question of the day: What’s your favorite sports-related movie?

What with football-themed The Blind Side doing gangbusters at the box office and the rugby-will-save-the-world-themed Invictus just opening, the members of the Online Film Critics Society recently picked our top 5 favorite sports movies. Raging Bull came out on top; go to the OFCS news blog for the rest of the top 5, and other films that ranked.

I picked The Rookie as my very favorite, followed by Bull Durham, Eight Men Out, Field of Dreams, and Rocky.

What’s your favorite sports-related movie?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:13am

Pride of the Yankees

iakobos
iakobos
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:25am

The Rookie is definitely a favorite. It’s a toss-up between that one and The Sandlot. The scene where the boys from the two teams were insulting each other still cracks me up. Especially the final winning insult, “You throw a ball like a girl!” As we say down south, Them’s fighten’ words. Then there’s the scene where one of them stole his dad’s chewing tobacco and they all got sick while riding the Ferris Wheel at the fair. Been there, done that.

allochthon
allochthon
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:31am

Robert Redford’s The Natural.

And just to plug it, on TV my favorite ‘sports show’ was Sports Night. Aah, it ended too soon…

Bill
Bill
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:31am

Gotta go with “Major League”. “Bull Durham” is a close second. Then “A League of Their Own”.

Andy
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:35am

The Rookie is definitely up there for me but I also like For Love of the Game.

Dart
Dart
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:43am

As a Canadian I’m expected to like hockey and just about all hockey-related movies. But I didn’t care much for any of the, what, six “Mighty Duck” movies. The Quebec turd “Les Boys” tries for the exact same thing as “Slapshot” and only comes off as a knock-off.

Honestly? There is rarely an original sports-related movies. Even in terms of plot, there seems to be only a handful of patterns sports movies can follow. For example, washed up athlete gets a second chance, practices regardless of personal obstacles, overcomes and gains the respect of himself and everyone around him. Or team of underdogs without talent gets an inspirational coach, and they practice regardless of personal obstacles, overcome and gain the respect of themselves and everyone around them. Etc. Etc.

Best sports movie? “Raging Bull”: raw, powerful, ugly (regardless of its gorgeous cinematography), with Robert De Niro’s greatest performance.

JoshDM
JoshDM
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 10:19am

Happy Gilmore.

Brian
Brian
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 10:19am

Does Gladiator count? How about Rollerball?

No? Well, Grandpa says that The Princess Bride has sports in it. Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge . . .

JoshDM
JoshDM
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 10:20am

Seriously. You should see me play Tiger Woods 10 on the Wii from 10 feet away.

Der Bruno Stroszek
Der Bruno Stroszek
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 10:34am

Raging Bull, The Great Ecstacy of Woodcarver Steiner, When We Were Kings, Touching the Void and The Damned United for me.

Bluejay
Bluejay
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 10:36am

Though I haven’t seen it in a while: Escape to Victory.

Also, Space Jam. ;-)

Alli
Alli
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 10:54am

Dart, former hockey player here. For every major tournament my team would watch 3 movies on the bus: Mighty Ducks, A League of Their Own (it’s a chick athlete thing), and Mystery Alaska. I still enjoy watching the last two…the mighty ducks, not so much.

My favorite all time is probably Field of Dreams. I always cry like a baby at the end when he plays catch with his dad. I’ve also discovered that I am not compatible with any man who does not like the film (or Bull Durham for that matter).

Bluejay
Bluejay
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 11:15am

Honestly? There is rarely an original sports-related movies. Even in terms of plot, there seems to be only a handful of patterns sports movies can follow. For example, washed up athlete gets a second chance, practices regardless of personal obstacles, overcomes and gains the respect of himself and everyone around him. Or team of underdogs without talent gets an inspirational coach, and they practice regardless of personal obstacles, overcome and gain the respect of themselves and everyone around them. Etc. Etc.

How about: Allied POWs use soccer game as ruse to escape from German camp?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_to_Victory

Erica
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 11:58am

The first one that popped to my mind was “Cool Runnings.” I’m generally a serious film buff and the Disney movies are a little too wrapped up in deus de machina for me. This film, however, had great characters and a unique approach to the underdog theme.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106611/

David
David
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 12:08pm

The original Bad News Bears
Bull Durham
Friday Night Lights (both movie and tv series)
Caddyshack
The Longest Yard (original)
North Dallas Forty
Varsity Blues

Cori Ann
Cori Ann
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 12:34pm

Man, what’s with all the hate for The Mighty Ducks? Either you loved them, and would therefore list them in your favorites, or they weren’t your thing and you would therefore just not mention them at all. MaryAnn didn’t ask for your least favorite sports movie folks. I’m just saying.

Of course, I may only be riled because The Mighty Ducks was the first thing that popped into my head when I read today’s question. It came out when I was a kid and right when I was getting into hockey, so for me, that movie will always be inextricably wrapped up together with my love of the sport. The other two weren’t nearly as good as the first but still light-hearted fun.

Closely following TMD are Field of Dreams, The Sandlot, and Bend it Like Beckham.

Persephone
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 12:56pm

Horsefeathers with the immortal Marx Brothers, especially the bits that are not about football…

markyd
markyd
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 1:58pm

The first movie to pop in my head was The Natural. Great movie.
I am ashamed to say that I have to see Raging Bull. It’s in my Queue, though!

Mo
Mo
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 1:59pm

Bend it like Beckham. ^.^

Hdj
Hdj
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 2:00pm

at #1 Rocky, its motivational and just a great movie involving drama and sport

Friday night lights ( the movie only, not the tv show) It didn’t feature that predictable sports final seconds slow mo mircale ending . The drama was true to life, such as the NFL bound student who has a turn of fate.

Growing up I was a big fan of ” The Sandlot” , and it still has a place on ” movies I grew up with” but being older I’ve grown to like the ” Major League” movies and its sequels. The ” Major League” movies are like “Airplane” and ” Hot shots” you can watch and laugh at them over and over.

Dr Rocketscience
Dr Rocketscience
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 2:03pm

There are two kinds of men: Those who cry at the end of Field of Dream

…and those who lie about it.

markyd
markyd
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 3:13pm

I would admit if I cried at the end of Field of Dreams. But I can’t admit that, as I haven’t seen it(besides bits and pieces over the years).

Yeah, I know. 0 for 2.

JoshB
JoshB
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 4:18pm

Field of Dreams (“Maybe this is heaven.” sniffle ), The Sandlot, Tin Cup.

The only sport that I actually enjoy consistently is basketball, but I don’t really like any basketball movies. Hoosiers is OK, but not a favorite.

Bzero
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 4:26pm

Whip It!

Of course, roller derby is the only sport I like…

bronxbee
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 4:29pm

*The Rookie
*A League of Their Own#
*Bull Durham#
*Major League
*Caddyshack

# tied

Jester
Jester
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 7:51pm

Bull Durham.

Shaun
Shaun
Tue, Dec 15, 2009 9:34pm

Sandlot kids for sure. Who could forget The Beast?

Paul
Wed, Dec 16, 2009 1:17am

Ah, “Karate Kid” was the movie that instantly came to my mind, probably because my other main sport is weight lifting and I can’t think of any movies about that at all. But I did enjoy the majority of Rocky movies, A League of Their Own, and, to my surprise, Space Jam. That was the one with Bugs Bunny, right?

Stefanie
Stefanie
Wed, Dec 16, 2009 9:43am

Bull Durham, by a mile. The dialogue is classic, and the baseball is fun too.

Bluejay
Bluejay
Wed, Dec 16, 2009 9:53am

… and, to my surprise, Space Jam. That was the one with Bugs Bunny, right?

Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. That’s the one. Saw it in a mall just to kill time, and had an unexpectedly good time.

… my other main sport is weight lifting and I can’t think of any movies about that at all.

What, you don’t like Pumping Iron? ;-)

Jurgan
Jurgan
Wed, Dec 16, 2009 3:08pm

Definitely Sandlot. The truth is sports movies are so formulaic- underdog team gets inspired by something and go on to win The Big Game. It’s not only predictable, but it’s depressing, especially when applied to kids’ movies. The message is that the only thing that matters is winning, and kids are inculcated early with the idea that competition is the highest value. The Sandlot kids didn’t even play competitively, except in that one game that was barely even a plot point, and were instead caught up in the joy of being kids and having fun. It’s a nice message to counteract the win-at-all-costs attitude so prevalent in our society.

Admittedly, though, most of the sports movies I’ve seen were kids’ movies from the 90’s (Mighty Ducks- fine, but fits the formula to a T). I haven’t even seen Rocky- I understand he loses? That’s at least different. Same with Cool Runnings, which I saw but barely remember.

iakobos
iakobos
Wed, Dec 16, 2009 6:57pm

posted by Paul — my other main sport is weight lifting and I can’t think of any movies about that at all.

In that case I have a favorite weight lifting movie for you. Disney’s 1975 “The Strongest Man in the World” starring Kurt Russell. It’s campy and slap stick and funny.

Paul
Thu, Dec 17, 2009 3:42pm

Kurt Russell? The strongest guy in the world? That would be campy. But thanks for the suggestion.

No, can’t say I never saw “Pumping Iron” but now having read about it, I think I’ll stick to websites for my advice instead of movies. Thanks anyway. ;)

Christina
Christina
Thu, Dec 17, 2009 4:52pm

I’m a sports-free zone most of the time, but I have to say, I really enjoy watching THE REPLACEMENTS – I even bought the DVD (cheap, but still…). It’s funny and self-deprecating in the right measures, and the “color commentary” cracks me up every time.

And yes, whoever that was up there – SPORTS NIGHT was one of the best shows on television ever.