Films about athletes are a rather specific genre of the cinema. It is not easy to convey the athlete’s emotions, to justify his values to the audience which has no deal with sports. Great art is the possibility to show the sports world and the struggle of the main characters in it. In sport psychology such sports movies are a good tool to refined motivation and strength, watching how the successful athletes cope with difficulties on their ways.
Sports movies’ features
Sports movies usually take the genre of drama. Or at least we can say that such films are rarely made in the comedy genre. After all, professional sports is not an easy job, no matter how it seems from the sports stands. Hours of training, applied effort exceeding the limit of possibilities, overcoming yourself, iron discipline, pressure from aside and constant competition are complemented by the risk of injuries, which are often life-threatening. In most cases, the constant companion of athletes is pain. The idea, of how much effort and sacrifice sport success takes, should make us appreciate the athletes’ work.
It is worth noting that not all sports are equally popular among filmmakers. They prefer martial arts, especially boxing. This is one of the most brutal disciplines, where opponents directly confront each other. This allows to create a great dramatic effect. Team sports, in its turn, are less likely to hit the screens. Filmmakers definitely prefer one hero, the individualist, who gets to the top or falls from it.
Sport is a theme full of ups and downs. The athletes work for years, and the fall can come quickly and unexpectedly. All it takes is a little breakdown, trauma, applause, or family problems. What sports movies best illustrate the range of challenges athletes face with? Which of them demonstrate the beauty and cruelty of sport? Below is a rating of the best sports films.
The 12 best sports films
Blind side, 2009
This sports movie shows how important the environment is to achieve results. The main character is a homeless teenager, lonely and with serious problems in his studies. He was sheltered by a happy family that begins to help him develop his football talent. This inspiring story is based on the story of the football player Michael Oher. The story tells that in addition to talent, circumstances are important.
The pride of the Yankees, 1942
This sports movie received 10 Oscar nominations, but has only one Oscar statuette.
This is the story of Lou Gehrig life. He is the legend of American baseball. He had a unique talent, which he was realizing for 17 years in the New York Yankees team and several times set the league scores. His successful career ended with multiple sclerosis. The sports film shows us most of Gehrig’s life from a poor childhood to the end of his career. “Pride of the Yankees” is a true sport classic.
Another sports movie with a large number of Oscar nominations and mediocre results. “Seabiscuit” has not received any statuettes.
The film is set in 1938. The name Seabiscuit is the name of the hound horse. Interestingly, its role was played by 10 horses. In the sports movie, the horse deals with three people who are not very successful in life. One of them is its owner, who, despite the fact that the horse is not suitable for racing, still going to send it to participate in the races. To do this, he hires a half-blind jockey – a former boxer, and a coach who has been written off long time ago. Now they want to prove something to themselves and the world. They want to show that they should not be underestimated.
Cool Runnings, 1993
This sports movie tells a story so unusual that it is hard to believe. Four guys from Jamaica dream to perform at the Olympics. To the surprise of many others, their choice fell on bobsleigh. None of them had ever seen snow or bobsled. However, they decided to make the dream come true. Jamaicans will start at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. This sports film shows the true spirit of sport and proves that anything is possible.
A League of Their Own, 1992
In 1943, many American athletes fought at the front. However, a women’s baseball League was created to host sporting events for American viewers. To perform in it, sports skills were not enough, needed beauty. How will the ladies cope with prejudices and show them that they really know how to play? Will the coach – a former baseball player-be able to overcome his pessimism and lead the team to victory?
Borg vs. McEnroe, 2017
Swedish biographical film about the upcoming match. For tennis fans it is one of the most important in the history of this sport. The final match at Wimbledon in 1980. On the one hand Bjorn Borg will protect the grid, and on the other hand John McEnroe. The sports movie shows not only what happened during this memorable fight on the court, but also shows what Borg fought with. The tennis player was not in the best mental state, and was physically exhausted exhausting workouts. Can he cope with the pressure?
Physical data and regular training — that’s not all necessary. Mental state, self-confidence and inner peace are also important. However, this is often impossible to achieve without adequate support from the outside. Boxer Micky Ward suffered from series of setbacks in the ring, the problems with the ex-wife, with his mother-despot, with his sisters and, finally, with his brother. Mickey can’t find a way out until he meets Charlene. This is the first person who really believes in him.
Million Dollar Baby, 2004
A touching story of 30-year-old boxer Maggie directed by Clint Eastwood. The girl has a talent, but she lacks self-confidence. She wants to train with a famous Boxing coach, who is going through hard times. He is not going to train the girl, especially at that age. However, the girl does not give up and convinces the coach. They become attached to each other. Maggie becomes the killer of the ring. She wins battle after battle, before an accident that will affect not only her career, but also her life.
This sports movie is an absolute classic, which simply can not be excluded from the top. The main character is again a boxer, who was played by than Sylvester Stallone. Rocky is an amateur boxer who gets a chance to compete for the title of the world champion. For him it is not only a struggle for the championship, but also an attempt to prove to himself his importance.
Chariots of Fire, 1981
Another classic sports movie based on the true story. “Fire chariots” won four Oscars, including the best film of the year. This plot is based on the story of the two British athletes, Eric Liddell – a devout Catholic from Scotland and Harold M. Abraham – an ambitious Englishman of Jewish origin, who studies in Cambridge. They both run at the Paris Olympics in 1924. The first athlete runs “for Jesus”, the second – for glory. As you can guess, this race is not only about sports.
The sports movie is interesting because it show sports from the other side. Not from the side of the players or the coach, but from the point of view of the baseball club. The club he had didn’t have enough money to buy really good players. That’s why he decided to use computer analysis in his work to get the strategy to get the best results from the players he had. It turns out that even such a seemingly unfilm plot can become the basis of a good movie.
Raging Bull, 1980
The classic sports movie with Robert de Niro. The main character – Jake La Motta – a boxer who quickly climbs the steps of a sports career. He was ruthless in the ring, he literally killed enemies. He did not differentiate aggression, that was almost beyond madness, between the ring and beyond it. In a moment his hot hand caught brother.