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Top five sports movies, continued

By John Sosnowski
February 16, 2017

Last week, my colleague offered a list of his top 5 sports films. A quality list though it was, it left out several of my favorites, especially left-field selections outside of men’s stick-and-ball sports. So, I present 5 more sports films worth a watch.

Little Giants

That’s no cheerleader, that’s my niece Becky. She’s pissed.”

A Midwestern man has always lived in his football star brother’s shadow, but his chance for redemption comes when his daughter convinces him to organize the “Little Giants” pee-wee football team, challenging his brother’s Cowboys. This movie is a laugh-out-loud underdog story for all ages.

Days of Thunder

“No, no, he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he rubbed you. And rubbin, son, is racin’.”

Hot shot minor league racer Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) gets his chance on the NASCAR circuit, and after a rocky start gets into winning form, but not without making a few rivals along the way. A severe accident lands him in the hospital and in the sights of a beautiful neurosurgeon (Nicole Kidman.) Think “Top Gun” with cars instead of planes.

A League of Their Own

“Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!”

When World War II puts men’s Major League Baseball on hold, team owners organize the first professional women’s league, giving a washed up manager (Tom Hanks) a second chance and showing the strength of girl power on the diamond. As a bonus, the above quote is one of the most iconic in all of cinema.

Le Mans

“Lotta people go through life doing things badly. Racing’s important to men who do it well. When you’re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.”

Here’s another auto racing movie, albeit of a very different flavor from “Days of Thunder.” Steve McQueen stars as a driver haunted by his rival’s death in an accident at the previous year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Can he keep it together and help his Porsche team beat their Ferrari rivals to the winner’s circle? The innovative racing cinematography at work here renders dialogue nearly irrelevant in telling the story.

Rollerball

“Ladies and gentlemen, will you stand please for the playing of our Corporate Hymn.”

A fictional film about a fictional sport, and we’re not talking about the Y2K era remake. This 1975 cult classic depicts a dystopian future in which the world has been divided into city-states ruled by corporations. All team sports – and war – have been replaced by rollerball, a hyperviolent sport combining elements of roller derby, motocross and ball sports. Jonathan E. is the Michael Jordan of his sport, and when the Energy Corporation decides without explanation that it’s time for him to retire, he won’t go down without a fight.

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