Monday, July 28, 2008

Favorite Sports Movies

In no particular order:

North Dallas Forty : Excellent football movie that gives a pretty candid view of the 1970's NFL player. You could say the 80's as well. Players shot up with pain killers on torn ligaments to run just one more play. A hero cut after giving his body to his "family". It goes on. Nick Nolte certainly played his part great.

Raging Bull: Robert Deniro plays Jake Lamotta close to the vest and takes this movie into heights that has it on almost every list ever created.

The Rookie: A baseball movie about an unexpected comeback that took the player further than before when he was healthy and young. Best part is that it is a true story.

Rocky: Well written, great acting by Bert Young and Burgess Meredith carry this movie into Legend, even if the boxing scenes were hogwash.

Naked Gun: Yeah it's not a sports movie, but the climatic ending takes place during an Angels game. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) takes over the game from the beginning to save the Queen and become the hero. "Look! It's Enrico Pallazzo!" One of the funniest sports scenes ever on film was Frank at home plate umpire.

Invincible: A true story about Philadelphia hero Vince Papale. Interesting view of his team mates and even his own friend rooting against him. A feel good story not too Hollywooded up.

The Greatest Game Ever Played: Yet another true story. Francis Ouimet was a 20 year old caddy who played his way into the US Open as an amateur versus his idol, Harry Vardon. Interesting to view golf in that era, as they played in driving rain and puddles were as common as sand traps. Makes you wish the modern player would play in rain too. Well directed. Even non golf fans would enjoy this.

City Lights: Charlie Chaplin's best movie. Sad ending after 85 minutes of hilarity. Not a sports movie, but when the Tramp laces up boxing gloves to try to raise some cash, the most imitated and famous boxing scene ensues. Brilliant in every way. Amongst the greatest movies of all time.

Slap Shot: Paul Newman and those triplets. Bull Durham modeled itself after this movie. Great fun about a minor league hockey team full of characters, akin to the NFL's Raiders, on a team teetering on bankruptcy.

Beyond The Mat: Even if you are not a fan of pro wrestling, this insightful documentary will give you a feeling of respect for the wrestlers, both inside and out of the ring.

Kingpin: Hilarious movie revolving around the world of professional bowling. Bill Murray is in top form, and Randy Quaid is great, as usual. Very funny beginning to end.

The Hustler: Loosely based on pool hustlers everywhere, this movie is great because Willie Mosconi as technical adviser and choreographed many of the game sequences. On technical merit alone, this film is a pool player's classic. Paul Newman's speech on excellence is classic.

Caddyshack: Takes place at a country club and it's golf course. Zany, out of control and plain silly. That's just describing Rodney Dangerfields character. At a soiree, he grabs Ted Knights wife off the dance floor and asks her," How would you like to make $14 the hard way?" Bill Murray plays a stoner groundskeeper at war with a rodent.

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