SPORTS FILMS


Examples - 5


Sports Films
History | Examples - 1 | Examples - 2 | Examples - 3 | Examples - 4 | Examples - 5 | Examples - 6

25 Greatest Sports Movies Ever

This list was compiled by the NY Daily News and its Sports Department, created in 2009:

1. Raging Bull (1980)
"Considered one of the greatest films ever made - and taking top honors - the 1980 Martin Scorsese film stars Robert De Niro (who gains a then-record 60 pounds and wins a Best Actor Oscar) as prizefighter Jake LaMotta, whose violent bouts with paranoia and jealousy destroy his life outside the ring."

2. Hoosiers (1986)
"The 1986 film is a nostalgic underdog story about a coach with a checkered past and an alcoholic father who take an undersized Indiana team to the state finals. Hoosiers, starring Gene Hackman, Barabara Hershey and Dennis Hopper (who is nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar) is loosely based on a true story about the 1954 Milan (Ind.) Indians basketball team."

3. Rocky (1976)
"The 1976 film about the unknown fighter Rocky Balboa who takes the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, through 15 hard rounds wins three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, plus garners a host of other nominations. Rocky, written and starring Sylvester Stallone, is inspired by the surprising 15-round fight of Bayonne boxer Chuck Wepner against Muhammad Ali in 1975 and spawns five sequels."

4. Slap Shot (1976)
"The classic tale of minor-league hockey. The Charlestown Chiefs, facing dissolution at the end of the season, bring in the three Hanson Brothers and become the thugs of their league. The 1976 movie starring Paul Newman is a classic among puckheads. It also has a cameo from current Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau."

5. Bull Durham (1988)
"A classic romance packed with brilliant dialogue, Bull Durham tells the story of aging minor-league catcher Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner, and his slow fall from the game, while a young star, Nuke LaLoosh, played by Tim Robbins, makes his rapid rise."

6. The Natural (1984)
"Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, who joins the New York Knights well beyond his prime to prove to himself he can reach his dreams. The 1984 Barry Levinson adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 novel shows the dark side of baseball in the 1930s - from gambling to shady owners - but keeps a steady eye on the grandeur of the game."

7. Caddyshack (1980)
"An irreverent look at the game of golf - and a cult classic considered one of the funniest movies of all time - Caddyshack stars Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase ... and Chuck Rodent, as the gopher."

8. Breaking Away (1979)
"A coming-of-age cycling film, which wins an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and is nominated in four other categories including Best Picture, stars Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley as four small-town Indiana buddies who form a ragtag racing team called the 'Cutters.'"

9. Major League (1989)
"A group of oddballs are assembled by an unscrupulous owner bent on moving the Indians out of Cleveland - but somehow the pieces come together for a pennant run. Corbin Bernsen, Tom Berenger, Wesley Snipes, Rene Russo and Charlie Sheen star, while Bob Uecker's turn as the team's broadcaster - 'Juuuuuuuuust a bit outside' - is the stuff of water cooler legend."

10. Field of Dreams (1989)
"A mysterious voice that whispers, 'If you build it, he will come,' serves as the inspiration for a man to reconnect with his deceased father through baseball in a movie that is considered a classic of American film. Field of Dreams, which stars Kevin Costner, as an Iowa farmer who plows his crops to build a field for the ghosts of the disgraced Chicago 'Black Sox' to play on, and Ray Liotta, as Shoeless Joe Jackson, is based on the W.P. Kinsella novel, 'Shoeless Joe.'"

11.
A League of Their Own (1992)
"'There's no crying baseball!' The fictional tale of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the movie stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell. Set during World War II, with major leaguers going off to fight, the movie shows women trying to just play ball at a time when females rarely get respect as athletes."

12. The Hustler (1961)
"The 1961 film featuring Paul Newman as 'Fast Eddie' and Jackie Gleason as 'Minnesota Fats' is a dramatic and sad story about winning, losing and the price of each in life."

13. Hoop Dreams (1994)
"Billed as a basketball documentary, the film follows Chicago prep basketball stars William Gates and Arthur Agee through the trials of everyday life. A very blunt look at the inner city, it touches a nerve with the American public and becomes one of the ten highest grossing documentaries of all time."

14. Chariots of Fire (1981, UK)
"Who knew the Brits could be so good at sports? Chariots of Fire, which wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, tells the true tale of track stars Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams and their run to gold in the 1924 Olympics in Paris."

15. Eight Men Out (1988)
"John Sayles' 1988 movie about baseball's infamous 1919 'Black Sox' scandal cracks our list for taking a hard look at the mystery surrounding 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson (played by D.B. Sweeney), Buck Weaver (John Cusack) and the White Sox's decision to throw the World Series."

16. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
"The story of Lou Gehrig, which garners 11 Academy Award nominations, stars Gary Cooper as The Iron Horse and - talk about realism - legendary Yankees Babe Ruth, Bill Dickey and Bob Meusel as themselves."

17. The Bad News Bears (1976)
"With Walter Matthau as the coach, Tatum O'Neal as the ace pitcher and Jackie Earle Haley as the juvenile delinquent turned slugger, the misfit Bears take the Little League world by storm and has everyone rolling in the aisles in 1976. But why are the Yankees always the bad guys?"

18. Miracle (2004)
"It's the greatest upset in sports history, and in 2004 we finally get a movie to bring the Miracle on Ice - the United States' stunning 4-3 victory over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics - to the big screen. Kurt Russell wows as legendary coach Herb Brooks, but we love the decision to cast real hockey players in the role of Mike Eruzione and company."

19. The Longest Yard (1974)
"It's tough to vote against a movie that brings us a team of prison inmates - led by former Florida State star turned actor Burt Reynolds as the quarterback - playing against a squad of sadistic prison guards. Just don't make us watch the Adam Sandler remake."

20. Remember the Titans (2000)
"Forced desegregation of a Virginia high school in the early 1970s, and the power struggle within the newly integrated football team, is the heart of this 2000 Disney classic starring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington as new head coach Herman Boone."

21. Brian's Song (1971)
"There's no crying in sports, unless you're watching the story of the unlikely friendship between Chicago Bears superstar Gale Sayers and his overachieving teammate Brian Piccolo."

22. Heaven Can Wait (1978)
"Warren Beatty earns himself a best actor nomination for his portrayal of L.A. Rams (remember them?) quarterback Joe Pendleton who gets shipped off to heaven by an over-eager angel after a near-fatal accident."

23. Rudy (1993)
"Sean Astin (who later plays hobbit Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings movies) stars as diminutive Notre Dame walk-on 'Rudy' Ruettiger, who dreams of one day getting his shot on the gridiron in this feel-good film."

24. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
"The hilarious NASCAR spoof stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly - as racing partners Shake and Bake - and Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat and Bruno) as a French Formula One interloper."

25. Jerry Maguire (1996)
"Tom Cruise plays a sports agent with morals, Cuba Gooding Jr. an egotistical wide receiver and Renee Zellweger Cruise's love interest. Spawns classic lines for both football fans and romantics: 'Show me the money!' and 'You had me at hello.'"

25 Greatest Sports Movies of All-Time

This list from USA Today was published in November, 2015:

1. Hoosiers (1986)
"The best sports movie ever made, hands down...the scene in which Coach Dale talks to Jimmy, who’s shooting outside, is perfection, right down to Jimmy missing the shot when Hackman walks away."

2. Field of Dreams (1989)

3. Major League (1989)
"The funniest of the movies on our list (yes, funnier than Caddyshack — a lot funnier) is one of the most rewatchable too. The number of classic scenes are in the double-digits."

4. Bull Durham (1988)
"If you're going to write a perfect script about life in the minors and then cast Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon just absolutely perfectly, couldn’t you at least have gotten a pitcher (Tim Robbins) who could actually throw the ball?"

5. The Natural (1984)

6. Tin Cup (1996)
"...You’ll say, I'll just watch until he breaks his clubs or until he sleeps with Rene Russo or until the start of the U.S. Open and then, next thing you know, you’re watching Jim Nantz and Ken Venturi laughing in the booth as Roy McAvoy makes history."

7. Caddyshack (1980)

8. Moneyball (2011)
"How were they possibly going to turn Michael Lewis’s book about Billy Beane and the A's looking for value in different places into a feature film? Somehow they pulled it off, with the help of Brad Pitt and a surprisingly game Jonah Hill."

9. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
"This 1942 classic stars Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth as Babe Ruth. It came out just three years after Gehrig’s "luckiest man alive" speech and one year after Gehrig was taken by the disease named after him."

10. He Got Game (1998)
"Spike Lee’s film about a jailed father trying to get his high-school son to sign with a specific school came right around the time Kevin Garnett and others were jumping to the pros, but doesn’t feel at all dated..."

11. The Hustler (1961)
"The opening scene with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, as Minnesota Fats, is one of the best ever in a sports film. It’s so good that it manages to lift the memory of the somewhat-mediocre sequel The Color of Money, with Newman and Tom Cruise."

12. Miracle (2004)
"The HBO Sports documentary about the Miracle on Ice...Kurt Russell nails it as Herb Brooks, the hockey is realistic enough to look good and syncing up the game with Al Michaels’ call was brilliant. It turns out that drama and triumph are good no matter the medium."

13. White Men Can't Jump (1992)
"Get two likable actors, write a funny script, cast Rosie Perez as a scene-stealer and give the film a classic name that’ll enter the pop-culture lexicon."

14. Rocky IV (1985)
"...Is the movie 40% montages? Yup. Is there a talking robot? You know it. Is Adrian still a wet blanket who doesn’t want Rocky to avenge Apollo’s death? Check and mate. But if you don’t love the last fight scene or the training sequence which ends with Rocky somehow atop a mountain, then you aren’t American."

15. Any Given Sunday (1999)
"...Oliver Stone’s football movie isn’t on TV nearly enough and when it is, regular cable isn’t worthy of its R-rated feel. But that last Pacino speech? It may have been the last great scene of his career."

16. Slap Shot (1976)
"What do you get when you take 1) Paul Newman, 2) the guy who directed The Sting and Butch Cassidy and 3) brothers who fought when it was still cool and wore hipster glasses well before it was cool? The best hockey movie ever, with apologies to Emilio Estevez."

17. Rocky (1976)
"Like Philadelphia Eagles fans, Rocky is a little over-the-top and obnoxious. Like the Eagles, it’s overrated. But unlike both, at least it got to celebrate a championship with its absurd Oscar win."

18. Breaking Away (1979)
"Bike racing? College hi jinx? Shirtless Dennis Quaid? An Academy Award-winning screenplay??? A Best Picture nomination????!!! Oh yes, my friend, Breaking Away is the real deal."

19. Bring It On (2000)
"Before there was Legally Blonde and The Devil Wears Prada there was Bring It On to serve as the go-to girl-power cable movie..."

20. North Dallas Forty (1979)
"...ND40 movie was the first real behind-the-scenes look at professional football and though it’s horribly dated like 90% of ’70s movie, it’s still a great watch..."

21. Remember the Titans (2000)

22. The Sandlot (1993)
"Is The Sandlot great cinema? Of course not. But is it a fun, enjoyable movie that evokes memories of playing outside in the summer until your mom called you in and has James Earl Jones in it? Yes, yes and (goes deeper), oh yes."

23. Eight Men Out (1988)
"Underrated drama that’s sort of like The Untouchables minus the gun violence, Sean Connery and, oddly, Kevin Costner..."

24. A League of Their Own (1992)
"...the story of the All-American Girls Baseball League is a great one and Geena Davis gave a wonderful performance...."

25. The Karate Kid (1984)
"... It’s just Daniel-San, Mr. Miyagi and Elisabeth Shue battling the world. Well, them and Joe Esposito."

 




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