Friday, 24 February 2012

A Cry for Help: Sports Movies

I've never really done much sports.  I was always the kid at the other end of the field from where the ball was; picking daisies or daydreaming about being a Goonie and being chased by criminals in an underground cave system. 

Therefore I don't really do sports movies.  That said, I'm looking into writing an article about them so I need your help.  What makes a good sports movie?

I recently saw Rocky for the first time.  Not much boxing but an endearing character and sweet love story.

I also saw Moneyball.  Again, not much baseball; a lot of talking, a lot of maths and statistics but equally as enjoyable as Rocky.

Looking around on the internet shows there is a huge amount of love for Raging Bull, Field of Dreams, Chariots of Fire, The Hustler, Seabiscuit (all films I've yet to see) and many others but there isn't that much agreement on lists of the top sports movies.

Check out a few lists to see what I mean:

Time Out top 50

Top 100

NY Daily News Top 25

I've seen quite a lot of the best sports documentaries; When We Were Kings, Hoop Dreams, Murderball but I still need to see Senna.  What are the best documentaries about sports in your opinion?

And how come a film like Point Break isn't classified as a sports movie?  There's a hell of a lot of surfing and skydiving. 

What about future sports; do Rollerball and even something like The Running Man count?

Do you have to like a sport to like the film about the sport?

What sports make the best films?

Are documentaries about sport better than fiction films?  What are your favourite sports movies?  What should I see before I go any further in life?


  1. As I think most movie bloggers are, I was the same as you.. last pick in football and most other sports, except cricket, I rocked at cricket.... anyway. I have never really been into sports. I do not follow a footy team, which is almost like sacrilege for a British 30 something male!

    But for some reason I do like a sports movie. Has to have the right level of emotion though. I loved Warrior and Senna in the past year, but there others. Mighty Ducks anyone?

    :-) Great post matey, have a good weekend

    1. haha not many good cricket movies out there are there Scott? I'm the same, absolutely no interest in football and besides how would we ever find the time to support a team when we're this deicated to film??? Will deinitely catch Warrior and Senna when Lovefilm sends them out. I always loved the Mighty Ducks but then ice hockey was the only team sport I ever played.

  2. Nice post you have here. I'd say you don't need to be a sports fan to be able to enjoy a good sports film the same goes for most genres I think if the product is good enough.

    When it comes to docs I'd recommend Hoop Dreams and a fairly unknown film called Hands on a Hardbody.

    Some of my favorite fiction films are He Got Game, Any Given Sunday, Glory Road and one of the odd sci fi ones thats good is Real Steel.

    1. Hoop Dreams is great, I'll have to seek out Hans on a Hardbody, thanks for the recommendation Shep! Cool will also look into He Got Game and Glory Road. Loved Any Given Sunday and very pleasantly surprised by Real Steel! Thanks for the advice!

  3. I guess sports movies are pretty tricky as they can easily fall into the cliche, you know.... underdog-get beaten-train under wise mentor-discover good values-climatic win. But then again that formula when properly done does end up with a pretty entertaining flick. Probably what works is what makes people fall in love with sports in the first place... passion. The sheer joy and ecstasy of being involved in sports. Everyone can relate to that.

    1. Yes I agree there are some great films that follow the formula. Interesting thought about passion, I guess that is true though why there isn't more decent films about football is anybodys guess. Football fans are ridiculously passionate. Films about football generally suck don't they?


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