Sports As Cinematic Gold
Sports fans, there is so much to debate in our world. Why not add another topic to the forum? The New York Daily News has done just this with their list of the The 25 Greatest Sports Movies Ever.
While I highly recommend the link for synopses, photos, and trivia regarding the top 25, I’ll also cut to the chase and provide the entire list here:
1. Raging Bull
4. Slap Shot
5. Bull Durham
6. The Natural
8. Breaking Away
9. Major League
10. Field Of Dreams
11. A League Of Their Own
12. The Hustler
13. Hoop Dreams
14. Chariots Of Fire
15. Eight Men Out
16. The Pride Of The Yankees
17. The Bad News Bears
19. The Longest Yard
20. Remember The Titans
21. Brian’s Song
22. Heaven Can Wait
24. Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby
25. Jerry Maguire
I have a few comments. Of course.
First of all, Jerry Maguire was just not all that interesting. Personally, I always thought that The Rod Tidwell Story (centering the story on Cuba Gooding, Jr.’s character) would have made a much better movie.
Secondly, some of these movies are among the greatest of all-time, regardless of their sports inclination. Personal favorites of mine from the list include classics like Caddyshack, Major League, Slap Shot, Hoosiers, The Bad News Bears, and The Longest Yard.
And, finally, there are the omissions. Perhaps the most overlooked sports movie of all-time, and one that deserves its place high on this list, is Fast Break. A major reason for its status as an under-the-radar nominee is due to the fact that it has never been released on DVD. A small consolation to this criminal development is that fact that you can stream the video on demand. A highly recommended (if not exactly realistic) view of the college basketball experience of the 1970s.
Others missing from the list include the threesome of Victory, He Got Game, and the underrated We Are Marshall, in which Matthew McConaughey surprisingly carries the movie as the head ballcoach resurrecting Marshall football from the dead.
And two other fantastic movies deserve honorable mention, as they have significant sports subplots. Buffalo ’66 is a mind-blowing oddball epic that gets better upon each viewing and The Big Lebowski has staked its claim as the best movie of all-time (period) in my book.
The former includes insight into the world of obsessed Bills’ fans from the vantage point of Buffalo native Vincent Gallo while the latter mythologizes the bowling experience, despite the fact that we never actually see Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) throw a ball down the lane himself.
All things told, a good opportunity to revisit (or discover) some of the best cinematic moments from an industry that continues to green-light movies based on timely topics in the sports arena. As the staffers at the Daily News call it, “Let the water cooler debate begin.”