Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and John Huston are some of the great American directors who brought the sports movie genre to audiences around the world. Here is a selection of unmissable movies.
Sports movies: great classics
When we talk about sports films and, above all, the best films about sports and sports, we cannot help but admit that it is US-made cinema that has created a real genre in this sense. Hollywood managed to transform Sports stories from epic events It will be brought to the big screen, giving birth to the sports movie category, which is one of the cinematographic categories and the most loved by audiences all over the world.
Of course, when talking about sports movies, maybe we should start by talking about these. The most loved and best-known sports movie of all time.: Cliff. The story of amateur boxer Rocky Balboa, who came from the poverty of the suburbs of Philadelphia to challenge heavyweight champion Apollo Creed and climbed all the ladders of American society with tenacity, strength and skill in what is considered the most iconic sport. The film, which was never shot, is among the best films in the history of cinema.
Rocky was filmed in 1976. Written by Sylvester Stallone., then semi-unknown, in just three weeks. For months, Stallone knocked on the doors of all the producers who liked the script, but he did not accept the only clause Stallone put in order to sell the script: He had to be the lead actor.
He eventually managed to convince United Artists and produced a very impressive film on a very limited budget, less than a million dollars. It grossed $225 millionThe film won the Oscar for best picture and remains a cornerstone of popular culture even today, not only in the United States but throughout the Western world.
With the second movie on our list, we continue to stay in the world of boxing, but we raise the bar in terms of directing and acting quality: Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese. Thanks to this film, shot in 1980, Roberto De Niro won the only Oscar of his entire career for the best leading actor.
Reports say Scorsese knew nothing about boxing before he could bring himself to direct a film about the tumultuous life of former middleweight champion Italian-American Jake LaMotta. Raging Bull is an uncompromising movie that leaves no room for romance and happy endings, unlike classic successful sports movies. An angry, cruel, painful movie and feelings of guilt: a melancholic fresco of unique cinematic poetry.
It is better known in Europe than in the United States and is considered mediocre by critics. Escape to Victory is the third movie on our list, remains a historic sports movie in many ways. Filmed by John Huston in 1981, with an all-star cast of actors and football players (from Michael Caine to Pelé, Max von Sydow to Bobby Moore to Sylvester Stallone), it tells the story of a group of Allied prisoners trying to escape. From a concentration camp during World War II.
From Invictus to Jerry Maguire: other sports movies not to miss
Many consider Million Dollar Baby to be Clint Eastwood’s best sports movie. Although it is undoubtedly an extraordinary film, it is a film in which sports are almost secondary to the emotional events. Inside Invictus was filmed in 2009We think Eastwood has instead created a true sports film, focusing very carefully on the dynamics of the rugby field, studying the technicalities and details to stage the stages of a sport’s play in the most believable way possible, which is not exactly easy to replicate. fiction.
It is also worth mentioning two films on our list that open a very special window into American football, a sport that is not widely followed in Europe. Any Given Sunday, the first film shot by Oliver Stone in 1999 and starring Al Pacino, emerges from the incident. Sports and human dynamics of a professional football teamIt shows in a very raw and realistic way what it means to be a gear in top-level sport.
Second one, Jerry Maguire, released in 1996A work by Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise leading actor, shows the role of agents in professional sports by showing its most complex aspects. Finally, two Italian sports movies that are more or less well-known but still worth watching.
Extra Man, Paolo Sorrentino’s 2001 debut film, is imagined in 1980s Naples and The story of a Napoli football playerIt intersects with that of a singer of the same name: the inspiration for the two characters came from Agostino di Bartolomei and Franco Califano. Then, a light story of redemption through rugby is told in Antonello Grimaldi’s 1999 little film Asini, starring Claudio Bisio, Fabio De Luigi and Giovanna Mezzogiorno.