May 26, 2008

Top 50 sports films of all time

Keeping with my earlier post of Top 100 Films of All Time, how 'bout a sports film list, eh guys? The list is from Sports Illustrated's August 2003 edition. Films I've seen are in bold; my comments are in italics.

1. Bull Durham (1988)
Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins.
(Not as great as people think. Harder to watch today due to Robbins' and co-star/wife Susan Sarandon's radical politics. They just don't mix with America's past-time.)

2. Rocky (1976)
Sylvester Stallone, Carl Weathers.
(The ultimate Cinderella story. All the sequels pale in comparison.)

3. Raging Bull (1980)
Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty.

4. Hoop Dreams (1994)

5. Slap Shot (1977)
Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean.

6. Hoosiers (1986)
Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper.
(I LOVE this flick. Hackman is beyond awesome as the hard-luck coach in this David vs. Goliath b-ball yarn.)

7. Olympia (1936)

8. Breaking Away (1979)
Dennis Christopher, Paul Dooley.
(Best Picture? Wasn't worth that, but still a keeper. Check out a very young Dennis Quaid, in addition.)

9. Chariots of Fire (1981)
Ben Cross, Ian Charleson.
(Frankly, I ain't that interested in a bunch of Brits' efforts in an early 20th century Olympics. No matter HOW much I love running.)

10. When We Were Kings (1996)

11. Bang The Drum Slowly (1973)
Robert De Niro, Michael Moriarty.

12. Dogtown and Z-Boys (2002)

13. A League Of Their Own (1992)
Tom Hanks, Geena Davis.
(The best part is at film's end when we see some of the actual players and coaches.)

14. The Freshman (1925)
Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston.

15. The Endless Summer (1966)

16. North Dallas Forty (1979)
Nick Nolte, Mac Davis.
(One of my FAVE sports flicks, Nolte and Davis are friggin' hilarious as a QB-WR tandem, trying to keep football a game in what is becoming too much a business.)

17. Brian's Song (1971)
James Caan, Billy Dee Williams.
(Been a while since I've seen it; have a lot of tissues handy for the tears.)

18. Caddyshack (1980)
Bill Murray, Chevy Chase.
(Easily one of the funniest damn films of all-time.)

19. Downhill Racer (1969)
Robert Redford, Gene Hackman.

20. Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason.

21. Pumping Iron (1977)
(Helped launch Ah-nuld's career.)

22. The Set-Up (1949)
Robert Ryan, George Tobias.

23. The Hustler (1961)
Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason.
(A must-see classic. Gleason easily eclipses Newman in the acting dept., however.)

24. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Max Pomeranc, Ben Kingsley.

25. Horse Feathers (1932)
The Marx Brothers.

26. The Bad News Bears (1976)
Tatum O'Neal, Walter Matthau.
(Haven't seen the full film since I was a boy; Matthau is classic as the boozer-coach.)

27. National Velvet (1944)
Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney.

28. Eight Men Out (1988)
John Cusack, David Strathairn.

29. Rollerball (1975)
James Caan, John Houseman.
(Why is this ... ? Never mind. This flick is terrific, but has more to do with omniscient corporatism than sports.)

30. The Rookie (2002)
Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths.

31. Baseball - A film by Ken Burns (1994)

32. Vision Quest (1985)
Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino.
(How did THIS make the cut?? Standard cookie-cutter fare with a Madonna soundtrack. Ugh.)

33. Fat City (1972).
Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges.

34. Everybody's All-American (1988)
Dennis Quaid, Jessica Lange.

35. Million Dollar Legs (1932)
W.C. Fields, Jack Oakie.

36. Jerry Maguire (1996)
Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr.

37. The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1971)
Arthur Brauss, Erika Pluhar.

38. Field of Dreams (1989)
Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones.
(Terrific family fare.)

39. The Harder They Fall (1956)
Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger.

40. The Longest Yard (1974)
Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert.
(Classic tale of convicts vs. guards in a football game.)

41. Remember The Titans (2000)
Denzel Washington, Will Patton.
(There ain't many films that are better for promoting racial harmony!)

42. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright.

43. Fists of Fury (1971)
Bruce Lee, Maria Yi: martial arts

44. The Deadliest Season (1977)
Michael Moriarty, Kevin Conway.

45. Grand Prix (1966)
James Garner, Eva Marie Saint.

46. Any Given Sunday (1999)
Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz.

47. It Happens Every Spring (1949)
Ray Milland, Jean Peters.

48. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor.

49. Phar Lap (1983)
Tom Burlinson, Ron Liebman.

50. Best In Show (2000)
Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy.

NOTABLE OMISSIONS (I've seen all of the following; some may have come out after 2003):

  • The Natural (Robert Redford).
  • Tin Cup (Kevin Costner).
  • Rudy (Sean Astin).
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played (Shia LaBeouf).
  • Victory (Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine).
  • Miracle (Kurt Russell).

Any others?

Posted by Hube at May 26, 2008 06:18 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

slapshot was a hilarious a little t if my adolesent mind recalls!
You haven't seen 'the rookie' feel good baseball film kids love it!

Posted by: cardinals fan at May 26, 2008 09:42 PM

I was one of the students in the Commons when they filmed the fight scene in Breaking Away. The whole flick was filmed on location. As far as I've been able to tell, if I actually was in a frame, it got cut out.

Posted by: rightwingprof at May 27, 2008 08:55 AM

How the heck is Best in Show a sports movie? Walking your dog is a sport? And Searching for Bobby Fisher? It's about freakin' chess!

Where's Karate Kid? Days of Thunder? I'd also add Mystery, Alaska as one that's post '03.

Posted by: G Rex at May 27, 2008 02:26 PM

Oh, and then there's my sister's favorite movie of all time, The Cutting Edge.

Posted by: G Rex at May 27, 2008 02:36 PM

Field of Dreams was such a phony movie. Ugh.

I didn't much like Jerry Maguire either.

And the little bit of Bull Durham I saw didn't interest me much.

I enjoyed Breaking Away.

I recently heard an interview with the real coach (the guy who was played by Denzel Washington) from Remember the Titans. It made me interested in the movie.

Posted by: soccer dad at May 28, 2008 01:31 PM