For a sports fan, this has been a time that with all things happening, a nice baseball game would be good to take your mind off things, but there are very good reasons behind the decisions to cancel games. Today I was watching on Cale the movie about Babe Ruth starring John Goodman, I could see it completely but it got me thinking in movies related to sports. In my case, I have found that I end up loving more films about sports I don’t follow than maybe a basketball film that I do follow that sport. These films are sometimes as exciting as a game, as moving as a drama picture and funny too.
In no order, these are my favorite sports films.
This is one of my favorite films, directed by Billy Crystal, it tells the story of Roger Maris and Mikey Mantle as they were going for Babe Ruth’s Home Run in a season record. It is based on a true story and for me who did not know much of the story I was fascinated by these two athletes that became friends and were so different. Mantle was a heavy drinker and loved to party, Roger was a family fan who had a nice house for road games. The films show how Maris took Mantle to live with him on road games and the two became friends even though they were both competing for the record. Also, the film shows how Roger was badly treated by the press while Mantle was loved. Barry Pepper was brilliant as Roger Maris and Tomas Jane was also great as Mickey Mantle. It is a sweet tribute to a special time in sports and to the team, Billy Crystal loved as a kid.
- Cinderella Man
This true story about an out of luck boxer that when down and out made a comeback in boxing. James J. Braddock was a light heavyweight contender that has to quit boxing due to a broken hand. As the Great Depression starts he struggles to provide for his family. When his manager offers him a chance to fill in the spot for a boxing match and he wins, Braddock begins an inspirational comeback. I loved this story because of the family aspect, this was a man who was fighting for his family. Russel Crowe and Renée Zellweger were both really good in this film as well as Paul Giamatti.
- Major League
This is a comedy film about a Major League team full of crazy characters who are assembled to lose. When the coach challenges them to play better the team suddenly starts winning. Starring Tom Berrenger, Wesley Snipes and Charlie Sheen as Wild thing. Funny movie.
- Draft Day
This is a movie that I can’t explain why but I really liked it. The film is about Sonny Weaver the general manager of the Cleveland Browns as he tries to make the best decision as they get the number one pick in the draft. I think I liked the moment the film enters the draft and the suspense of the deals and moves Sonny is making and how he goes against the coach and the owner to do it. Kevin Costner stars in the film.
- Jerry Maguire
Although the story is centered more on Jerry who is a sports agent, I will include it because sports are at the center of the story. Jerry realizes how agents have lost sensitivity and humanity in dealing with their clients and this causes Jerry to lose his job. With the one client that he was able to keep, Jerry learns how to open up and finds a true friend and falls in love with Dorothy his assistant. The movie is funny, moving and thrilling. Tom Cruise should have won the Oscar for this role and Cuba Gooding Jr. did win for best-supporting actor.
- A league of their own
Tom Hanks gives one of the most famous movie quotes of all time, “There is no crying in baseball”. The movie tells the story of the first woman baseball league in a time where the men were sent to war. The movie was marketed as a comedy, but it is really a drama and moving story of these women and what they endured to be respected as players. The movie centers around two sisters and even though I found Lori Petty’s character irritating with all the crying because her sister was better, I still loved the movie and the end when they all get together again was really moving to me, but I have always been too sentimental. Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, and Madonna.
The story of how Oakland A’s build a talented team with a limited budget and using a new technique in scouting. Brad Pitt played the general manager and Jonah Hill played his assistant.
- White men can’t jump
This is a classic sports comedy. The story of two hustlers who come together to win big money in a basketball tournament. Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson are great in this film.
- Battle of the sexes
The story of the man vs woman tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Bobby Riggs was a former tennis player who liked to gamble and for the fun of it starts challenging women in tennis, after defeating Margaret Court, Billy Jean accepts the challenge with more than just the match at stake as she was fighting for equal billing and payment for women in the sport. The film tells both of their stories leading up to the match. Brilliant performances by Emma Stone and Steve Carrell.
In this list, this film must be including. Sylvester Stallone in one of his best and loved characters. It is a movie that inspires people because of where Rocky comes to form and the success he reachers. It is a good story the boxing matches are thrilling.
There are many films I can mention, but those are my favorites. Remember the Titans, Ali and even Space Jam were good sports films.