Friday, 30 March 2012

Best Sports Movie?

Interactivity... here we go.  I don't watch many sports movies so it's over to you wonderful readers.  I know I already blogged about this recently so I'm sorry if you already did this but one last time and for those of you new to this blog:

What's your favourite sports movie?  Here's a list to get you thinking but please let me know what YOU think is the best sports movie of all time.  I'm all ears!  And please don't be scared to let me know why I must see your favourite.

Field of Dreams



The Fighter

Raging Bull



Chariots of Fire

Shaolin Soccer

The Last Boy Scout

The Wrestler

Slap Shot
The Mighty Ducks
Escape to Victory
Mean Machine
The Longest Yard
Whip It
Hoop Dreams
Million Dollar Baby
Happy Gilmore
The Waterboy
Talladega Nights
Blades of Glory

I'm running out now but I'm sure there's plenty more to choose from.  While you're here, may I also poke your brains with the following questions.

1.  What makes a great sports movie?
2. Is the sports movie a genre itself or does it cross other genres too much e.g. drama and comedy?
3. Most unique sports movie?
4. Best character in a sports movie?

Thanks for your time and particiaption and sorry to everyone who already contributed last time I blogged about this.  I promise this is the last time.


  1. Of course classifying a sports movie is tricky. For example the hugely entertaining "Win Win" last year had a huge sport element but ultimately the drama was its major theme. Heck, come to think of it, Pixar's "Cars" (the first one) can also be a sports movie!

    The best in my view are the ones that has equal measure of both drama and sports, but the climatic scene is a sporting event that has an audience who aren't even familiar with the sport being completely immersed in it. Recent examples are "Warrior" and "The Wrestler". I know plenty of people who doesn't even like sports get emotional at the ending of those films.

    Anyway, for a more specific sport, feel free to check out my 5 favourite football/soccer movies that I made last year:
    Most of them aren't well known movies (I still think there isn't a good movie PURELY about football). Try checking-out "The Cup". I think that's pretty unique.

    1. I've just checked IMDB and there's more than one movie called "The Cup". Just to be clear the one I mentioned is also known as "Phorpa" and made in 1999 about Tibetan monks. Its unique as its from the fan's perspective.

  2. Yep I have to agree. Warrior was excellent and the best scenes were all Nolte's and he did no sport in the film! It seems like the best regarded ones often have a family drama element in them.

    I'll look up The Cup!

  3. Glad to see Warrior on your list, definitely recommended as it's much more than a sports movie but has great characters and story, which I think are key in any movie, not just sports-related ones.

    I LOVE Chariots of Fire for the spirituality aspect of it and also the fact that it talks about dedication and sacrifice, very poignant and well-written. I'd also add Jerry Maguire to that list, very moving and entertaining, one of my fave Tom Cruise movies. Btw, I made this post to commemorate my hubby's first foray into competing in triathlons:

    1. Yeah Warrior was amazing! Thanks for thlink, I definitely think I need to give Chariots a try now!

  4. Nice list! Rocky is definitely a personal favorite of mine, as is The Wrestler. But perhaps my favorite sports film is Peter Berg's Friday Night Lights. I loved the visceral tension of this film, and the acting is stellar all around. Hell, even the television series inspired by the film is quite an amazing piece of storytelling, and brave.
    Dogtown and Z-Boys is one of my favorite documentaries, which is a bit unorthodox, but still works as a great sports film. What about Endless Summer, for that matter? Sorry for rambling, but this is an interesting category and an interesting question.

    1. Good call, Friday Night Lights and Dogtown and Z-Boys were both awesome! Might see if I can find Endless Summer... never seen that one!

  5. I'm not a big sports movie person either. I didn't like Rocky at all when I first saw it. It's been a while, so I might have to revisit it soon, but I didn't find it very compelling. I absolutely love Field of Dreams though! When I was little I used to watch all those baseball films for kids (The Sandlot Kids, Angels in the Outfield) but now it's definitely Field of Dreams.
    I really liked the documentary Senna, which is more about the person than the sport of F1, though F1 was obviously a huge part of it. And I really enjoyed the Fighter last year as well.

  6. North Dallas Forty with Nick Nolte is the best (American) Football movie I've seen.
    I notice my mate OMFBC recommended Endless Summer but Big Wednesday is the daddy of surfing movies.
    Robert Ryan starrer The Setup is the best boxing movie I've seen and if 1930's pick-up bare-nuckle fights count as sport then Walter Hill's Hard Times is worth a mention too!

    1. North Dallas Forty? Never heard of it, will have to look it up. Thanks for the recommendation. Might have to look up The setup and Hard Times too. Interesting choices!

  7. 1. A great sports movie is great if it is able to make people interested in a sport they otherwise couldn’t care less about. For example, I detest MMA fighting, but I loved everything about Warrior.

    2. I think the sports movie CAN be its own genre, but that doesn’t always produce the best films. I’m thinking Disney fare like Remember the Titans, Invincible, Glory Road, etc. But most great sports movies use their sport as secondary to the drama or comedy or whatever (Raging Bull, Ali, Major League…)

    3. Tough one, I think a way to measure uniqueness is acknowledging the a movie is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, and Any Given Sunday is certainly unlike any football film I’ve ever seen.

    4. Another tough one. I don’t consider Raging Bull a sports film but if we did, then I’d have to go with Jake La Matta. Love that character.

    Great interactive post!

    1. Agree with you on number 1, I don't really like any sport except ice hockey but I'll watch a decent sports movie and often love the sporty scenes!

      Yeah Any Given Sunday and I'd add Moneyball. Two interesting and unique examples of sports movies.

      I loved Tom Hardy's character in Warrior but not sure if he compares to La Motta!


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