Friday, February 5, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

It was a good year for sports movies as The Blind Side and Invictus being nominated for many Oscars. According to a blog post I read by Len Berman, only three sports movies have ever won the Best Picture. For any of you who were wondering, these movies were Rocky, Chariots of Fire, and Million Dollar Baby. However, I decided to dedicate this post to some of my favorite sports movies. So...
• First and foremost, Remember the Titans is at the top of my list and should be on the top of everybody else's. While this movie primarily focuses on a newly integrated football team, football is less important than the seemingly inevitable racial conflicts that were unfortunately all too common in that era. Also, when a white coach was replaced by a black coach in the South at this time, the results almost destroyed a team that would go on to become one of the best in the nation. In my opinion, this seamless weaving of athletics and culture makes Remember the Titans the best sports movie if not my favorite movie.
• Another movie that could be seen as more than sports movie is Miracle. As anybody who was alive at the time understood, the 1980 Winter Olympics meant more than who walked home with the more valuable medal. At the height of the Cold War, America and the Soviet Union met in the men's hockey semi finals in a game that has been considered one of the greatest in Olympic history. Again, this movie could be just about hockey, and it would be a great story. However, by intertwining historical events with one of the most famous hockey games of all time is a recipe for a great movie.
• This is not one movie because in order to give this trilogy due credit, The Mighty Ducks must be viewed as a series. Any of the individual movies are great, but the development that becomes evident through watching all three movies makes the characters personalities become much more multifaceted. For example, the character of Charlie Conway in Mighty Ducks one appears to be nothing more than a young kid who is very dependent on his coach. In Mighty Ducks two, Charlie develops into the type of leader who is willing to sacrifice his own fame for the betterment of the team. Finally, in the third installment, despite the adversity that Charlie faces, he rises above these confrontations to become the hero we knew he could become. This and many other reasons are why The Mighty Ducks trilogy ranks among my favorite sports movies.

These are just a few of my favorite sports movies. As long as sports remain such a large part in American society, I hope that we will continue to see a flood of more great sports movies for years to come.

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