Even Dodgeball Can Have A Movie All Its Own

So…ok…I have taken a bit of a hiatus from the AFI list of 10 best in 10 genres. I think almost every major sport is featured in at least one movie. Baseball, basketball, football, bowling, dodgeball, and racing to name a few. Most seem to feature the underdog overcoming insurmountable odds to triumph over the adversary… be it physically or metaphorically. Sometimes the underdog does not always win. But here is the list.

I must admit that I have not seen three of these movies (Raging Bull, National Velvet, nor The Hustler). There are so many better films then Jerry Maguire: A League of Their Own (I only see one movie listed focusing on a female competitor). I also like the Robert Redford baseball tale The Natural. Or Remember the Titans but it seems that cinemas have been bombarded by feel-good or tragic football stories of late.

My personal favorite is Hoosiers. It not only tells the story of a small-town high school basketball program overcoming huge obstacles to get to the state finals, but it also paints a beautiful backdrop of rural farmlife in 1950s Indiana. In true form, most of the folks living in the town of Hickory (Hicks?) live and breathe basketball. When teenage boys are not helping in the fields or at school, they are outside dribbling a basketball or in the gym. Coming from a very small town, I can actually place real, personal hometown characters in the roles When the movie was released in 1986, it was a great sleeper (produced on a minimal budget and went on to surprise everyone at the box office). It also won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Dennis Hopper) and Best Original Score. Yes, the music actually sets the tone throughout the entire movie. The great Gene Hackman was unfortunately overlooked.

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