Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pick Me Out A Winner Bobby - The Best Sports Movies Ever

I went to see Invictus yesterday. It wasn't bad. Matt Damon was about a foot too small but I dug his accent and his ball greediness, so typical of a flanker desperate to get all the glory while prop forwards do all the work. Anyhoo, it wasn't a classic. If I remember rightly the South Africans were the favourites to win that world cup and really how can you make a sports movie about the favourites? Still it gave me an excuse to have a think about my top sports flicks of all time and here for your edification is my list:
#14 Slap Shot - one of the few sports movies written by a woman (Nancy Dowd). The Hanson (Carlson) brothers are the standout.
#13 Rudy - My recollections of this film are hazy but I seem to remember this dialogue: "Oh Mr Frodo, sir, let me carry it for you. Please (sobbing) please Mr Frodo, please."
#12 Dodge Ball - that Rip Torn cracks me up. Here he is again hitting Norman Mailer with a hammer.
#11 Pride of the Yankees - Lou Gehrig gives his "luckiest man" speech at Yankee stadium, grown men weep.
#10 Gladiator - Boy was I surprised, I thought Commodus was going to win in the arena only to be strangled later in his bath by the wrestler Narcissus.
#9 Rocky - I'm not a big fan of boxing movies, hence no Raging Bull, but in Rocky I really like the stuff in the pet shop, the unorthodox training, the yelling of the word "Adrian" and the fact that (spoiler alert) he loses.
#8 Escape to Victory - I'm only including this because Pele is in it.
#7 Hoosiers - the movie that somehow makes basketball seem interesting.
#6 Bang the Drum Slowly - De Niro, baseball, death. And jokes. (Nah only kidding, no jokes).
#5 Field of Dreams - That penultimate scene - grown men weep again.
#4 Chariots of Fire - duh duh duh duh duhh duhhhh, duh duh duh duh duhhhh etc.
#3 The Natural - Someone read the book and decided to remove all the cynicism and cast uber WASP Robert Redford in the scrappy Roy Hobbs role. Still, "knock the cover off the ball, Roy" and "pick me out a winner, Bobby" get me every single time.
#2 Breaking Away - bicycling in a big circle 500 times. No really. Oh and yeah its one of the best films of all time.
#1 Bull Durham - Maybe now Costner and Sarandon will get together just like in the movies.