made about skateboarding, but none bring the stories of the sport’s genesis together in one hyperbolic, hugely enjoyable stramash like this.
K HOOP DREAMS (1994) (8) Proof that the path of a
/ documentary never runs predictably. we follow the (misifortunes of two high school kids from DetrOit for
five years on their path to the big leagues wrth skill, subtlety and gravity.
( ROCKY HI (1982) The [9: original may be the people’s ‘ ,1/ choice but this captures all the spectacle, drama and overblown glory of the Italian Stallion’s journey through the six films to boxing superstardom and back down to the ghettos of Philly and beyond. Mr T’s supremely terrifying Clubber Lang is the best movie bad guy since Jason.
I l (2004) Further proof, it it
‘ I / was ever needed. that
boxmg remains the best sport for celluloid indulgence. Clint Eastwood took that most unconventional of pugilists. Hillary Swank. and made her a wholly believable hero of the ring.
' ' KINGPIN (1996) The Farrelly brothers turned )1 l their comedy focus to tenpin bowling in this goofball flick starring Woody Harrelson as a
washed-up, ex-pro bowler hustling his way back to the top.
MILLION DOLLAR BABY
when the clumsy beanpole GregOry fell for his school‘s star footballer Dorothy. in this low-budget Scottish comedy. featuring horizontal dancing and a young Clare (Brogan. Irresistible. and very quotable.
[/ \X (1981) There was romance 1 I. 1 between the goalposts I
"/ " CADDYSHACK (1980) I ~3’ Animal House on a golf ,_ 7, 7 g / course as Bill Murray livens up the stuffy world of moneyed golfers at a country club overrun by gophers. Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerﬁeld join him in the low-brow classic.
' if FAT CITY (1972) John Huston put his own tWIst
on the washed up boxer's stOry in his fantastic 1972 realisation of Leonard Gardner's book adapted by the writer himself. Possibly the most honest and depressing film ever made about the boxer's life.
g: : lTHE SET-UP(1949) 'i. ,4 ,Sixteen years before he
i f /l activated his pension plan with The Sound of Music, director Robert Wise delivered this remarkable 8 movie about a fading boxer’s attempts to make a comeback based on a narrative poem by New Yorker editor Joseph Moncure March. Vicious, vital and unforgettable.
Ir } REDBELT (2009) David 1 Mamet's hugely
underrated modern western set in the world of mixed martial arts instruction and competition. Redbe/t is a typically ruthless and witty portrait of the media hijack of once great sports. Chiwetel Eiiofor is fantastic as the lone gunman intent on fighting
Outside the ring.
’ FEAR OF PENALTY
i .« (1972) Wim Wenders’ second feature from 1972 is an adaptation of a novel by existential Austria writer Peter Handke. It follows a suspended football player (Arthur Brauss) on his journey from team spirit to homicidal intent.
' b" 42" j
..'Ja’ ..‘ J. _‘
i " mother of all ensemble
i . ) sports movies. Paul Newman leads a brilliant cast in this serio-comic drama about a bankrupt ice hockey team. whose only talents are an ability to start rinkside brawls.
l PERSONAL BEST I (1982) Lesbians and i In. /' track and field. What more do you want? Actually 1982’s Personal Best isn’t a great sports ﬁlm but it is an interesting one because it is one of the few to recognise women’s Olympic sporting achievements, albeit in a homoerotic context.
HOPE (1970) This
(20 i i\ / 1970 film adaptation of
Howard Sackler's popular play is an idealised biopic of black boxer Jack Johnson played with incredible presence by James Earl Ray who also performed the role on stage.
1‘ i COOL RUNNINGS 1’2/ (1993) Loosely based I, j on real events, this hugely entertaining feelgood flick follows the adventures of
Jamaica's ﬁrst bobsleigh team in a classic ﬁsh-out-of-water tale.
I “1| SLAP SHOT (1977) The
THE GREAT WHITE
‘7 ‘ THE LONG DISTANT , Q. RUNNER (1962) Classic British cinema from director
W": THE LONELINESS or
Tony Richardson, at; a young lom Courtenay, sentenced to time in borstal, loses himself in his; solitary running while kicking against the
Smith puts in the
L performance of his career in this atmospheric biopic of the great boxer. Social commentary as much as boxing movie, it’s beautifully shot, and Smith brilliantly captures his idol.
ALI (2001,) Will
1’ g ZROLLERBALL i L g (1975) Styhsed socio i , } political 70s dystopian
SCI-fi in which a totalitarian regime subdue the masses through an ultra violent roller derby game. James Caan bristles the champ taking on the system.
,f' it I j'rHE CANNONiiALL I RUN (19m) .1“ W Essentially Wacky
Races based on a real outlawed race, this high-octane romp featured Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dean Martin and Farrah Fawcett. Utterly ludicrous but loads of fun.
/ ‘ DODGEBALL :/ t1”) (2004) Fantastically i. .‘4 ,_ ridiculous comedy in
which the hapless dodgeball team from Average Joe's gym defeat the evil Purple Cobras. Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are perfect foils.
19 Mar—2 Apr 2009 THE LIST 23