RR Movies: Sport

Plenty of classic films about sport, from This Sporting Life, through Raging Bull to Chariots Of Fire and Rocky. Plenty of documentaries, too, from Senna to Dogtown and Z-Boys to Hoop Dreams and the hypnotically boring Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.

The best ones are about the egos and emotional journeys, of course, not the actual sport, which can be a tad grubby and sweaty (other types of film do this more entertainingly, imho…). I’ll pick a couple of fairly recent ‘based on a true story’s: Moneyball and The Damned United.

What sport films would you recommend?

21 thoughts on “RR Movies: Sport

  1. Girlfight:

    For the defying of gender roles (both siblings), the intense way the fights were filmed so you seemed to be in the ring with them and definitely not because I fancied Michelle Rodriguez, dear me no, that would just be sad.

  2. Fever Pitch (1995 – not the later Drew Barrymore baseball transplant). Notable for a very young Colin Firth & Mark Strong (with hair).

  3. Slap Shot, which is about a fading Ice Hockey team in a run-down industrial town, is an excellent film. It is a comedy, of sorts.

    I also like The Bad News Bears, with Walter Matthau, which is about a hopeless Little League Baseball team.

  4. The Damned United is easily the best football film ever made imho, amazingly accurate football scenes and Sheen gives a fantastic performance as Clough. ‘When We Were Kings’ is probably the best sporting doc I’ve seen, it charts the Rumble in the Jungle fight between Ali and Foreman in 1974. Also recommend Raging Bull obviously and This Sporting Life in which Richard Harris plays a definitely non PC rugby league player and finally the football scene in Kes (which everyone must know) is comedy gold.

  5. The only ones that spring to mind are “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Gregory’s Girl”. What that says about me, I don’t know.

  6. probably raging bull or the fighter.

    i like slap shot and rollerball when i saw them as well but that was a long time back.

  7. My favourite animated film about sport (thanks for asking) is Belleville Rendezvous (Les Triplettes de Belleville). The cyclists’ legs are genius.

  8. Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican bobsleigh team that went to Olympics, Invictus, Miracle, the US ice hockey team’s Olympic gold, The Greatest Game Ever Played -each pretty high on my recommendation list.
    I’d like to suggest a few books though:
    * The Fight – Norman Mailer – one of the best sports books I’ve read. It transcends journalism, match report, and a study of the characters involved.
    * Chinaman – or to give its proper title Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew by Shehan Karunatilaka -fiction from a Sri Lankan author. Brilliant work. If any of you haven’t read it please do Cricket itself becomes just part of the cast. Stars in the cricketing world, from Sobers to Muthiah, wander in and out and the narrator is a joy to come across.

    • Ravi: Re. books on cricket there’s a wonderful book by Irishman Joseph O’Neill about cricket in NY. It concerns Dutchman Hans Van Den Brock meeting Trinidadian Chuck Ramkissoon and being introduced to a wonderful cast of characters comprising every race and nationality where cricket is played. It’s a novel and the title is ‘Netherland’, it was listed as one of the best books of the year by NY Times.

  9. The Running Man I think or Strictly Ballroom. I really don’t like most sports unless they make one starring the Japanese men’s gymnasticcs team then I’m there like a flash. Or if there is a good one about figure skating I’ve missed I’d love to know.

  10. I don’t get to watch anywhere near as many sports films as you may imagine, so many of those aimed at a higher intellectual level have passed me by. Of those mentioned that I have seen, donds for The Damned United, (the Colin Firth / Ruth Gemmell) Fever Pitch, (the James Caan original) Rollerball and Cool Runnings.

    I liked the intensity of Any Given Sunday, the schmaltz of Field Of Dreams, but to truly bring you down to my level, I have to own up to having a properly big soft spot for Up’N’Under – sorry!

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