The Greatest Sports Movies of all-time: the final countdown

Modified 24 Aug 2012
Top 5 / Top 10

5. Rocky (1976)

Not many would disagree that Rocky was Stallone’s best movie in which he actually acted. You have the Harry Potters in fantasy, James Bond in action and Rocky Balboa in sports – no series of sports movies has ever gripped the audience like Rocky did. Three Academy Awards including Best picture and probably what re-initiated the craze to watch boxing in mainstream television.

At number 5: a testament of Syllvester Stallone who we hold so dearly in our hearts!

4. Hoosiers (1986)

The state of Indiana has produced legends of Basketball – Larry Bird, Shawn Kemp and many more. However, the most defining story from the state was the run of the 1954 state championship winning side from Milan, a relatively unknown town. Gene Hackman plays Norman Dale who is a determined coach to reconcile from his past. Smart recruiting, never say die attitude and fierce perseverance sparked an attempt to stage one of the biggest upsets in high school basketball history. Mixed with a gist of countryside life and basketball, Hoosiers is definitely the best basketball movie ever made.

3. Remember the Titans (2000)

I am huge Walt Disney fan and an even bigger Denzel Washington fan. To me, this came as a no surprise when the film was an immediate box office success.

The movie backdrops in Alexandria, Virginia which is a city fueled in racial disgust. T.C. Williams High School appoints an African American as the head coach who succeeds hall of famer Bill Yoast. At first, Yoast is reluctant to come back to the high school coaching job but after a boycott by the team’s white players, he is forced to reunite the team. A tragedy in its own way at the end, Remember the Titans is a sports drama narrating the differences prevailing in a racially divided society and how they were successfully by the a wise man, who just happened to be the high school’s football coach.

2 Tied. Field of Dreams (1989)

Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa!”

That happens to be a famous quote in United States film culture today. Field of Dreams is where it gained popularity. Kevin Costner plays an ambitious yet stressed married man who wants to live the dreams his father failed to accomplish. The love for baseball forces him to hear mysterious voices that help him solve a rattling puzzle. The spot on which Costner (playing the role of Ray) builds his baseball field is a publicized tourist destination now. Dreams come true they say and the main character showcases how to chase it only to live it. For many Indians who wish to know more about baseball, here is your user guide on the essential history that formed the sport.

2 Tied. Miracle (2004)

Directed by Gavin O’Connor, the sports biographical films reveals the motives behind the greatest upset in sports history. Ice Hockey is huge in Russia but not equally as much in USA. But it changed in Lake Placid’s Winter Olympic Games in 1980.

Russians (then, the U.S.S.R.) were unbeatable in hockey. They travelled to US, beat every possible team in the NHL and destroyed other nations in preparation for the Olympics. Unquestionably, the best players in the game belonged to the former Soviets. Play a game and the score would read at least five goals to the Kremlin nation. That changed in 1980. The US played with an amateur team and was coached by the venerated Herb Brooks (played by Kurt Russell). Grueling practices and immense motivation transformed the underdogs to Olympic Gold medalists.

However, I chose not to differentiate between this movie and Field of Dreams for the excellence in acting by both crews. Miracle was nerve wracking but the Field of Dreams was an emotional treat to savor.

1. Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull should have won the Oscar and Martin Scorsese should have received his first Oscar for this movie. The story of a temperamental middleweight boxer played by Robert De Niro, who abuses his wife and competes solely out of egoistical gains, Raging Bull can rightfully be tagged as also one of the greatest films ever made. De Niro excelled in his role of Jake LaMotta which garnered him an Oscar for the Best Actor. Scorsese’s love for the Niro-Pesci combination fetched him much acclaimed critical reviews for the movie which was based on LaMotta’s autobiography of the same title. There could be a lot of violence but never could be a better sports movie made like this.

Raging Bull – the greatest sports movie of all time!

Final list:

20. Jerry Maguire

19. The Rookie

18. Invincible

17. Finding Forrester

16. Friday Night Lights

15. Bull Durham

14. Breaking Away

13. Coach Carter

12. Cinderella Man

11. Rudy

10. Glory Road

9. Million Dollar Baby

8. The Natural

7. Seabiscuit

6. The Greatest Game Ever Played

5. Rocky

4. Hoosiers

3. Remember the Titans

2. Field of Dreams

2. Miracle

1. Raging Bull

Published 24 Aug 2012
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