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Sports often do a great job of bringing out emotions and drama. But, once in a while even drama brings out the best in sports. Here’s a look at the top 10 sports films of all time.
Raging Bull – This 1980 epic was nominated for 8 Academy Awards and won 2 of these, including the best actor Oscar for Robert DeNiro. This Martin Scorsese flick deserves the number one ranking in most categories. DeNiro’s realistic depiction of a deflated boxer makes this a must watch for any sports enthusiast.
Hoosiers – Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper star in this 1986 classic. A small town basketball team fights for a national championship under a coach with a shady past. This is not just another underdog story and is worth watching for Hackman’s performance alone.
Miracle – This film is based on the true story of the 1980 US men’s ice hockey team that beat the favoured Soviets for gold at the Winter Games. Kurt Russell plays the lead role of coach Herb Brooks, a man who inspired his less talented, but large-hearted squad to achieve the impossible. In cricketing terms it’s the equivalent of India defeating the West Indies in the 1983 World Cup.
Rocky – OK, so this is the most obvious inclusion in this list. The movie single-handedly established Sylvester Stallone’s career. It also gave us the iconic image of Stallone running up the steps of the Philadelphia Public Library and raising his arms. Oh, and it also won 3 Oscars and was nominated for 7 more.
Seabiscuit – This Toby McGuire starrer was nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 2004. It’s based on the story of Seabiscuit, a literal dark horse, who won the hearts of a nation plagued by the Great Depression.
Remember the Titans – This story is set in the backdrop of post integration America, where a black coach leads a mixed American football team. The highlight of this movie is Denzel Washington’s portrayal of a coach who has to battle all odds to ensure a place for him and his team in a largely close-minded society.
Jerry McGuire – “You had me at ‘hello’!” Need we say more? Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger star in this story about a sports agent, whose virtues outweigh his drive to succeed. Cuba Gooding Jr even won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance Rod Tidwell, the pampered over-the-hill athlete.
Chariots of Fire – This film is about two British track athletes who come from contrasting backgrounds. It won a total of four Oscars, including Best Picture in 1982. Also, for our cricket crazy readers, there’s a cameo by former England cricketer Derek Pringle.
A League of Their Own – Tom Hanks and Geena Davis star in this 1992 comedy about a women’s baseball league set in the backdrop of World War II. In the male dominated world of sports slicks, this one, is about the ladies. But, be warned, like most good sports movies the plot of this film involves an underdog!
Breaking Away – This Dennis Quaid and Dennis Christopher starrer won the 1979 Oscar for Best Screenplay. It’s the story of a small-town American teenager obsessed with bicycling, and how he manages to win an important race. I know what you’re thinking – Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar! Still, it’s worth a watch, since this is the original (as far as we know!).
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