Best Sports Movies
The concept of entertainment was born almost at the same time as civilization itself, as men who worked during the day like to indulge in various forms of entertainment in the evening to clear mind the earliest form of entertainment gradually got modified to become what we see today. Sports and movies are two of the greatest forms of amusement for people. Though the two fields are starkly different from each other in the sense that they cater to different kinds of mindsets, and require different sets of skills, there is a lot of similarity between the two industries. For one, they produce stars who win a very special place in the hearts of the fans. Besides, both sports and movies have great many followers. That is why, the madness reaches an all new height when the two are mixed together. How does that happen, you ask? Well, there are many movies that are based on sports and athletes, and these are some of the greatest hits. Let us look at the top 10 best sports movies of all time.
Top 10 Best Sports Movies of All Time
1. Raging Bull
1980 American film Raging Bull is a biographical sports drama based on Jake LaMotta’s memoir Raging Bull: My Story, written by Jake himself, with the help of Joseph Carter and Peter Savage. The story was adopted in the film by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin. This 129-minute film was directed by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese and produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler. The movie casted Robert De Niro as the Italian American middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta and also casted Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Nicholas Colasanto, Frank Vincent and Theresa Saldana. The film is a story about the journey through the life of an emotionally self-destructive boxer Jake LaMotta, who dominates the ring for his violence and temper, but destroys his own life outside the ring.
1976 American film Rocky is a sports drama which was based on the story written by Sylvester Stallone. This 119-minute film was directed by Academy Award winner John G. Avildsen and produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler. This rags-to-riches Dream story of Rocky Balboa casted Sylvester Stallone in the lead role and also casted Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith. The film is a about the journey of a small-time boxer Rocky Balboa who gets a rare chance to fight the reigning heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed where Rocky pushes himself to the edge in a bout to earn his self-respect. As an interesting fact, the film was shot in just 28 days with a budget a little over $1 million, but earned $225 million globally as a super hit.
3. Million Dollar Baby
2004 American film Million Dollar Baby is a sports drama based on a short story by F.X. Toole. It was originally titled the Rope Burns and adapted as the film by Paul Haggis. The film won four Academy Awards including Best Picture of 2004 at 77th Academy Awards. This 132-minute film was directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Clint himself with the help of Albert S. Ruddy, Tom Rosenberg and Paul Haggis. The film stars Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank in the title role. The story of this film is about the journey of a determined underdog, an amateur female boxer who wants to become professional with the help of a boxing trainer who is not appreciated because of the mistakes from his past. With its $30 million budget, it earned $216 million global box office.
2009 American film Invictus is a biographical sports drama based on the book named Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation written by John Carlin, about the scenario of South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The title of the film is a Latin word which stands for “unconquered” or “undefeated”. This 133-minute film was directed by Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood and produced by Clint himself with the help of Lori McCreary, Robert Lorenz and Mace Neufeld. The film casted Morgan Freeman as the legendary South African President Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as South African rugby union team’s captain François Pienaar. The film is a story about a unique venture by Mandela to unite his nation by enlisting the national rugby team on a journey to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
5. The Hustler
1961 American film The Hustler is a biographical sports drama based on the novel with the same name about the journey of a small-time pool hustler called ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson written by Walter Tevis in 1959. This 134-minute film was directed and produced by Robert Rossen, and the screenplay was adapted from the novel by Sidney Carroll and Robert Rossen himself. The film casted Paul Newman as Eddie Felson and Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats, and also starred Piper Laurie and George C. Scott. The story of this film is about the desire of Fast Eddie to break into the real world of professional hustling through a high stake game against the legendary long-time champion Minnesota Fats. The character of Minnesota Fats is claimed to be inspired by real-life pool player Rudolf “Chicago Fats” Wanderone.
2006 animated adventure-comedy sports film Cars is about a world wholly populated by anthropomorphic cars and was developed by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. This 116-minute animated movie was written and directed by Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter and produced by Darla K. Anderson. Owen Wilson gave the voice of the Lightning McQueen who is the lead character of the film, and many other stars such as Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman and Cheech Marin also voiced over various characters in this movie. The story of this film is about the realization of hot-shot racing car Lightning McQueen who finds the true meaning of family and friendship in a place called Radiator Springs. With a $120 million budget, the movie globally earned $461 million as a true box office blockbuster.
7. The Basketball Diaries
1995 American film The Basketball Diaries is a biographical sports drama based on the novel bearing the same name, which is a 1978 memoir of author and musician Jim Carroll who collected his memory from the age between twelve and sixteen years when he was in his high school basketball career and had an addiction to heroin. The screenplay was adapted from the novel to the film by Bryan Goluboff. This 103-minute film was directed by Scott Kalvert and produced by Liz Heller and John Bard Manulis. The movie casted Leonardo DiCaprio as Jim Carroll and many other Hollywood celebrities like Mark Wahlberg, Lorraine Bracco and James Madio also starred the film. The story of this film is about the journey of Jim in his high schools days from a basketball prospect into the world of drug addiction.
8. The Greatest Game Ever Played
2005 American film The Greatest Game Ever Played is a real biographical sports film based on the legacy of legendary golf champion Francis Ouimet. Mark Frost was the man behind both the screenplay adaptation of this film and the real novel from which the movie was inspired, called “The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf.” This 120-minute film was directed by Bill Paxton and produced by Mark Frost himself, with the help of David Blocker and Larry Brezner. The film starred Shia LaBeouf as the lead role of young Francis Ouimet and many stars such as Stephen Dillane, Peter Firth and Elias Koteas was also casted on the film. The story of this film is about a game at 1913 US Open between Francis Ouimet and his idol 1900 US Open champion Harry Vardon.
9. Space Jam
1996 American live-action film Space Jam is an animated sports Comedy drama about an alternate story of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan’s return to the game after his first retirement after being inspired by Bugs Bunny and friends. This 87-minute live-action animated movie was directed by Joe Pytka, produced by Ivan Reitman, Joe Medjuck and Daniel Goldberg, and released by Warner Bros. Michael Jordan is casted as himself in the movie and Billy West voice over the Bugs Bunny. Many stars like Wayne Knight and Theresa Randle also starred the film while Dee Bradley Baker, Bob Bergen, Bill Farmer and June Foray voice over the various animated characters. The story of this film is about a basketball match between Jordan-Bugs Bunny team and alien slavers to determine the freedom of them.
10. The Karate Kid
1984 American drama The Karate Kid is a sports underdog story about martial arts and was molded in the Avildsen’s previous success Rocky in 1976. This 126-minute film was made by legendary director John G. Avildsen, produced by Jerry Weintraub, and the story was written by Robert Mark Kamen. Ralph Macchio was casted as the lead role of the film called Daniel and actors like Noriyuki “Pat” Morita and Elisabeth Shue also played vital roles in the film. The story of this film is about the journey of a bullied boy to his realization of bigger aspects and morals of martial art, besides fighting with the help of his martial art Sensei. With its small budget of $8 million, the movie became a huge box office success and earned an estimated $90 million worldwide.
There are many other sports movies that have taken the world of entertainment by storm. These movies have been able to bring together the fans of movies and sports. It is likely that in the future, too, we shall see many more movies based on sports and the lives of sports people.
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