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Sports movies

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
It is fair to say that I am not a gifted team sportsman. The summit of my achievement was playing rugby for SEME third XV as a substitute; my lack of balance, timing and ability to catch a ball have always relegated me to being in the last few to be picked to play, even on the occasions when I was fitter than most. Any athletic achievement has always been a solo effort for me, with some VERY modest success in running and shooting, but it was never a large part of my life as it is for others.

Be that as it may, I've always been a sucker for a good sports movie. I find the ones that really grab me are invariably American as IMHO they just do them better, generally with little cynicism (about the sports), and no Anglo Saxon shame for striving to be the best. There's something almost religious about the portrayal of the importance of working together, and for me they're the ultimate feel good movie. British movies about sport are few and far between, the best of the bunch is probably "Bend It Like Beckham", but even there it's not quite right. "Mike Bassett England Manager" would at least have been funny if only I could have got past that cnut Tomlinson being the star, but in general we Brits don't do good sports movies.

Whilst I enjoy the grittier American efforts such as Moneyball or Any Given Sunday, I'm much more fond of movies like Major League, Bull Durham, The Replacements and more recently Draft Day (Honourable mention for Field of Dreams, although not really about baseball).

In the present mandated Covid seclusion, I have the time and the inclination to indulge myself in some new schmaltzy sports movie candyfloss. What are your recommendations?
 

Stabwedge

Old-Salt
It is fair to say that I am not a gifted team sportsman. The summit of my achievement was playing rugby for SEME third XV as a substitute; my lack of balance, timing and ability to catch a ball have always relegated me to being in the last few to be picked to play, even on the occasions when I was fitter than most. Any athletic achievement has always been a solo effort for me, with some VERY modest success in running and shooting, but it was never a large part of my life as it is for others.

Be that as it may, I've always been a sucker for a good sports movie. I find the ones that really grab me are invariably American as IMHO they just do them better, generally with little cynicism (about the sports), and no Anglo Saxon shame for striving to be the best. There's something almost religious about the portrayal of the importance of working together, and for me they're the ultimate feel good movie. British movies about sport are few and far between, the best of the bunch is probably "Bend It Like Beckham", but even there it's not quite right. "Mike Bassett England Manager" would at least have been funny if only I could have got past that cnut Tomlinson being the star, but in general we Brits don't do good sports movies.

Whilst I enjoy the grittier American efforts such as Moneyball or Any Given Sunday, I'm much more fond of movies like Major League, Bull Durham, The Replacements and more recently Draft Day (Honourable mention for Field of Dreams, although not really about baseball).

In the present mandated Covid seclusion, I have the time and the inclination to indulge myself in some new schmaltzy sports movie candyfloss. What are your recommendations?
Invictus
Rush
Senna (Documentary)
And.......Dodgeball!!
 
I am not a fan of Football; I supported Arsenal as a kid because 'you had to' and Nigel Winterburn lived round the corner from my school.

However, on my last tour of Afghan I sat down with some of the blokes in HQ ISAF and watched Class of '92, about Manchester United. Having grown up with the names in the film, I really, really enjoyed it.

Also TT - Closer to the edge. I am a motorcyclist, and this film was just awesome. So is the 1971 On any Sunday (briefly featuring Steve McQueen).
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Invictus
Rush
Senna (Documentary)
And.......Dodgeball!!

How could I forget Dodgeball, with the unispheroidally equipped Lance Armstrong AND Chuck Norris!
 

syrup

LE
*61
Billy Crystals film about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle trying to break Babe Ruth's 60 home runs in a season record.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
I am not a fan of Football; I supported Arsenal as a kid because 'you had to' and Nigel Winterburn lived round the corner from my school.

However, on my last tour of Afghan I sat down with some of the blokes in HQ ISAF and watched Class of '92, about Manchester United. Having grown up with the names in the film, I really, really enjoyed it.

Also TT - Closer to the edge. I am a motorcyclist, and this film was just awesome. So is the 1971 On any Sunday (briefly featuring Steve McQueen).
When it comes to documentaries, C4 (?) did a marvellous job on "From the Ashes" unsurprisingly about the Ashes test matches in 1981, with Botham, Brearley, Willis and co achieving the impossible against a seemingly undefeatable Australia . It was particularly poignant for me as I remember my Dad forcing me to come in from the garden and watch the cricket with him on telly whilst Botham worked his magic... He sat me down in the lounge, poured me a beer (first time ever), and said "Watch this. You won't see anything like it again".
 
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Chef

LE
I quite liked this one:


'Field of dreams' did inspire me to read up on the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Eight men out and Shoeless Joe Jackson, one factual, one fictional.

Interesting fact is that after being banned from baseball Shoeless Joe's grandson went on to pursue a successful career in the music world in the 80s. I may have made that up.
 

syrup

LE
I quite liked this one:


'Field of dreams' did inspire me to read up on the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Eight men out and Shoeless Joe Jackson, one factual, one fictional.

Interesting fact is that after being banned from baseball Shoeless Joe's grandson went on to pursue a successful career in the music world in the 80s. I may have made that up.

There's a film about the Red Sox 8 men out starring Charlie Sheen and a good cast alongside
Also Sheen was in Major League another baseball film
 

syrup

LE
When it comes to documentaries, C4 (?) did a marvellous job on "From the Ashes" unsurprisingly about the Ashes test matches in 1981, with Botham, Brearley, Willis and co achieving the impossible against a seemingly undefeatable . It was particularly poignant for me as I remember my Dad forcing me to come in from the garden and watch the cricket with him on telly whilst Botham worked his magic... He sat me down in the lounge, poured me a beer (first time ever), and said "Watch this. You won't see anything like it again".


Body Line is a good film about England's tactic in the Ashes way back.
The First World Cup with Dennis Waterman and Tim Healey is a good football one.
 
Albeit all on a boxing theme there's

Million Dollar Baby - Hilary Swank with Eastwood directing and producing.

Raging Bull - De Niro as Jake la Motta.

Somebody Up There Likes Me - Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano.
 

syrup

LE
Albeit all on a boxing theme there's

Million Dollar Baby - Hilary Swank with Eastwood directing and producing.

Raging Bull - De Niro as Jake la Motta.

Somebody Up There Likes Me - Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano.

Documentary more than a film.
Champions for ever
Ali, Frazier, Forman, Norton and Holmes talk about how they punched each other senseless for 20 years*

*I don't mean that in a derogatory sense they battered each other
 
There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble - Good family film
The Natural
Le Mans 66
Grand Prix
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
“Slapshot” if you're into ice hockey.
Hilarious, especially the streaking player and the band playing "the Stripper"

I forgot "Goon", another ice hockey classic.
 
Eddy the Eagle - Taron Egerton.

Downhill Racer - Robert Redford

Edit to add : Cool Runnings
 
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If we're allowed sports/comedy combinations (in the vein of "Dodgeball" already mentioned) then I'd throw "Happy Gilmore", "Blades of Glory" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" into the mix for consideration. I know some of the characters in them (particularly Adam Sandler!) tend to somewhat polarise opinions and manage to be highly annoying sometimes, but there's something about the utter silliness combined with sport in those three movies that never fails to cheer me up. I agree, the Brits don't seem to be able to do the sports flick (serious or silly) as well the Yanks, the odd thing like "Chariots of Fire" excepted.
 
Caddyshack
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
good lord, I thought I was the only person to have seen The Replacements. it totally flew under the radar over here it seems. I took a punt on it for a couple of quid years ago on dvd off the back off hackman and reeves starring in it and I wasn't disappointed. some proper laugh out loud moments and some saucy minxes on the cheerleading squad.

if you're going to mention McQueen you can't not mention Le Mans. especially when you consider CGI wasn't even a twinge in spielbergs nutsack. Grand Prix is another one - incredible when you consider it was all filmed 'for real'. I have to confess a soft spot for 'Driven' with stallone - some proper 'wtf' moments but stallone is a better actor than he gets credit for imho and this is one of those occasions. plus it's fun to spot the parallels between the film and F1 (it started out as a film about F1, but the filmmakers ended up getting more cooperation out of the CART (I stand to be corrected) crowd in the US. Rush is good, but as a proper F1 head I know that's not entirely how things went down. still looks beautiful mind.

top marks for Slapshot. still hilarious over forty years on.
 

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