Inspirational, Family Film Debuts as Top-Grossing Independent

“This is a sports story that deserved to be told.”
Neil Ganzlinger, The New York Times

SOURCE: Lovell/Fairchild Comm.


  • Inspirational sports Cinderella story THE MIGHTY MACS draws praise from critics, audiences and sports fans.
  • G-rated movie captivates all ages, perfect entertainment for the entire family
  • Stars Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz and Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn

PHILADELPHIA Oct. 26, 2011THE MIGHTY MACS—a G-rated, inspiring story of finding the courage to chase your dreams—debuted last weekend, drawing praise from critics and audiences alike. Based on the true story of Hall of Fame coach Cathy Rush (CARLA GUGINO), THE MIGHTY MACS charts the rise of a team of over-achieving young women from Immaculata College as they claimed the first U.S. women’s collegiate basketball crown. It premieres as the highest-grossing independent film in the country and the No. 1 film in theaters for the entire family—perfect for parents and all the kids, regardless of their ages!

Critics from across the spectrum are “Backing the Macs:”

– Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times and RogerEbert.com
“It has an innocence that today’s movies have almost lost.”

– Neil Ganzlinger, The New York Times
“. . . you have to love seeing nuns shouting basketball strategy from courtside. And the updates on the team’s players that flash by at the film’s end drive home why this is a sports story that deserved to be told.”

– Joseph Airdo, Examiner.com
THE MIGHTY MACS truly is a movie of magnificent morals. It is the very definition of wholesome entertainment.”

– Bob Waliszewski, Plugged In, Focus on the Family Online
“The family-friendly pic, MIGHTY MACS, transports us back in time to 1972 girls college basketball, reminding all of us that while dreaming big is important in life, so are passion, perseverance and grind-it-out hard work and dedication.”

– Vanessa Barnes, Gulf Coast Catholic
“Go! Take your family and enjoy a heart-warming film telling a story filled with good old-fashion life lessons. . . . The writing, directing and acting are superb. The story refreshing and the time well worth spending.”

– Dick Rolfe, Dove Foundation
“Best inspirational sports film of the year!”

Beyond the critics’ praise, the film’s G rating, exciting basketball action, touching personal stories and overall entertainment value draw “thumbs up” from families, school officials and the world of sports.

In Sacramento, 400 students, staff and parents from the local Catholic diocese attended the opening. “THE MIGHTY MACS was a true inspiration to all and is a must see for Catholic school students both former and current,” said Rick Maya, the diocese’s director of Catholic schools.

The film’s intertwined personal stories of young women playing without scholarships, in antiquated facilities and often with limited family support touched Coquese Washington, Penn State’s women’s basketball coach.

“I can truly say that I was blown away watching this film,” Washington said. “It touched me in so many ways; but mostly, to watch in action the sacrifices so many people made in the early ‘70s simply for the love of the game was quite inspirational.”

Audience members shared their enthusiasm in messages to THE MIGHTY MACS’ Facebook page. Just a few examples include:

  • “Go see this movie if you want to be inspired! . . . We need more movies like this!”
  • “We need to get the message out there . . . there is a better way to achieve your goals, there is a better way to fulfill your hopes and dreams. God will honor you as you honor Him. LOVE IT!”
  • “I have never been to a movie before where people applauded throughout the whole thing. Amazing!”

THE MIGHTY MACS, playing now nationwide, features Carla Gugino (NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, SPY KIDS) as Cathy Rush and David Boreanaz (FOX TV’s Bones, Angel) as Cathy’s husband and NBA referee Ed Rush. Oscar-, Tony- and Emmy-winner Ellen Burstyn (Academy Award, Best Actress ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE) plays Mother St. John, the mother superior at Immaculata. Marley Shelton (Eleventh Hour, PLEASANTVILLE) plays Sister Sunday, a novice who becomes Rush’s assistant coach.

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