Sports are so naturally full of drama that they are made for the big screen, lending themselves to so many different genres and evoking just about every emotion possible.
There are so many great sports films that it is almost impossible to find two people with the same top five on their list, but these are my favourites for what its worth.
1 Raging Bull
Martin Scorcese’s brilliant “Raging Bull” is a biographical film based on the 1970 memoir “Raging Bull: My Story” by Jake LaMotta, an American boxer who went through hell in the ring, both dishing out and receiving great punishment to ultimately become world middleweight champion.
Not an obviously likeable man, either in or out of the ring, LaMotta’s story is one of struggle, violence, downfall and redemption, and Scorcese brutally brings that to life, while Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are simply brilliant in the lead roles.
Perhaps not the “best” boxing movie of all time, it is fiction after all, but Rocky is a true rags to riches tale of an underdog boxer who gets his shot at the big time.
The film won three Oscars but perhaps more than that, speaks to the audience about overcoming the odds to succeed – pure entertainment.
3 Major League
Major League is a comedy about the fictional exploits of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, with a team of misfits and old-timers battling an owner who is conspiring against them, to ultimately end a long slump.
Again, it is the underdog plot but the cast is perfect with Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen and Margaret Whitton standing out.
The film also played out the down-on-their-luck fandom, who have been through too many lean years to count – including the journalists and play-by-play announcers – to an absolute tee.
Major League is hilarious and is simply a must-see.
4 Remember The Titans
This is a film that would undoubtedly appeal to both diehard sports fans as well as those who have no particular interest.
Remember The Titans is based on the true story of a high-school football team that overcame the hardships and divisions both within themselves as well as the wider community to ultimately become successful.
The friendships that the players and coaching staff clearly formed both on and off the pitch speak volumes and are an inspiration to us all, while the film takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Although this is a film based far from the highest level of sport, it is THE best golf movie of all time.
If you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times and for good reason. The variety of characters – played so well by Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight – gel so perfectly and offer a raft of quotes that we will reel off to anyone who can listen. Thank you very little.