A for Athlete
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Sports Films are movies with a sports setting (football or baseball stadium, arena, or the Olympics, etc.), competitive event (the 'big game,' 'fight,' or 'competition'), and/or athlete (boxer, racer, surfer, etc.) that are central and predominant in the story. Dramatic or biographies have created memorable portraits of all-American sports heroes, individual athletes, or teams who are faced with tough odds in a championship match, race or large-scale sporting event, soul-searching or physical/psychological injuries, or romantic sub-plot distractions. Fictional sports films normally present a single sport (the most common being baseball, football, basketball, and boxing), and include the training and rise (and/or fall) of the underdog or champion in the world of sports.

Sports films may be fictional or non-fictional; and they are often one of the following:

  • biopics - i.e., Raging Bull (1980)
  • dramas - i.e., The Hustler (1961)
  • comedies - i.e., The Freshman (1925), Caddyshack (1980)
  • documentaries - i.e., Olympia (1938), The Endless Summer (1966), Pumping Iron (1977), Baseball (1994), Hoop Dreams (1994), When We Were Kings (1996), Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001), Murderball (2005), Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story (2005), Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2005)
  • fantasies - i.e.,The Natural (1984), and Field of Dreams (1989)
  • film noir- i.e., Body and Soul (1947), and The Set-Up (1949)
  • melodramas - i.e., Brian's Song (1971)


Activities and their movies[]

  • bob-sledding (i.e., Cool Runnings (1993))
  • bowling (i.e., Kingpin (1996))
  • cheerleading (i.e., Bring It On (2000))
  • chess (i.e., Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993))
  • curling (i.e., Men With Brooms (2002))
  • dog shows (i.e., Christopher Guest's mockumentary Best in Show (2000))
  • figure skating (i.e., The Cutting Edge (1992))
  • gladiatorial combat (i.e., Gladiator (2000))
  • motocross (i.e., Spetters (1980))
  • poker (i.e., The Cincinnati Kid (1965))
  • pool (i.e., The Hustler (1961))
  • roller derby (i.e., The Fireball (1950), Kansas City Bomber (1972))
  • rowing (i.e., Oxford Blues (1984))
  • rugby (i.e., This Sporting Life (1963))
  • running (i.e., The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962))
  • skateboarding (i.e., Grind (2003))
  • skiing (i.e., Downhill Racer (1969))
  • spelling (i.e., Spellbound (2002))
  • sports marketing and chick-flick (i.e., Jerry Maguire (1996))
  • table-tennis (i.e., The Tao of Pong (2004))

Real-life characters[]

  • boxer James J. Corbett (Errol Flynn) in Gentleman Jim (1942)
  • New York Yankees baseball player Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) in The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
  • baseball player Jackie Robinson as Himself in The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) - he was still an active ballplayer at the time (his career didn't end until 1955)
  • middleweight champion Rocky Graziano (Paul Newman) in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
  • boxer Jack Johnson (James Earl Jones) in The Great White Hope (1970)
  • boxer Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro) in Raging Bull (1980)
  • slugger Babe Ruth (John Goodman) in The Babe (1992)
  • boxer Muhammad Ali (Will Smith) in Ali (2001)
  • Depression-Era heavyweight boxer James J. Braddock (Russell Crowe) in The Cinderella Man (2005)


Sports movies have been made since the era of silent films, such as the 1915 film The Champion starring Charlie Chaplin.

Films in this genre can range from serious (Raging Bull) to silly (Horse Feathers).

A classic theme for sports films is the triumph of an individual or team who prevail despite the difficulties.


  • The Freshman (1925)
  • Horse Feathers (1932)
  • Knute Rockne, All American (1940)
  • That's My Boy (1951)
  • Paper Lion (1968)
  • Brian's Song (made for TV; 1971)
  • The Longest Yard (1974)
  • Gus (1976)
  • Semi-Tough (1977)
  • Heaven Can Wait (1978)
  • North Dallas Forty (1979)
  • All the Right Moves (1983)
  • Quarterback Princess (1983)
  • The Bear (1984)
  • Lucas (1986)
  • The Best of Times (1986)
  • Wildcats (1986)
  • Johnny Be Good (1988)
  • Everybody's All-American (1988)
  • Necessary Roughness (1991)
  • The Last Boy Scout (1991)
  • School Ties (1992)
  • The Program (1993)
  • Rudy (1993)
  • Little Giants (1994)
  • Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story (made for television; 1994)
  • Jerry Maguire (1996)
  • Angels in the Endzone (1997)
  • The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon (made for TV; 1998)
  • The Waterboy (1998)
  • Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998)
  • Varsity Blues (1999)
  • Any Given Sunday (1999)
  • Fumbleheads (1999)
  • Remember the Titans (2000)
  • The Replacements (2000)
  • Full Ride (2001)
  • The Slaughter Rule (2002)
  • The Junction Boys (2002)
  • Hometown Legend (2002)
  • The Second String (2002)
  • Radio (2003)
  • Friday Night Lights (2004)
  • The Longest Yard (Remake) (2005)
  • Two For the Money (2005)
  • Glory Road (2006)
  • Invincible (2006)
  • We Are Marshall (2006)
  • Facing the Giants (2006)
  • Gridiron Gang (2006)
  • The Comebacks (2007)
  • The Game Plan (film) (2007)
  • Leatherheads (2007)
  • The Express (2008)
  • The Longshots (2008)
  • The Blind Side (film) (2009)

Athletics (track and field)[]

Title Year Genre Notes
College 1927 Comedy
The Bob Mathias Story 1954 Drama
It Happened in Athens 1962 Comedy Marathon
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 1962
Billie 1965 Comedy
The World's Greatest Athlete 1973 Comedy Track
The Loneliest Runner 1976 Drama Marathon
See How She Runs 1978 Drama Marathon (Made for TV)
Crossbar 1979 Drama High Jump (Made for TV)
The Jericho Mile 1979 made for TV
Running 1979 Marathon
Chariots of Fire 1981 Drama Track (Won Best Picture Academy Award)
Graduation Day 1981 Horror Track
Personal Best 1982 Drama
Running Brave 1983 Drama Track
Cracked Up 1987 Drama Track
Run for Your Life 1988 Drama/Thriller Marathon
Across the Tracks 1991 Drama Track
Higher Learning 1995 Drama Track
Prefontaine 1997 Drama Track
Without Limits 1998 Drama Track
The Long Run 2000 Drama Marathon
Pumpkin 2002 Comedy
Hitler's Pawn: The Margaret Lambert Story 2004 Documentary High Jump
Four Minutes 2005 made for TV
The Ringer 2005 Comedy
Saint Ralph 2005
Run Fatboy Run 2007 Romantic comedy Marathon
The One Man Olympics 2008
The Runner 2009 Ultra Trail
The Robber 2010 Drama Marathon

Australian Rules football[]

Title Year Genre Notes
The Great Macarthy 1975 Comedy
The Club 1980 Comedy/Drama
Australian Rules 2002 Drama

Auto racing[]

N.b. excluding those featuring illegally run street races unless legitimate races are integral to the storyline. Template:Seealso

Title Year Genre Type Notes
The Crowd Roars 1935
The Big Wheel 1935
Genevieve 1953 Vintage cars
Checkpoint 1956 Road racing
The Green Helmet 1961 Road racing
The Iron Maiden 1962 Traction engines
24 heures d'amant 1964 Sportscar racing
The Great Race 1965
Grand Prix 1966 Open wheel racing
Red Line 7000 1966 Stock car racing
Fireball 500 1966
Spinout 1966
Hell On Wheels 1967
A Man and a Woman 1967
The Love Bug 1968
Speedway 1968
Winning 1969
Le Mans 1971 Sportscar racing
Weekend of a Champion 1971
The Last American Hero 1973
Herbie Rides Again 1974
Flåklypa Grand Prix 1975
Death Race 2000 1975
Bobby Deerfield 1977
Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo 1977
The Quick and the Dead 1977
Heart Like a Wheel 1983 Drag racing
Stroker Ace 1983 Stock car racing
La Carrera Panamericana 1990 Historic sportscar racing
Checkered Flag 1990 Open wheel racing Unsold TV pilot
Dorf Goes Auto Racing 1990 Stock car racing
Days of Thunder 1990 Stock car racing
Thunderbolt 1995 Saloon car racing
Race the Sun 1996 Solar car racing
The Love Bug 1997
Super Speedway 1997 Open wheel racing
Driven 2000 Open wheel racing
éX-Driver The Movie 2002
Michel Vaillant 2003
Right on Track 2003 Drag racing
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience 2004 Stock car racing
3: The Dale Earnhardt Story 2004 Stock car racing made for TV
Dust to Glory 2005 Off-road racing
Herbie: Fully Loaded 2005
Cars 2006 Stock car racing
Chasing the Horizon 2006 Off-road racing
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby 2006 Comedy Stock car racing
Dale 2007 Stock car racing
Ta Ra Rum Pum 2007 Stock car racing
Speed Racer 2008
Death Race 2008
Death Racers 2008
Truth in 24 2008 Documentary Sportscar racing
Love The Beast 2009 Documentary Tarmac rally


Best 25 baseball movies, article from September 2012, http://sports.gunaxin.com/25-greatest-baseball-movies/130980

Best Baseball Movie List from Strait Eight[]


The drama depicting the tense home run race of 1961 between Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, as both players made a run at Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record leads off the strait eight. The movie is based on how differently Mantle and Maris were treated by the New York media as they chased the Babe. Maris was made out to be the villain, as his star power was far inferior to that of Mantle, who was cheered on by the fans more so than Maris. The movie, which was produced by Billy Crystal, stars Barry Pepper as Roger Maris and Thomas Jane as the “Mick.” What makes this film good enough to reach this pinnacle of being named in the strait eight is the way the movie follows the relationship between Maris and Mantle on and off the field, including the pressures faced by Maris in regards to playing in Mantle’s shadow and the hostility from the Bronx crowd. Originally aired on HBO, if you have somehow missed this classic, the pinkie strongly recommends checking it out. Pinkie grade: B.

A League of Their Own[]

Tom Hanks is the man. Bottom line, without a shadow of a doubt, he is the man. Not only did this man travel to every ballpark in Major League Baseball in one summer (Greatest summer ever in this writer’s opinion), he is a great actor and absolutely carried this movie into the top 8 by himself. Before he dominated Forest Gump, Tom Hanks was Jimmy Dugan, the brash alcoholic manager of the Rockford Peaches. Dugan offers the classic quote that many young ballplayers have come to know, “There’s no crying in baseball.” This quote itself became part of the game and may be the most recognizable quote in the history of Baseball movies. Pinkie grade: B+

The Bad News Bears (the original)[]

Almost everyone played Little League Baseball growing up. The politics behind which parent’s kid gets to play and how much they play is pretty much unbearable to all involved including those affected the most, the kids. The kids this writer played Little League with were far from how the likes of Tanner Boyle, Amanda Whurlitzer and Kelly Leak. I also never had a coach anything like Morris Buttermaker. While the new adaptation isn’t terrible, the pinkie wouldn’t call it good either. What really separates the two films are the jobs done by Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal who play Morris Buttermaker and Amanda Whurlitzer respectively. Matthau’s Buttermaker, recognizing the complete lack of talent on the team decides to bring on the girl pitcher Whurlitzer and biker punk Leak. The fact that the outcasts help turn the team around is a good message for Little League Baseball and represents what it stands for, that anyone and everyone can play. Pinkie grade: B++

The Natural[]

The most iconic scene in a baseball movie is when Roy Hobbs rounds the bases after blasting a home run that hits the clock , thus making sparks sprinkle the field while he trots home. The Natural chronicles the path Hobbs took to reach this moment, from creating a bat out of wood of a tree that was hit by lightning as a child to his meteoric rise as a pitcher that was cut short when he was shot by a young women he had been having relations with. Hobbs re-appears from nowhere to turn around a struggling baseball team and lead them to the top of the league. Robert Redford is great in the film as Hobbs and a young Glen Close is a great female counterpart. Everyone finds themselves rooting for Hobbs in his comeback and it all culminates with that classic scene of Hobbs shattering his “Wonderboy” bat on the home run, marking the end of his long journey. Pinkie grade: A-

Field of Dreams[]

Two quotes explain why this movie is great. “If you build it, they will come.” This, while non baseball related may be one of the most memorable quotes in cinema history let alone sports movie history. Then there is the quote that is slightly less known but at the same time just as powerful if not more so. It is spoken by actor James Earl Jones character Terrence Mann and this is why this movie is ranked number four. The quote is: “Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”

This is the only reason you need as to why this ranks 4th in the strait eight. Pinkie grade: A

The Sandlot[]

This movie personally is my favorite film on this entire list. That is very likely because I grew up when this movie came out and it was my childhood favorite for baseball movies. While, I do enjoy every movie on this list, this one sticks out. It is ranked third basically because I had to be unbiased with it and could not rank it ahead of the final two films although part of me wanted to. Growing up, I probably asked for a pair of PF-Flyers a hundred times after a viewing of this film. I wanted nothing more than to lace them up and try to play pickle with the family Black Lab although she was far less aggressive than “the beast.” Characters such as Hamilton “Ham” Porter and Michael “Squints” Palledores are classics as well as Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClellan and Timmy and Tommy Timmons. While this movie’s obsession with Babe Ruth is funny at times, this movie is truly as powerful as “The Great Bambino” himself. If you don’t like this movie then “You play ball like a girl.” I’m just saying. Pinkie grade: A

Major League[]

This movie is “Winning,” duh. A pre-lost minded Charlie Sheen along with a pre-tax evading Wesley Snipes round out a talented cast and help create the 2nd best baseball movie of all-time. This movie focuses more on the personalities that fill Major League Clubhouses more so than the tradition or life-style of a ballplayer that the other movies on this list represent, not to mention at the time, fairytale story of the Cleveland Indians being good. Characters such as Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Roger Dorn, Pedro Cerrano and Willie Mays Hays is by far the most quoted movie on actual baseball fields which goes a long towards the pinkie’s voting standards. The pinkie’s favorite line from the movie is, “That’s all we got one goddamn hit? You can’t say goddamn on the air. Don’t worry, nobody is listening anyways.” A Hall of Fame broadcaster helps the cause as Bob Uecker drops classic line after classic line. Pinkie grade: A+

Bull Durham[]

Minor League Baseball]] may be the greatest thing ever created. The players don’t make millions yet and work their butts off to reach the next level. The story in Bull Durham of a veteran minor league catcher named Crash Davis, played by Kevin Costner, who gets assigned to the Class-A Durham Bulls to tutor the top prospect pitcher “Nuke” LaLoosh happens all the time in real life. That is what makes this movie great. The lessons taught by the veteran to the rookie are very realistic and similar to ones that players actually learn. The humor is great too with the classic quote, “I wouldn’t dig in if I were you. Next one might be at your head. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. I swear to god.” Life in the minor leagues defines professional baseball and what is great about it. This movie does a great job representing it and that is why it has the prestigious honor of being the #1 ranked baseball movie in this version of the strait eight. Pinkie grade: A++

Another list of baseball movies: http://www.fantasybaseballdugout.com/2010/11/28/baseball-movies/


  • Fireman, Save My Child (1932)
  • Elmer, the Great (1933)
  • Alibi Ike (1935)
  • It Happens Every Spring (1949)
  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)
  • Angels in the Outfield (1951)
  • Rhubarb (1951)
  • Damn Yankees (1958)
  • Safe At Home! (1962)
  • Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) — remake of a 1956 television production
  • The Bad News Bears (1976)
  • The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
  • The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977)
  • The Bad News Bears Go To Japan (1978)
  • The Kid From Left Field (1979)
  • Squeeze Play (1980)
  • Blue Skies Again (1983)
  • Tiger Town (1983)
  • The Natural (1984)
  • Brewster's Millions (1985)
  • The Slugger's Wife (1985)
  • Touch: Sebangō no Nai Ace (1986)
  • Touch 2: Sayonara no Okurimono (1986)
  • Touch 3: Kimi ga Tōri Sugita Ato ni (1987)
  • Long Gone (made for television, 1987)
  • Trading Hearts (1987)
  • Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987)
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • Stealing Home (1988)
  • Field of Dreams (1989)
  • Major League (1989)
  • Night Game (1989)
  • Mr. Destiny (1990)
  • Pastime (1991)
  • Talent For The Game (1991)
  • The Comrades of Summer (1992)
  • Mr. Baseball (1992)
  • Rookie of the Year (1993)
  • The Man From Left Field tv film (1993)
  • The Sandlot (1993)
  • Angels in the Outfield (1994 remake)
  • Little Big League (1994)
  • Major League II (1994)
  • The Scout (1994)
  • Ed (1996)
  • The Fan (1996)
  • BASEketball (1998)
  • If the Sun Rises in the West (1998)
  • Major League: Back to the Minors (1998)
  • Touch: Miss Lonely Yesterday (1998)
  • For Love of the Game (1999)
  • Perfect Game (2000)
  • Angels in the Infield (2000)
  • Hardball (2001)
  • Summer Catch (2001)
  • Touch: Cross Road (2001)
  • Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002)
  • Bleacher Bums (2002)
  • Battlefield Baseball (2003)
  • Day of Independence (2003)
  • Friday Night LIghts (2004)
  • Mickey (2004)
  • Mr. 3000 (2004)
  • Fever Pitch (2005)
  • Game 6 (2005)
  • Bad News Bears (2005) — remake of 1976 original
  • The Sandlot 2 (2005)
  • Touch (2005)
  • The Benchwarmers (2006)
  • Everyone's Hero (2006)
  • Beer League (2006)
  • The Sandlot 3 (2007) — aka The Sandlot: Heading Home
  • City Without Baseball (2008)
  • Sugar (2008)
  • Hero (2010)


  • The Ball Game (1898)
  • The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
  • The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
  • The Stratton Story (1949)
  • The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)
  • The Winning Team (1952)
  • The Pride of St. Louis (1952)
  • Fear Strikes Out (1957)
  • One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story (1978)
  • A Winner Never Quits (1986)
  • Eight Men Out (1988)
  • A League of Their Own (1992)
  • The Babe (1992)
  • Cobb (1994)
  • Soul of the Game (1996)
  • Joe Torre: Curveballs Along The Way (Made for TV) (1997)
  • The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998)
  • 61* (made for television, 2001)
  • The Rookie (2002)
  • Touching the Game-The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League (2004)
  • Hustle (made for television, 2004)
  • American Pastime (2007)
  • The Final Season (2007)
  • Dummy Hoy: A Deaf Hero (2008) directed by David Risotto
  • Signs of the Time (2008)


  • One on One (1977)
  • Coach (1978)
  • Fast Break (1979)
  • The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979)
  • Teen Wolf (1985)
  • Hoosiers (1986)
  • Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (1991)
  • White Men Can't Jump (1992)
  • Final Shot: The Hank Gathers Story (Made for TV) (1992)
  • Blue Chips (movie) (1994)
  • Hoop Dreams (movie) (documentary) (1994)
  • Above The Rim (movie) (1994)
  • The Air Up There (movie) (1994)
  • The Basketball Diaries (1995)
  • Forget Paris (movie) (1995)
  • Slam Dunk Ernest (movie) (1995)
  • Space Jam (movie) (1996)
  • Eddie (1996)
  • Celtic Pride (movie) (1996)
  • Sunset Park (1996)
  • Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault (movie) (1996)
  • Air Bud (movie) (1997)
  • The Sixth Man (movie) (1997)
  • My Giant (movie) (1998)
  • BASEketball (movie) (1998)
  • He Got Game (movie) (1998)
  • Love and Basketball (movie) (2000)
  • Finding Forrester (movie) (2000)
  • The Luck of the Irish (2001)
  • "O" (2001)
  • Juwanna Mann (movie) (2002)
  • The Red Sneakers (movie) (2002)
  • Like Mike (movie) (2002)
  • A Season on the Brink (movie) (made for TV, 2002)
  • The Year of the Yao (movie) (documentary, 2005)
  • Rebound (2005)
  • Coach Carter (movie) (2005)
  • Crossover (2006)
  • Like Mike 2 (2006)
  • Glory Road (2006)
  • Home of the Giants (movie) (2007)
  • Quantum Hoops (movie) (2007)
  • Dribbles (movie) (2007)
  • Semi-Pro (movie) (2008)
  • More Than a Game (movie) (2009)


  • Cool Runnings (1993)


  • Strikes and Spares (1934)
  • Dreamer (1979)
  • Kingpin (1996)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • "Alley Cats Strike" (2000)


  • Blackball (2003)
  • Crackerjack (film) (2002)


  • Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph (1894)
  • Boxing Match; or, Glove Contest (1896)
  • Battling Butler (1926)
  • The Champ (1931)
  • The Bermondsey Kid (1931)
  • The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)
  • City for Conquest (1940)
  • Gentleman Jim (1942)
  • Body and Soul (1947)
  • The Set-Up (1949)
  • Champion (1949)
  • The Square Ring (1952)
  • The Harder They Fall (1956)
  • Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
  • Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
  • Legendary Champions (1968)
  • Ashita no Joe (1970)
  • The Great White Hope (1970)
  • Fat City (1972)
  • Let's Do It Again (1975)
  • Rocky (1976) (Won Oscar for Best Picture)
  • The Greatest (1977)
  • The Champ (1979)
  • Penitentiary (1979)
  • Rocky II (1979)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • Ashita no Joe 2 (1981)
  • Penitentiary II (1982)
  • Rocky III (1982)
  • Rocky IV (1985)
  • Streets of Gold (1986)
  • Teen Wolf Too (1987)
  • Split Decisions (1988)
  • Rocky V (1990)
  • Diggstown (1992)
  • Gladiator (1992)
  • The Great White Hype (1996)
  • When We Were Kings (1996 Documentary)
  • The Boxer (1997)
  • Play It to the Bone (1999)
  • Rocky Marciano (TV movie) (1999)
  • On the Ropes (1999)
  • The Hurricane (1999)
  • Girlfight (2000)
  • Ali (2001)
  • Carman: The Champion (2001)
  • Undisputed (2002)
  • Beautiful Boxer (2003)
  • Hajime no Ippo: Champion Road (2003)
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004) (Won Oscar for Best Picture)
  • Against the Ropes (2004)
  • Cinderella Man (2005)
  • Rocky Balboa (2006)
  • Apne (2006)
  • Undisputed II: Last Man Standing (2006)
  • Annapolis (2006)
  • Jump In! (2007)
  • Miracle on 1st Street (2007)
  • Muay Thai Chaiya (2007)
  • Resurrecting the Champ (2007)
  • The Hammer (2007)
  • The Fighter (2010)


Template:Expand list

  • Laker Girls (1990)
  • The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (1993)
  • Bring it On (2000)
  • Gotta Kick It Up! (2002)
  • Cheerleader Queens (2003)
  • Sugar And Spice (2003)
  • Bring It On Again (2004)
  • Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006)
  • Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007)
  • Bring It On: Fight to the Finish (2009)
  • Fired Up! (2009)
  • Sergeant Cheerleader (2009)



Bodyline (DVD cover)

  • Badger's Green (1934)
  • Badger's Green (1949)
  • It's Not Cricket (1949)
  • The Final Test (1953)
  • Bodyline (Television Miniseries - 1984)
  • Playing Away 1987
  • Awwal Number (1990)
  • Lagaan (2001)
  • Wondrous Oblivion (2003)
  • Iqbal (film) (2005)
  • Hit for Six (2007)
  • Chennai 600028 (2007)
  • Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii (2007)
  • Say Salaam India (2007)
  • Hattrick (film) (2007)
  • Meerabai Not Out (2008)
  • Hansie (2008)
  • I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (2008)
  • Victory (2009)
  • Dil Bole Hadippa! (2009)

Cue Sports[]

  • The Hustler (1961)
  • The Color of Money (1986)
  • Pool Hall Junkies (2002)


  • Men with Brooms (2002)


Onna Keirin-o poster

Japanese movie poster for 1956 film Onna Keirin-ō (女競輪王)

Title Year Genre Notes
Onna Keirin-ō 1956 Keirin
For A Yellow Jersey 1965 Short
A Sunday in Hell 1977 Documentary Road racing
Breaking Away 1979
BMX Bandits 1983 BMX racing
American Flyers 1985 Road racing
Rad 1986 BMX racing
Bicycleran 1987 Iranian Movie
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar 1992
Il grande Fausto 1995 Road racing
The Unknown Cyclist 1998
El Amateur 1999 Road racing
Road to Paris 2001 Documentary Road racing
Cyclomania 2001 Road racing
Le Velo de Ghislain Lambert 2001 Road racing
Nasu: Summer in Andalusia 2003 Road racing

Triplets of Belleville 2003
Cycling Chronicles; LandScape The Boy Saw 2004
Hell on Wheels 2005
Overcoming 2005 Documentary Road racing
The Flying Scotsman 2006 Drama Track Cycling
Island Etude 2006 Drama
Klunkerz:A Film About Mountain Bikes 2006
Clorophilla 2006 Freeride
The Cycling Genius Is Coming 2008
Bicycle Dreams 2009 Documentary Road racing


  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)


  • By the Sword (1991)

Field Hockey (women's)[]

  • Chak De India (2007)

Figure skating[]

  • Ice Castles (1978)
  • The Cutting Edge (1992)
  • Ice Angel (2000)
  • Ice Princess (2005)
  • Go Figure (2005)
  • The Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold (2006)
  • Blades of Glory (2007)
  • The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream (2008)
  • The Cutting Edge 4: Fire and Ice (2009)

Association football[]

  • The Great Game (1930)
  • Sportszerelem (1936)
  • The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939)
  • Das Grosse Spiel (1942)
  • The Great Game (1953)
  • Dhanni Meye (1971) - Bengali Movie
  • Mohun Baganer Meye (1976) - Bengali Movie
  • Yesterday's Hero (1979)
  • Escape to Victory (1981)
  • Gregory's Girl (1981)
  • Hero (documentary) (1986)
  • Ultrà (1991)
  • Ladybugs (1992)
  • The Big Green (1994)
  • Fever Pitch (1996)
  • When Saturday Comes (1996)
  • Soccer Dog: The Movie (1999)
  • Air Bud: World Pup (2000)
  • There's Only One Jimmy Grimble (2000)
  • Shaolin Soccer (2001)
  • A Shot at Glory (2001)
  • Mean Machine (2001)
  • Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001)
  • The Game of Their Lives (2002)
  • Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
  • The Miracle of Bern (2003)
  • The Other Final (2003)
  • Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team (2005)
  • Goal! (2005)
  • Kicking & Screaming (2005)
  • Pelé Forever (documentary, 2005)
  • Real, The Movie (2005)
  • The Game of Their Lives (2005)
  • Goal! 2 (2006)
  • Offside (2006)
  • Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos (documentary) (2006)
  • Gracie (2007)
  • Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (2007)
  • Her Best Move (2007)
  • Maradona by Kusturica (2008)
  • Kicking It (2008)
  • Goal! 3 (2009)
  • She's the Man (2006)
  • The Damned United (2009)
  • One Night in Turin (2010)
  • For the Glory (2011)


  • Follow the Sun (1951)
  • Pat and Mike (1952)
  • The Caddy (1953)
  • Caddyshack (1980)
  • Caddyshack II (1988)
  • Dead Solid Perfect (1988)
  • Den ofrivillige golfaren (1991)
  • The Man with the Perfect Swing (1995)
  • Happy Gilmore (1996)
  • Tin Cup (1996)
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
  • A Gentleman's Game (2001)
  • Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (2004)
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)
  • Who's Your Caddy? (2007)


  • American Anthem (1986)
  • Nadia (1984)
  • Stick It (2006)
  • Peaceful Warrior (2006)


  • Szansa (1979)
  • Bulggot shoot tonki (1993)
  • Forever the Moment (2008)

Horse racing[]

  • The Derby (1895)
  • A Day at the Races (1937)
  • National Velvet (film) (1944)
  • The Galloping Major (1951)
  • Boots Malone (1952)
  • Just My Luck (1957)
  • International Velvet (1978)
  • The Black Stallion (1979)
  • Phar Lap (1983)
  • The Black Stallion Returns (1983)
  • Fire, Ice and Dynamite (1990)
  • Hidalgo (2004)
  • Seabiscuit (2003)
  • Dreamer (2005)
  • Racing Stripes (2005)
  • Ruffian (2007)
  • Race (film) (2008)
  • The Boys Club (2010)
  • Secretariat (2010)

Ice hockey[]

  • Slap Shot (1977)
  • Strange Brew (1983)
  • Youngblood (1986)
  • The Mighty Ducks (1992)
  • D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
  • D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
  • Les Boys (1997)
  • Mystery, Alaska (1999)
  • MVP: Most Valuable Primate (2000)
  • Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice (2002)
  • Miracle (2004)
  • Maurice Richard aka The Rocket (2005)
  • The Love Guru (2008)
  • Score: A Hockey Musical (2010)


  • A Knight's Tale (2001)

Martial arts[]

Note: Films should not be listed here unless the sporting aspects of martial arts play a major part in the plot.

Title Year Genre Notes
Sanshiro Sugata 1943 Jujutsu
Sanshiro Sugata Part II 1943 Judo
The Karate Kid 1984 Karate
The Karate Kid, Part II 1986 Karate
No Retreat, No Surrender 1986
Bloodsport 1988
The Karate Kid, Part III 1989 Karate
Best of the Best 1989
Kickboxer 1989
Sidekicks 1992
Only the Strong 1993 Capoeira
The Next Karate Kid 1994 Karate
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie 1994
Mortal Kombat 1995
The Quest 1996
Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior 2003 Muay Thai
Redbelt 2007 MMA
Never Back Down 2008 MMA
Champions 2008 Wushu
Ip Man 2008 Wing Chun
Fighting 2009 MMA
Tekken 2009
Ong Bak 3 2010
Ip Man 2 2010 Wing Chun


Title Year Genre Type Notes
No Limit 1936 Comedy Road racing
On Any Sunday 1971 Documentary
Sidewinder 1 1977 Drama Motocross
Silver Dream Racer 1980 Drama Road racing
Spetters 1980 Drama Motocross
Space Riders 1984 Documentary Road racing
The Dirtbike Kid 1985 Motocross
Winners Take All 1987 Motocross
Motocrossed 2001 Motocross
Faster 2003 Documentary Road racing
Motocross Kids 2004 Motocross
Dust to Glory 2005 Documentary Off-road racing
Supercross 2005 Drama Supercross
The World's Fastest Indian 2005 Drama Land speed record

Olympic Games[]

Those featuring specific sports featured in the games are listed elsewhere

Title Year Genre Notes
Dream Weavers 2008 Documentary

Powerboat racing[]

Title Year Genre Type Notes
Madison 2001 Drama Hydroplane


  • (1972) Junior Bonner
  • (1994) 8 Seconds
  • (1994) The Cowboy Way
  • (1998) Still Holding On: The Legend of Cadillac Jack
  • (2001) Cowboy Up


  • (1993) Airborne
  • (1998) Brink! (made for TV; 1998)

Roller derby[]

  • (1972) Kansas City Bomber
  • (1975) Rollerball
  • (2002) Rollerball
  • (2007) Hell On Wheels
  • (2009) Whip It


  • (1938) A Yank at Oxford
  • (1984) Oxford Blues (rowing)
  • (1995) True Blue (rowing)
  • (2001) Queen of the Night
  • (2004) Summer Storm


Rugby league[]

  • The Final Winter (2007)
  • Footy Legends (2006)
  • This Sporting Life (1963)
  • Up 'n' Under (1998)

Rugby union[]

  • Grand Slam (1978), Welsh comedy
  • Old Scores (1991)
  • School Wars: Hero (2004)
  • Sye (2004)
  • Forever Strong (2007)
  • Invictus (2009)
  • A Giant Awakens: the Rise of American Rugby (2010)

Wheelchair rugby[]

  • Murderball (documentary, 2005)


Title Year Genre Notes
Summer Rental 1985 Comedy
Wind 1992 Drama

Practical shooting[]

Title Year Genre Notes
Double Tap 2000 Action


  • (2009) A Badlands Adventure (pool skateboarding)
  • (2009) Welcome to Ridiculous (pool skateboarding)
  • (2009) Street Dreams
  • (2005) Under the Influence (pool skateboarding documentary)
  • (2005) Lords of Dogtown
  • (2003) Grind
  • (2001) Dogtown and Z-Boys (documentary)
  • (1989) Gleaming the Cube
  • (1986) Thrashin'
  • (1978) Skateboard: The Movie


  • Downhill Racer (1969)
  • frozen (2010)
  • Fire and Ice (1986)
  • Aspen Extreme (1993)

Ski Jumping[]

  • The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1974)
  • Matti (2006)

Skin Diving[]

  • (1988) The Big Blue


  • (2009) Snow Summit Showdown
  • (2007) White Air
  • (2005) First Descent
  • (2004) The White Album
  • (2001) Out Cold
  • (1999) Johnny Tsunami
  • (1996) Snowboard Academy


  • Like a Virgin (2006)

Sumo Wrestling[]

  • Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (1992) (Japan)
  • Wakanohana monogatari dohyou no oni (1992 film) [1]
  • Wakanohana monogatari dohyou no oni (1956 film)


  • (2008) Surfer Dude
  • (2007) Surf's Up
  • (2004) Riding Giants
  • (2002) Blue Crush
  • (1998) In God's Hands
  • (1994) The Endless Summer 2
  • (1993) Surf Ninjas
  • (1991) Point Break
  • (1987) Surf Nazis Must Die
  • (1987) Back to the Beach
  • (1987) North Shore (film)
  • (1978) Big Wednesday
  • (1964) The Endless Summer


  • Nyad
  • Touch the Wall
Title Year Genre Notes
Vsyo reshayet mgnoveniye 1978 Drama
Popcorn und Paprika 1984 Drama
Koni 1986 Bengali film based on Moti Nandi's novel
Sarahsarà 1994 Drama
The Princess & the Barrio Boy 2000 Drama
Waterboys 2001 Synchronised swimming
Swimfan 2002 Erotic thriller
Swimming Upstream 2003 Drama
On a Clear Day 2005 Drama
The Big Bad Swim 2006 Comedy
Einfache Leute 2007 Drama
Pride 2007
The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers 2007 Horror

Table tennis[]

  • (2002) Ping Pong
  • (2007) Balls of Fury
  • (2007) Ping Pong Playa


Title Year Genre Notes
Hard, Fast and Beautiful 1951 Drama
The Christian Licorice Store 1971 Drama
Second Serve 1986 Drama
Nobody's Perfect 1990 Comedy
The Break 1995 Drama
Wimbledon 2004 Drama
Tennis no Ōjisama - Futari no Samurai 2005 Action
The Prince of Tennis 2006 Action
Jelenin Svet 2008 Documentary
Somay Ku: A Uganda Tennis Story 2008 Documentary
Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach 2009 Comedy


Note: Lucha films are not included in this list. Although they feature luchadores (Mexican professional wrestlers) as the lead characters, the luchadores typically portray heroes (often superheroes) within non-wrestling stories (such as action, horror, or sci-fi).

Rikidozan monogatari doto no otoko poster 2

Japanese movie poster for Rikidōzan monogatari dotō no otoko (1955)

  • (2009) Bloodstained Memoirs (pro wrestling)
  • (2009) From Parts Unknown (pro wrestling)
  • (2008) The Wrestler (pro wrestling)
  • (2008) Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero (pro wrestling, documentary)
  • (2007) God's Tackle Box (pro wrestling, documentary)
  • (2007) Just Another Romantic Wrestling Comedy (pro wrestling)
  • (2006) The Absolute Truth About Pro Wrestling (pro wrestling, documentary)
  • (2006) Nacho Libre (pro wrestling)
  • (2004) Going to the Mat (high school wrestling)
  • (2004) Sting: Moment of Truth (pro wrestling)
  • (2004) Rikidōzan (puroresu—Japanese pro wrestling)
  • (2002) The Backyard (pro wrestling, documentary)
  • (2001) Reversal (amateur wrestling)
  • (2000) Ready to Rumble (pro wrestling)
  • (1999) Beyond The Mat (pro wrestling, documentary)
  • (1989) No Holds Barred (pro wrestling)
  • (1987) Body Slam (pro wrestling)
  • (1987) Over the Top (arm wrestling)
  • (1985) Grunt! The Wrestling Movie (pro wrestling)
  • (1985) Vision Quest (amateur wrestling)
  • (1979) Take Down (amateur wrestling)
  • (1978) Paradise Alley (pro wrestling)
  • (1974) The Wrestler (pro wrestling)
  • (1955) Rikidōzan monogatari dotō no otoko (puroresu)
  • (1951) Mr. Universe (pro wrestling)
  • (1951) Racket Girls (pro wrestling)
  • (2014) Foxcatcher (amateur wrestling, historical and about a tragic death)


  • (1982) An Innocent Love
  • (1990) Side Out
  • (2000) The Iron Ladies
  • (2003) Küssen verboten, baggern erlaubt
  • (2003) The Iron Ladies 2
  • (2003) Air Bud: Spikes Back
  • (2006) All You've Got
  • (2008) Impact Point

See also[]

  • List of films based on sports books


External links[]

Popular Football Films:[]

Typical sports films (with biographical elements) include the sentimental biography of the Notre Dame football coach, Lloyd Bacon's Knute Rockne: All-American (1940). One of the best films ever made about pro-football was Ted Kotcheff's North Dallas Forty (1979) which examined the brutal fact of labor abuses and drug use in professional football - loosely basing its story on the championship Dallas Cowboys team. The tearjerking made-for-TV sports film Brian's Song (1970) used professional football as the backdrop for its sad tale of the death of a Chicago Bears running back (James Caan). Burt Reynolds starred in The Longest Yard (1974) as scandalized ex-professional football quarterback Paul Crewe in prison who must organize a team of convicts to challenge a prison-guard team (and then face the additional challenge of throwing the game). Recently, Cameron Crowe's sports romance-drama Jerry Maguire (1996), famous for the phrase "Show me the money!" starred Tom Cruise as a hard-driven major sports agent, and Academy Award-winning Cuba Gooding, Jr. as a football player.

Baseball Sports Films:

One of the best sports biopics was Sam Wood's The Pride of the Yankees (1942) with Gary Cooper in a fine performance as New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig. In The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), the famed black player who crossed the major-league 'color-line' and joined the Brooklyn Dodgers portrayed himself. Director Barry Levinson's mythical and romanticized film about baseball titled The Natural (1984) featured Robert Redford as Roy Hobbes - a gifted baseball player who led his New York team to the World Series. Ron Shelton, who was an actual ex-minor leaguer, wrote and directed the intelligent comedy/drama Bull Durham (1988) which used as its backdrop minor league baseball to tell the story of a baseball groupie (Susan Sarandon), a veteran catcher (Kevin Costner) and a dim-witted pitcher named Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins). The immensely popular fantasy/drama Field of Dreams (1989) concerned the creation of a ball diamond in the middle of an Iowa cornfield by a farmer (Kevin Costner). Writer/director John Sayles' Eight Men Out (1988) dramatized the infamous episode in professional baseball of the scandalous 1919 World Series that was fixed - with its final sepia-toned shots of banned ball-player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (D.B. Sweeney) in the minors. And Tommy Lee Jones starred as the legendary baseball great Ty Cobb in Shelton's Cobb (1994).

Basketball Sports Films:

Basketball-related sports dramas are rare: three notable ones were Spike Lee's He Got Game (1998) with Denzel Washington as the convict father of a promising basketball athlete, David Anspaugh's Hoosiers (1986) about an underdog 50s basketball team (coached by Gene Hackman) that won the state championship, and Ron Shelton's play-filled, trash-talking court action film White Men Can't Jump (1992) with its two basketball hustlers/con-artists (Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes) and their scenes of two-on-two tournaments.

Boxing Sports Films:

Films about boxing are perhaps the most numerous sub-genre. One of the best boxing films ever made, along with Robert Wise's classic film noirish The Set-Up (1949) starring Robert Ryan as aging boxer Stoker Thompson, was the realistically stark Body and Soul (1947). It starred John Garfield as boxer Charlie Davis who 'sold his soul' to unethical promoters but then had a change of heart in the last three rounds of a championship fight during which he was supposed to take a dive. Others included King Vidor's classic The Champ (1931), an award-winning story of a prizefighter and his young son, Champion (1949) with Kirk Douglas as the young fighter, the brutal boxing drama The Harder They Fall (1956) (Humphrey Bogart's underrated last film in which he portrayed Eddie Willis - an aging, crooked sportswriter), Ralph Nelson's Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) with Anthony Quinn as punch-drunk, washed-up professional boxer Louis 'Mountain' Rivera, Martin Ritt's The Great White Hope (1970) with James Earl Jones as black boxer Jack Jefferson, and Karyn Kusama's independent feminist film Girlfight (2000) with a great performance by Michelle Rodriguez as a struggling Brooklynite and teenage Latino boxer.

One of the best films of the 80s decade, Raging Bull (1980) was Martin Scorsese's tough, visceral and uncompromising biopic film of the rise and fall of prizefighter Jake La Motta with a remarkable performance by actor Robert DeNiro. The stylized scenes in the ring included flying blood and sweat, exaggerated flashbulb camera flashes, slow-motion and violent punching sounds. The all-American fictional, underdog Philadelphia boxing hero Rocky Balboa in the populist, feel-good, Oscar-winning drama Rocky (1976) series emerged as the peak boxing-film series, with a reprised film in the next decade, Rocky Balboa (2006):

Other Sports Films:

Kevin Costner portrayed a talented pro golfer in Ron Shelton's romantic sports film Tin Cup (1996). And Paul Newman portrayed swaggering, upstart poolshark gambler Fast Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) in the world of professional pool, shooting against the great champ Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). Downhill Racer (1969) starred Robert Redford as an American downhill skier training to become an Olympic superstar. The Best Picture winner Chariots of Fire (1981) told the parallel stories of two English runners (one a devout Protestant, the other Jewish) competing in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Autoracing in the Daytona 500 was featured in the action/drama Days of Thunder (1990). And one of the most memorable ice hockey films was Slap Shot (1977), with Paul Newman as inspiring player-coach Reg Dunlop of a minor-league team. Although a comedy, Caddyshack (1980) was about an elitist country club for golf, a mischievous green-destroying gopher, and a crazed groundskeeper (Bill Murray).

Some of the "Worst" Sports Films:

Other than some of the most classic and best sports films, there are also those that are generally considered the 'worst' sports-related films of all time, such as:

  • The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978), a remake (the third film in the series) of the 1975 film with Walter Matthau, starring Tony Curtis as the coach (baseball)
  • The Main Event (1979), a romantic comedy with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal (boxing)
  • The Slugger's Wife (1985), a romantic drama with Michael O'Keefe and Rebecca DeMornay (pro-baseball)
  • Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) (Little League baseball, the NBA, other sports stars, and anti-nuclear war)
  • Caddyshack II (1988), a sequel to the 1980 hit (golf)
  • Rocky V (1990), the fifth film in the never-ending series (boxing)
  • The Babe (1992), with John Goodman (baseball)
  • The Fan (1996), with Robert De Niro as a fanatical fan (baseball)
  • Any Given Sunday (1999), with Al Pacino (pro-football)
  • Rollerball (2001), a remake of the 1975 classic (futuristic sports)

Awards for Sports Movies:

The first sports movie to win the Best Picture Academy Award was Rocky (1976), often on the ten-best sports film lists. Others include Chariots of Fire (1981) and Million Dollar Baby (2004). Robert DeNiro won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of real-life boxer Jake LaMotta in Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980), while Hilary Swank won a Best Actress Oscar for portraying a working-class waitress who aspired to be a professional women's boxer in Million Dollar Baby (2004). Kirk Douglas earned his first Oscar nomination playing middleweight Midge Kelly in Champion (1949).