There has never been a better time to catch up on your sports movie knowledge than during a global pandemic, and our Sport Fuels Life team has created the ultimate watch list of team-inspired movies that will help get you through the boredom of being stuck at home and unable to compete.
Miracle on Ice
The story of how the United States men’s national ice hockey team won the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, against all odds, beating the four-time defending gold medalist team from the Soviet Union, sparking renewed optimism in Americans during the Cold War. We love this true story about teamwork and perseverance that ignited hope and brought unity during a time where our nation needed it most.
The fourth movie in Sylvetster Stallone’s Rocky franchise is arguably the most beloved. It was the highest grossing sports movie from 1985-2009, and continues the story of World Champion boxer, Rocky Balboa as he defends his title against the Soviet Union’s Ivan Drago, avenges the death of his best friend, Apollo Creed, and fights for the honor of his country. We love this movie because it speaks to the spirit of resilience and determination that exists in the hearts of athletes everywhere.
Remember The Titans
In 1971 Virginia, racial tensions ran deep in the community of Alexandria when the high school football team hired African-American coach Herman Boone. This film is often listed as one of the greatest football films ever produced. We love it because it chronicles the true story of a coach who gave it all for his team, and is a perfect example of how sports can transform communities, making a positive impact on the lives of young athletes.
Adam Sandler takes on the world of golf in this 90s sports comedy film. Sandler plays the lead role of Happy Gilmore, a struggling ice-hockey player that finds success on the Pro Golf Tour on his quest to win his grandmother’s house back from the IRS. While comedy and golf are a rather unusual combination, this movie is full of positivity, quotable jokes and has an overall feel-good vibe.
In 1996 the biggest basketball star in the world was Michael Jordan, and when he teamed up with Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny and friends to save the world, hilarity and heroism ensued. We’re even more excited about the upcoming release of Space Jam 2, starring Lebron James which is scheduled to release in the summer of 2021.
The Sandlot is your cure for 1960s backyard baseball nostalgia, and tells the tale of a 5th grade boy named Scott Smalls as he moves to a new neighborhood and befriends a group of boys who live for the game. This coming-of-age sports comedy is full of great characters and reminds us of the magic of discovering the game for the first time.
The Longest Yard
You know a movie is worth seeing when it’s been remade three times. The first version from 1974 stars Burt Reynolds as a washed-up former NFL quarterback who finds himself in a prison bargaining for his freedom and tasked with assembling a team of inmates to compete against the prison guards. The other popular remake of this film is from 2005 and stars Adam Sandler opposite Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds, who returns to the story as Coach Nate Scarborough in this version. Fun fact: an additional two remake versions of this film were released in the UK and Egypt.
Walt Disney Studios tells the true story of the state championship winning 1987 cross country team from a predominantly Latino high school in McFarland, California. We love this film because of it’s positive message and team building focus.
Bring It On
The first in a five-series movie franchise highlights the fun, but challenging world of competitive cheer, this film, starring Kristen Dunst, Gabrielle Union and Eliza Dushku has become a cult classic.
A League of Their Own
Penny Marshall directed this 1992 film starring Tom Hanks, Rosie O’Donnell, Geena Davis and Madonna. The fictional story is based on true events during World War IIwhen the MLB was facing a shutdown. The film ties history and sports together with such compelling accuracy that the Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance in 2012.
Field of Dreams
Kevin Costner’s classic role as Ray Kinsella, an Iowa corn farmer who has a magical experience with the 1919 Chicago White Sox when he builds a baseball diamond on his property. In 2017 Field of Dreams was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for its cultural, historical and aesthetic significance, solidifying it’s classic movie status in perpetuity.
The Blind Side
This 2009 sports drama biopic is based on the true story of how Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman, Michael Oher, journeyed from poverty-stricken upbringing to becoming the first-round NFL draft pick, and stars Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw and Kathy Bates. This film was Oscar nominated for Best Picture in 2010, and Sandra Bullock won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for her performance. We love this film because it proves that where you come from doesn’t matter nearly as much as your heart, your passion and your kindness.
These films are sure to remind you that you can do hard things, and inspire you to keep going!
We’re also celebrating these great movies with our latest Spotify playlist, Sports In Film. After you’ve watched, keep the motivation alive by listening during your next workout.
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