ham salad sandwiches, while watching the hydros pass under the Madison-Milton bridge sounds pretty good right now!
  • comment
    • Author: TheMoonix
    Being an unlimited hydroplane "nut" (I grew up on the sport and lived only 12 miles away from the Seattle racecourse) I've been excited about this movie's release, since I first heard about it as far back as 1999 when I was at the General Motors Cup at Seafair race. Needless to say, I've waited nearly 6 years for the movie.

    The storyline to the movie was good. I liked the story about father and son's and the love of the sport. It's easy to tell, that unlimited hydroplane racing is in their blood. I especially liked Jake Lloyd's character, Mike McCormick, because in some ways, it reminded me of my childhood. Except I used to race wooden hydroplanes with my friends on my parent's lawn and I had hydro pictures and posters on my wall.

    I Also liked the story of how the city of Madison, Indiana's struggle to host the American Powerboat Association (APBA), Gold Cup. For those unfamiliar with the sport, the Gold Cup is the oldest motor sports trophy and is one of the most coveted races every hydro team wants to win.

    What disappointed me about the movie was, I sort of felt that Hollywood was trying to alter hydroplane history and facts. Here's 's some of them.

    • The All red paint scheme of the Miss Budweiser, was not used by owner Bernie Little and the race team until 1994.


    -The second race on the circuit was in Chicago. There was no race there.

    If they wanted to show another race site in a big city, why didn't they use Detroit? It was the 3rd race on the circuit that year and it has a longtime history in the sport. It seems like they insulted Detroit; I can see many longtime Detroit hydro race fans are insulted over this.

    -Seattle was the 3rd race site. I assume they wanted to show Seattle, since it has a longtime history in the sport, like Detroit, but they moved it up about a month early, when it usually follows Madison and the date has traditionally been on the first weekend of August.

    -The "us vs them" attitude in the movie or "David vs Goliath". Although it is very true that there are many rivalries in the sport and it looks good in the storyline, it seems seldom that you see this attitude all the time as was depicted.

    Many times I've seen when one race team is in trouble, especially the smaller race "camps" ones like the Miss Madison, I've seen many competing race teams help each other out, by sending their pit crew members to the troubled race camp, or loaning them parts for their boat, so they can race. Miss Budweiser owner, the late, Bernie Little for example, has done this over the years because he has said, it is important to have those boats out on the racecourse competing. I'm not saying that what you saw in the movie doesn't happen, but to me, it's very rare.

    That being said, when I look at the movie overall, I liked it, despite it's faults. It had many good qualities, like the father/son storyline and the city and race team's struggles, like I mentioned. This will be a good movie for the hydro fan as well as a ports fan. I'll buy the DVD when it comes out.

    On a final note, here's a little trivia from the movie:

    -The driver of the miss Budweiser at the time was actually, the late Dean Chenoweth (His surviving family probably didn't give their consent to use his name).

    -The original Miss Madison from that time, couldn't be repaired and restored in time for the movie. Instead, The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum put together a replica of that Miss Madison, using the Savair's Mist hull in her place. The boat has affectionately been referred to as the "Mist Madison".

    -The Atlas van Lines, was actually, the Pay 'n Pak's 'Lil Buzzard.
  • comment
    • Author: Narim
    Having been born and raised in Madison, Indiana, I have long looked forward to seeing this hydroplane racing drama. To my knowledge, it's only the second full length movie ever filmed in my hometown, 1958's "Some Came Running" being the first.

    Madison has a phenomenal boat racing tradition and eventually began holding an annual race called the Madison Regatta. Beginning in 1950, the race became affiliated with the American Power Boat Association and is still held annually in early July. Though Madison has a population of only 12,000, the Regatta maintains its place in the Unlimited Hydroplane division of APBA, whose other races are in major and mid-size cities.

    The Regatta regularly draws about 70,000-100,000 people and is a tremendous source of pride for residents of the town. A source of less pride but still a significant piece of trivia is that Madison has the world's only community owned unlimited hydroplane, Miss Madison.

    That boat, which has also been known in recent years by - surprise, surprise - various corporate sponsor names, is usually near the bottom of the circuit. In 44 years of racing, U-6 - its number regardless of its name - has won just six races.

    One of those was an upset in the 1971 Regatta, which is the basis for this movie. Making that victory even sweeter was that it also for the APBA Gold Cup.

    Now for the movie!

    Written by Hoosier brothers William and Scott Bindley and directed by William, "Madison" runs from preparations for the 1971 season until that year's Regatta. It appears to be semi-low budget but nevertheless professionally done.

    If I were completely unfamiliar with the town of Madison and the actual story of Miss Madison in 1971, I probably would enjoy this movie a lot more. But its opening lines "Based on a true story" are a huge exaggeration.

    For example, in the movie, Jim McCormick (played by Jim Caviezel) is a member of Miss Madison's crew but hasn't raced since sustaining a serious injury in a race 10 years earlier. He resumes racing for the first time with the '71 Regatta. In real life, McCormick had driven Miss Madison since 1969.

    In the movie, Madison wins the rights to host the Gold Cup by a drawing and after a massive struggle obtains the $50,000 needed to secure the race when Mayor Don Vaughn (Paul Dooley) takes money from the town's sanitation department. In real life, according to Miss Madison's web page, "Due to a technicality and a misunderstanding, the $30,000 bid for the race by the sponsoring Madison Regatta, Inc., was the only one submitted in time to the Gold Cup Contest Board."

    In the movie, at a town council meeting, a town official states that only 134 tickets had been sold for the Regatta – implying that it would be a struggle to raise the $50,000. That contradicts the movie's accurate portrayal of how popular hydroplane racing is in Madison and furthermore, that year's Regatta drew a crowd of 110,000!

    In the movie, Miss Madison's crew labors extensively the night before the race to get the boat in good racing condition but lacks a certain mechanical part. So several members of the crew drive to Columbus, Indiana - about 45 miles northwest - to steal that part out of a war plane that is displayed in front of the court house there! I'm almost 100% sure that never happened or even could have happened!

    And in the movie, the final race is far more dramatic than it was in real life.

    For a presumably much more accurate version of what happened in real life, check out the following from Miss Madison's web page: http://www.missmadison.com/history/71goldcup_b.htm

    Besides the above inaccuracies, the movie also portrays Madison and its residents as being more behind the times than they are, almost as if it's Mayberry.

    Still, there's much to like about the movie. It has some well filmed racing scenes, which should look great on the big screen. In addition, the movie shows much of Madison's historic and natural beauty.

    But the movie largely focuses on the relationship between McCormick and his son, Mike (Jake Lloyd), who is about 10 years old. Some of the best scenes involve interaction between the two, who are portrayed as very likable small town people who are close. Mike is usually with his father and also often helps the Miss Madison team with menial tasks. I don't know how accurate the portrayal of Jim's and Mike's relationship is but at least it works well as fiction.

    The actors/actresses who play the important characters in the movie all do a great job. Besides Caviezel, Lloyd and Dooley, the other best performances include Mary McCormack as Jim's wife Bonnie – who is against Jim's return to racing but of course becomes supportive toward the end – and Bruce Dern as legendary mechanic Harry Volpi.

    The movie also does a very good job portraying Madison's love for hydroplane racing and working the classic underdog formula. Appropriately, it uses music from another sports underdog film, "Rudy." To my knowledge, "Madison" contains no original music.

    On a side note, because the film is set in 1971, I looked hard for anachronisms. I've found only one. During the aforementioned town council meeting, which takes place in the gymnasium of the high school that I attended, the three point line of the basketball court can clearly be seen. The three point line was not added in Indiana high school basketball until the 1987-88 season!

    In conclusion, "Madison" is a very entertaining family movie that has something for everyone to enjoy. But I think it would have worked much better had it been completely fictionalized, as "Hoosiers" was - inspired by but not about a real event. Claiming that something is a true story when it largely isn't is annoying to me. 6/10.
  • comment
    • Author: Kabei
    ...even as I hoped for better. With Madison as my hometown, and indeed being a spectator at the very race featured in the movie, I was greatly anticipating the release of this eponymous movie. My rating of 6.0 comes with the effort of trying to divorce my evaluation from such personal facts. Much of the acting was wooden (especially between the McCormicks), and there were too many inexplicable occurrences. As one example, Jim McCormick's son doesn't seem to be much bothered by having his mother leaving his dad for her mother's house. My rating also allows for the needed artistic license that was taken. For instance, the replacement Allison engine was not "borrowed" as depicted in the movie. And Chicago was not a stop on the hydroplane circuit, and most certainly would not have been the scene of the APBA gathering. While a personal matter, the sound track (ie, the pop/rock songs popular at the time) didn't add a usual complementary element. Conversely, the production values were very good, and the racing scenes were realistic. I got a bit confused on the boats depicted in the movie, and can only figure they were using what was available at the time of shooting the movie. But Atlas Van Lines and Budweiser were certainly top boats at the time (along with the absent Miss Exide). The Budweiser folks were portrayed as arrogant, but I suppose a villain was needed. Separately, at some point they should have said how fast these boats go. The portrait of Madison was fair, but underplayed its historic significance and physical beauty. As a gauge, my evaluation of the other Hoosier-themed sports movies depicting great odds being overcome has Hoosiers at a "10" and Breaking Away an "8". And finally, if you want to see the movie, the ten people in attendance yesterday indicates you'd better do it soon!
  • comment
    • Author: Eayaroler
    This is, to my knowledge, the only feature film ever to be made about professional boat racing. And it tells what is probably the most compelling story the sport has ever produced: how the little river town of Madison, Indiana, came to host the 1971 APBA Gold Cup race (the sport's equivalent of the Indy 500) and how driver Jim McCormick struggled to lead Madison's community-owned racing boat, the Miss Madison, into the race.

    As a sports movie, "Madison" feels fairly similar to the Disney baseball movie, "The Rookie", which came out a few years ago. It places the sports story squarely within the context of family life, and its fundamental message is that of the value of community--especially small-town communities like Madison. (Hoosier rocker John "Small Town" Mellencamp even provides the narration for the movie.) Since this is a story about small-town underdogs taking on the big city favorites, it resembles other Indiana sports movies in many ways--"Breaking Away", "Rudy", "Hoosiers", etc. Its storyline is not really unique in that respect. But the movie is reasonably well done, and it really pulls you into the excitement of boat racing in the final sequence, through some really nice cinematography.

    I guess I can't help but feel like there was a missed opportunity here, though. It is unlikely that there will ever be another movie made about professional boat racing, so it would have been nice if "Madison" could have taught us more about what makes the people who are involved in the sport tick. There is one interesting comment made towards the end of the film about how "only someone who's raced boats can understand why so many men have given their lives for the sport." There was a lot behind that statement, I think--especially when made in reference to a sport which has such a notoriously dangerous reputation as boat racing. I just wish I could have come away from this movie with an even better understanding of where it came from.

    Besides that...this is a nice little movie, and a fine tribute to Jim McCormick and the people of Madison. Go ahead and take your kids to it, and don't forget to stick around for the final credits...
  • comment
    • Author: Bad Sunny
    This is a heartwarming, true story with a great performance by Jim Caviezel. It puts the small town of Madison, Ind., an historic town along the Ohio River in its best light. However, this film's release has been delayed for a variety of reasons including the ongoing problems with the Premiere Marketing and Distribution Group, which was charged with promoting this fine movie. There are shades of Mayberry in the message of this movie. And, if you lived or been to Madison you'll love the wonderful scenery. It's well worth seeing. Bill Bindley does a fine job directing. However, if there are four or five good movies out there to see, this one probably wouldn't be at the top of list. I hope this movie comes out as currently scheduled at the end of January. The people of Madison deserve to see their hard work -- as well as the cast, crew and actors -- finally get the wide distribution it deserves. Sundance and the Heartland Film Festival acclaims are nice, but this movie is solid entertainment that the general public should have an opportunity to see.
  • comment
    • Author: Nalmetus
    Madison is not too bad-—if you like simplistic, non-offensive, "family-friendly" fare and, more importantly, if you know absolutely nothing about unlimited hydroplane racing. If, like me, you grew up with the sport and your heroes had names like Musson, Muncey, Cantrell, Slovak, etc., prepare to be disappointed.

    Professional film critics have commented at length on the formulaic nature of the film and its penchant for utilizing every hackneyed sports cliché in the book. I needn't repeat what they've said. What I felt was sadly missing was any sense of the real excitement of unlimited hydro racing in the "glory years" (which many would argue were already past in 1971).

    Yes, it was wonderful to see the old classic boats roaring down the course six abreast, though it was clear that the restored versions (hats off to the volunteers at the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum) were being nursed through the scenes at reduced speed. But where was the sound? Much of the thrill of the old hydros was the mind-numbing roar of six Allison or Rolls-Merlin aircraft engines, wound up to RPM's never imagined by their designers, hitting the starting line right in front of you. You didn't hear it, you FELT it. Real hydro buffs know exactly what I'm talking about. There's none of that in Madison. Instead, every racing scene is buried under what is supposed to be a "heroic" musical score.

    And then there are the close-up shots of the drivers, riding smoothly and comfortably in the cockpits as if they were relaxing in the latest luxury limousines, in some cases taking time to smile evilly as they contemplate how best to thwart the poor home-town hero. Or, in one particularly ridiculous shot, taking time to spot Jake Lloyd giving a "Rocky" salute from a bridge pier. In reality, some unlimited drivers wore flak vests to minimize the beating they took as the boats slammed across the rock-hard water at speeds above 150 mph.

    As one reviewer so aptly put it, "The sport deserves better than this."

    Finally, since another user brought up anachronisms, I'll add one: the establishing shot of Seattle shows the Kingdome and Safeco Field. Neither existed in 1971
  • comment
    • Author: Gralsa
    I have lived in and around Madison for 47 years. In the movie the voice over says that the Miss Madison had not won a race since 1973. Well that all changed in 2001 (30 years after the movie was set) when the Miss Madison won the Gold Cup in front of the hometown crowd a second time.

    In that race Steve David brought the Miss Madison to the win in his first appearance in our hometown. He has since stayed with the team and they are showing quite respectfully.

    The sport has meant a lot to the town but unfortunately the fan basis seems to have tapered off. As a youngster I remember the river bank being filled like it was portrayed in the movie. I hope this movie helps breath some life into both the sport for the Miss Madison and the town of Madison.
  • comment
    • Author: Cha
    The Bindley Brothers did a great job in creating this movie I can not wait for the movie to be released. I have seen the movie at the 2001 Heartland Film Fest. It was an unforgettable evening. Those in attendance included, Jim Caviezel, Jake Lloyd, The McCormick Family (Bonnie & Michael McCormick). I feel that the movie is a wonderful must see. I think Jim McCormick would be proud.
  • comment
    • Author: Frdi
    I was waiting to see this movie since I heard about it, in Madison. I was a bit disappointed at how hokey it is, but at lease I can enjoy the scenery. You sure get to know the 421 bridge *G* and I loved seeing those riverfront scenes because I've been there many times.

    I am in Madison on the first week of April most years, for a hot pepper festival at the Thomas Family Winery. I love these old Ohio River towns.

    In the lodge at Clifty Falls State Park (on the west edge of town), they have another Miss Madison on display, a much smaller boat, I think from the 1940s or 1950s, with a Crosley engine.

    Oh, one other thing - when the father and son go into the cavern, that's an unfinished railroad tunnel in the Clifty park, you can walk through it. Bring a lantern, you'll look funny walking the trail with it in the daytime, but it will be handy in the tunnel...
  • comment
    • Author: Mave
    I just saw this film at Sundance 2001.

    A feel good movie that's honest. The treatment is respectful and moving. The acting is very good, production value is very good. Good casting. It really captures the essence of the struggles of life along the Ohio in the middle of the 20th Century.

    I look forward to seeing it again during the theatrical release.
  • comment
    • Author: Fesho
    Fantastic! I just saw a raw unedited screening in Cincinnati over the weekend and it was fabulous. This movie is going to be a HUGE success and a big BOOM for Madison Indiana, it's tourism industry, the Madison Regatta and hydroplane racing in general. I'm not from Madison but I enjoy visiting there whenever I get the chance. It was great to see so much of Madison's beautiful architecture and so many familiar sites in the movie , the Broadway Fountain, Shipley's, Hinkles, etc... That beautiful, historic old riverboat "The Belle Of Louisville" even makes an appearance. I understand the movie is slated for a somewhat limited release beginning April 22. If you live in or near one of the cities where it is being released GO SEE THIS MOVIE, It's awesome. If not, sit tight, trust me it'll be coming soon to a theater near you. Jim Caviezel does an excellent job at portraying Jim McCormick. McCormick's "Never say never" attitude comes shining through in the end as the small town, local boy makes good on his commitment to the town. This is a great family film, don't hesitate to take your children. No nudity, no violence, and no vulgar language, this one's a winner.
  • comment
    • Author: Bludsong
    I had the opportunity to see this movie when Mark Fauser visited MU. This is one of the best movies I've seen all year long! It is a great "feel good" true story! The acting is great! The plot is great! This is a must see!
  • comment
    • Author: I ℓ٥ﻻ ﻉ√٥υ
    I really like Jim Caveizel and I really wanted to like this movie. But as it went on, even though it is supposedly based on real events, I found the story to be predictable and very unoriginal. All the classic elements of the underdog sports figure story are present: the semi-evil rival, the misunderstanding wife, the idolizing son, the driven hero, the supporting townsfolk, and all the tragedy and obstacles that must be overcome. I don't know anything about boat racing, but as the film went on, one could easily have inserted any sport and still had the same story. I'm sure that the original story was worthy of telling, but I find it hard to believe that the original story was as formulaic as this script was. I'd have to say the producers did the memory of these events a disservice in the writing.
  • comment
    • Author: Xlisiahal
    Madison is about Madison, Indiana and the 1971 hydroplane competition where Jim McCormick, the underdog, would bring his small town of about 10,000 residents to host the event much to the chagrin of of the bigger and wealthier surroundings. The film has a feel-good story with Jim Caviezel played Jim McCormick. Mary McCormack played his wife, Mary. The film has a good feeling about David v. Goliath. The cast and crew do a terrific job in recreating the events. Hydroplane racing can be a dangerous sport too on the water.
  • comment
    • Author: Lbe
    Madison looks like its going to be a great movie. I was down on the set this past weekend as an extra. In this movie Jim Caviezel and Jake Lloyd (Father and son) are citizens of a small town called Madison. Jim is playing the part of Jim McCormick and Jake, his son Mike. Jim is the driver of the Miss Madison Hydroplane and is not even expected to place. Jim miracuosly pulls off a victory to win the 1971 Madison Regatta Race. The Madison Regatta is held yearly and has been since this race in Madison during the fourth of July weekend. This is very exciting for me, because I grew up in Madison and have watched the races ever since I can remember. You should check this film out, expecially if you liked Hoosiers. God Bless and enjoy the movie!! In Christ, Tonia
  • comment
    • Author: Laitchai
    My twin nieces, Haley and Hunter Reed, were in the movie Madison. They weren't even a year old (now they are 3) when they shared the part of Jim and Bonnie McCormick's baby daughter! Our family was lucky enough to see the film in Indianapolis in October of 2001 during the Heartland Film festival. They have a lot of scenes in the movie that I didn't expect to be there. A heart wrenching scene where one of them is crying in the back seat of the car made it in...I just happened to be at the set the day they filmed the scene. It was hard to watch it that day too! They are my little movie stars in the making!

    The movie was great! Jim Caviezel was amazing! I can't wait for it to be released so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be soon. I saw a portion of the movie before John Mellencamp did the narration and I think that he definitely added a lot to the film! It is great to have another movie that Indiana can be really proud of. I would rank it up there with Hoosiers and Breaking Away!
  • comment
    • Author: Hellmaster
    This is a great, great movie. Whether or not you are a hydroplane fan, this movie inspires every small town in America that you can come together as a community to accomplish great things. Jim C. even took less $ to finish this movie and it took nearly 3 1/2 years to find the financing to release it...it was WELL worth the wait. I highly recommend buying/renting this movie, you will not be disappointed. One note that could be considered an "easter egg." If you are a hydroplane fan and watch the DVD extras, you'll notice a comment that Jim C. makes about the death of a hydroplane legend. I believe he is misquoted and was trying to say Bill Muncey. Something for them to consider the next time they release this DVD. Regardless, the movie is one of the best films I have seen in a long, long time. Perfect actors were chosen for their roles, and the setting and story are wonderful for that small town, good ole' American tale.

    Best,

    James
  • comment
    • Author: Zuser
    Best movie at Sundance Film Festival. More than the classic small town underdogs overcome overwhelming odds - the wonderful story and character's emotions pour out of the script, editing, filming, sound, etc. TOP NOTCH!!!! Must see. Great ready to feel the frustrations, tears, and cheers!! GO SEE MADISON!!

    Plus if your a Breaking Away fan, you got to see Paul Dooley. Who better to play the mayor of Madison, Indiana!
  • comment
    • Author: Very Old Chap
    This film is one to watch if having difficulty falling asleep. I'm from Madison, Wisconsin, the largest of the 19 Madison's. I have never been to Madison, Indiana, but would like to visit. Madison, Wisconsin could hold regattas and do, with sailboats, as opposed to power boats. Perhaps they do hold powerboat races, since I'm frequently out of town.

    That aside, the film doesn't do justice to any large or small city. I didn't become engaged to Madison, Indiana by watching this film. Was I supposed to? Since when does powerboat racing turn the average film viewer on? This film just doesn't hold the interest of myself and others who watched the movie with me.
  • comment
    • Author: Felhann
    I am a racing fan and a child of the American hot rod culture--my Dad built race-and-championship-winning auto engines for Chevy and Ford in the late Sixties and early Seventies--and I really enjoyed this movie as a chronicle of an exciting race and what a story--the small-town sponsored the boat and got the win at its own race. Beautiful. I appreciate those who have posted corrections to factual errors in the movie, but I would suggest that any race fan critical of this should step back and enjoy the show and what it got right--and it got a lot right. I particularly enjoyed seeing the one kid in an STP windbreaker. I had one, too, back then and I wore it with pride. STP meant racing and racing was my thing. Not football or baseball or anything else. And, for sure, the son of the boat racer riding his Sting-Ray with the stick-shift and high-rise bars and all--that is what kids did back then, rode their bikes and pretended they were racing. And thanks to some crazy kids and their parents and some promoters in Southern California who took it a step further, the sport of BMX was born in that era. (And if you are a fan of that, you have to see the documentary Joe Kid on a Sting-Ray, just the best.) I really enjoyed this movie--a feel-good racing movie in the same mold as The World's Fastest Indian.
  • comment
    • Author: Whitebinder
    "Madison" is wholesome, family entertainment. It's an all American movie. Jim Caviezel does a great job portraying Jim McCormick as determined and dedicated, but always a gentleman. Jake Lloyd (Mike McCormick) watches everything his Dad does, and Dad uses that as opportunities to teach his son. Every little boy would like to have this type of relationship with his Dad.

    The townspeople get behind the boat and work hard to "make it happen". This movie reminds us all of a time when life was a little slower and a little simpler. The daily challenges of everyday life are played out well. Take your kid's, make it a family night out. Don't miss this movie, you'll cheer at the end.
  • comment
    • Author: Qusserel
    I enjoyed the film, yes it is a bit hokey in places and the Bindleys have fudged some of the facts but you feel good walking out of the theater. A great family movie, it was a lot of fun. A lot of small-town humor, but you get the feeling of the mid west in the early '70's was more like the 1950's.

    The race scenes were very well done considering they were using about three or four boats and repainted them a lot. Great to hear the Merlins and Allisons doing their thing. The actual boats used in the movie are in the race boat museum in Seattle.

    For the fact nit-pickers, Harry Volpi lived in Reno, Nevada.
  • comment
    • Author: Shazel
    Sometimes I just need a nostalgic, feel good, predictable, family movie loosely based on actual events. This is that movie. It is based in Madison, Indiana and on the banks of the Ohio River.in the very early 1970's. Although the central theme is Unlimited Hydroplane powerboat racing, the movie will appeal to gear-heads as well as non because it has just enough balance of family and community aspect. This nostalgia inevitably associated here made me envious of the simplicity of a long gone era. It has an excellent tie in of ABC's Wide World of Sports coverage of the event. Look, this movie doesn't deserve any Academy Awards, but it does deserve a look. Allow it to make you feel good. It did me. There aren't enough movies made like this anymore. And that's too bad.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Jim Caviezel Jim Caviezel - Jim McCormick
    Jake Lloyd Jake Lloyd - Mike McCormick
    Mary McCormack Mary McCormack - Bonnie McCormick
    Bruce Dern Bruce Dern - Harry Volpi
    Paul Dooley Paul Dooley - Mayor Don Vaughn
    Brent Briscoe Brent Briscoe - Tony Steinhardt
    Mark Fauser Mark Fauser - Travis
    Reed Diamond Reed Diamond - Skip Naughton
    Frank Knapp Jr. Frank Knapp Jr. - Bobby Humphrey
    Chelcie Ross Chelcie Ross - Roger Epperson
    Byrne Piven Byrne Piven - George Wallin
    William Shockley William Shockley - Rick Winston
    Matt Letscher Matt Letscher - Owen
    Richard Lee Jackson Richard Lee Jackson - Buddy Johnson
    Kristina Anapau Kristina Anapau - Tami Johnson
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