I love cinema and I love sports. My favorite movies are sports movies and I love the mix of action and drama, just like you experience in sports itself.
I used a desert island criteria to pick my top ten list of sports movies, these are movies, if stranded on a desert island could I not live without and I could also watch repeatedly forever. That’s a tall order but I’ve got ten greats I would be happy to be trapped with on any desert island.
One of the great romance and tear jerkers. This is a great sports movie starring Robbie Benson as an ice skater. When a female ice skater becomes blind, Robbie becomes her partner, on the ice and in love. It really is a great love story, and its very 1970’s which gives it a bit of camp too. Anyone who was growing up around the time this movie was released remembers it also as a big date movie.
“Eight Men Out”
My personal favorite, one of the best baseball movies ever. Great realism and just great film making. This 1988 film starring John Cusack tells the story of the Chicago White Sox who intentionally lost games during the 1919 World Series after they were bribed by gamblers. The plot was discovered and the team was charged with crimes and is still know as the Black Sox. The film is funny and quirky and if you’ve never seen it, you are in for a treat.
The story of NFL player Brian Piccolo who was stricken with cancer at the peak of his career. This was originally a made-for-TV movie and was first broadcast in 1971. It was based on the successful book by Gayle Sayers about his friendship with Piccolo and everyone watched this on TV, it was a big event.
Who can forget Tom Cruise screaming “Show Me The Money”? This is one of the great modern sports movies, that tells the inside story, although quite over dramatically, of sports and how it really is all about the money these days. So in the times when LeBron James has a TV special to announce which team he is signing with, this is the perfect sports film for it.
Iconic actor Gene Hackman stars in this great film about a high school basketball coach and his final chance for success. Another beautifully filmed piece, the film really shows the world of small town American sports and is really a classic.
“A League Of Their Own”
This is a quirky, funny 1992 film directed by Penny Marshall and starring a superstar cast including Madonna, Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell. It tells the story of a women’s baseball league, formed during the war as entertainment while the baseball aged men were serving in the armed forces.
Perhaps the ultimate sports movie, the true story about an underdog, someone no one thought could do anything, until he was called on, his moment to shine. Rudy was a little guy who walked onto the Notre Dame football team, never played, sat on the bench until his final game, when he is finally called in and makes the big play. Everyone can relate to the story.
Any Given Sunday
Another epic football movie, just as Jerry Maguire shows the deal making, this movie shows the teams and players and what happens behind the scenes. Al Pacino is great as a crazy coach and this is a real big budget, exciting, loud movie, great on a big screen with full surround sound.
You forgot about this one didn’t you? One of the great disaster films of the 1970’s alongside “The Towering Inferno” or “The Poseidon Adventure”, “Black Sunday” is a great movie that has eerily predicted the future, with regard to a large scale terrorist attack on a public event. Based out of the terror acts of the 1970’s like the killing of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the plot involves the killing of the entire Super Bowl stadium audience with poisoned darts and the Goodyear Blimp. It seemed far fetched then, its very realistic now, but a great thriller.
Bend It Like Beckham
A neat little 2003 British comedy film that spread around the world. Great film making and a cute story. About an Indian girl in England who loves playing soccer like her hero David Beckham but is dealing with a traditional family that has other ideas. Just a really nice little movie and a good contrast to some of my other big action picks.
All these great sports movies are available for purchase at Amazon.com and some are available for instant streaming or DVD rental on Netflix.com