Best movie ever in a genre or category

You can't pick the best movie ever.  It's impossible.  So let's try something else. 

In my opinion the best sports movie ever is "Hoosiers".  Just bought the special two DVD collector's edition and it was just as good, or even better, than I remembered.  Supposedly basketball coaches have been showing this movie for years to their teams to pump them up.  Based on a true story, a small town high school basketball team takes on the powerhouse teams of the state.  It has some great photography that really shows the frantic action of the greatest game ever invented.  Maybe even more importantly, it's a story about second chances and human redemption.

The bonus DVD has all kinds of goodies including the actual championship game from the 1954 Indiana boys high school tournament that the movie is based on.  That game is a legend in the state of Indiana where I grew up.  Finally I got to see it!

So what's your best sports movie of all time?

{;-) Dan in Miami


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Caddy Shack

Rajah's picture

Although golf isn't really a sport

I'd have to say for a real sports movie it would have to be Bull Durham

Baseball movies are not that exciting

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Because baseball is not that exciting.  Bull Durham is pretty good.  It had some funny moments in it.  But can you honestly say there was anything in it that gave you a thrill?  A really good sports movie should sweep you up and really grab your emotions.  It should make you feel like a fan rooting for his favorite team.  The action on the screen is like what you experience at the stadium.  Bull Durham didn't really do that because it was more of an intimate film about 3 people going thru some life choices and how they interacted with each other.  Nothing wrong with that.

{;-) Dan in Miami

Terence Rafferty on sports movies

FearlessFreep's picture

"Only two kinds of people usually enjoy sports movies: children, who like fairy tales; and businessmen, who like motivational lectures." He wrote this in a NEW YORKER review of WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP, a contender for best sports movie.


"Hoosiers" is not a fairy tale

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

It really happened.  If anything the movie actually understates the accomplishments of the team from the tiny town that won it all.  Even today people from all over Indiana visit that high school like it was some kind of holy shrine!

Sports can be used as a metaphor for life's struggles, like in "Bull Durham".  Or it can be used as a substitute for war, like the Olympics since ancient Greek times.  And yes it can be used for motivation. 

In the movie "Hoosiers" we see that sports can also lead to a sense of community.  After the crops are in there isn't much to do in these small farming communities.  They don't have TV or even a movie house in their town.  When there is an away game they all meet downtown and drive in a caravan to the game.  It's a community activity.

But the primary function of sports is fun!  Who hasn't fantasized about hitting the winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning or sinking the last second basket as the buzzer sounds?

{;-) Dan in Miami



RidingFool's picture

Nuthin' like sittin' in a dark, dingy, windowless, smoke-filled bar in some middle-American shithole of a town, drinkin' 3.2 beer, eatin' pickled eggs 'n' horsecock, dreamin' about anudder win.

God-damn, boy. We gonna get us anudder one o' dem trophies.

What kind of sports do Canadians enjoy?

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Penguin toss.  Kind of like jarts except you use a live flightless bird.  You grab their feet and fling them for distance.  First person to get their Penguin in the ocean wins.  Common hazards include polar bears (who tend to eat your sporting goods) and PETA activists.

{;-) Dan in Miami


Dan, you've got to admire the enterprising nature of Canadians

Coaster's picture

Considering that polar bears and penguins live on the opposite ends of the Earth from each other. 


RidingFool's picture

we can see Alaska from our border.


RidingFool's picture

Canadians use live, flightless turkeys.

Then they sit back in their smoke-free, window-laden fern bars, eating pickled eggs and horsecock, farting, whilst discussing the relative merits of Arctic turkeys going the distance.

Does "Raging Bull" count as a sports movie?

HS's picture

If so, that's my pick for Best Sports Movie (and perhaps most depressing).  Funny that so many great sports movies are about boxing in particular:

Raging Bull
Cinderella Man
Million Dollar Baby
The Hurricane (though only incidentally a sports movie)


How 'bout Best Sports Movie by sport?

Best Boxing Movie: Raging Bull
Best Baseball Movie: Field of Dreams
Best Football Movie: Any Given Sunday (I really haven't seen many football movies, but AGS was solid)
Best Basketball Movie: Blue Chips (I've never seen Hoosiers)
Best Hockey Movie: Slapshot


How 'bout Best Sports Comedy?  To me, that's Major League.  Bull Durham is okay, but a bit overrated.


Best Sports Movie of the Last Five Years?  We Are Marshall.  Wonderful, heartstring-tugging stuff.


This is a good subject.  Thanks for posting it, Dan.



The Best Sports Movie Ever

Coaster's picture

Death Race 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. 

Followed closely by

Rollerball (the original), and Enter the Dragon.


Those "sports" you guys are talking about are for pussies. 

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Rajah's picture



Hey Coaster, you forgot Dodgeball!!!!

Hey Goofball!

Coaster's picture

You forgot Reply key!

My sports movie picks from the HS list

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Boxing is such a gritty sport it's hard to romanticize it, although the Rocky movies try to. 

HS Best Boxing Movie: Raging Bull
My pick:  Raging Bull (hard to beat the boxing scenes in this which are excellent).

HS Best Baseball Movie: Field of Dreams
My pick:  The Natural (baseball seems to lend itself to these American mythology themes.)

HS Best Football Movie: Any Given Sunday (I really haven't seen many football movies, but AGS was solid)
My Pick:  The Longest Yard (definitely doesn't glamorize the brutality of football)

HS Best Basketball Movie: Blue Chips (I've never seen Hoosiers)
My pick:  Hoosiers

HS Best Hockey Movie: Slapshot
My pick:  Slapshot (OK it's the only hockey movie I ever saw.  Come on you Canadians, start making some hockey movies.  "Miracle" the movie about the USA beating the USSR in ice hockey in the 1980 Olympics is supposed to be very good but I haven't seen it.)

{;-) Dan in Miami 

PS:  I seem to remember that "North Dallas Forty" was kind of funny as a sports comedy.  Damn it's been a long time since I saw that.  It's a comedy based loosely on the Dallas Cowboy teams of the 1970's.  For its time it was considered to be kind of ground breaking because athletes were still revered as paragons of virtue back then.  Of course we know better now.  The players in "North Dallas Forty" got into every kind of trouble imaginable.


My favorite baseball movie

Rajah's picture

It Happens Every Spring with Ray Milland


HS's picture

The baseball category was a tough one to pick.  The Natural seemed like too easy of a choice (it IS good).  I almost wrote Eight Men Out, which is the best non-fantasy baseball movie. 

I really need to rent Hoosiers.

For hockey movies, Russell Crowe did one between LA Confidential and The Insider, I think...though I can't remember the name of it and am too lazy to look it up.



Oooh. Best Golf Movie.

HS's picture

Tin Cup, starring Bull Durham's Kevin Costner and directed by Bull Durham's Ron Shelton (who also did White Men Can't Jump).  Tin Cup is fun and funny...and it has a near-perfect ending.  So, that's my pick.

I liked Caddyshack, of course.  And there's nothing inheritently wrong with Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance, except that you forget it within five minutes of leaving the theater.

I never saw Happy Gilmore.



"North Dallas Forty" is funny and very gritty

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

It's been 30 years since I saw this classic football movie.  Some of the customers at Netflix rave about it.  A few even call it their favorite sports movie of all time.  Now it's in my Netflix queue.

Nick Nolte is absolutely convincing as the aging wide receiver trying to force his beat up body to play one more pro football season.  About the only way he can do it is by shooting up with pain killers before the game.  Sounds very grim but it does have some funny stuff as well.  Lots of drugs, booze and sex.  Kind of like rock and roll except with pads and helmets.

{;-) Dan in Miami




Missy-Busty's picture

starring Tobey Maguire - don't forget The Sport of Kings


TMundo's picture

Baseball -- I enjoy Field of Dreams but don't really consider it a sports movie.  and that one about shoeless joe that Married w/ Children parodied. Eight Men Out, yeah, that's the one!  "Nah, that's not him.  He said he'd never play again."  My brother and his friends are always watching For Love of the Game, but to me it's more of a Chick Flick based around a Major League baseball player.  Major League is one of my favorites, and for a comedy, it remains serious enough to still be a compelling story.

Football -- The Longest Yard, the first one.

Golf -- Are there any serious Golf films beside Bagger Vance?  How about Happy Gilmore for a comedy, and yes Caddy Shack.

Basketball -- Hoosiers

Boxing -- Gladiator (because I didn't see Raging Bull)


Best nature show/movie ever: Planet Earth

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Just finished watching the first two episodes of "Planet Earth" by the BBC.


The photography is just amazing.  They use helicopters and planes to photograph animals and remote parts of the planet you have never seen before.  The series uses a special long range camera that can shoot closeups of animals from one kilometer away. 

If there is a better nature series than this one I haven't seen it.

{;-) Dan in Miami


Best Samurai film?

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

 Well it kind of depends on whether you prefer the thoughtful type made by Akira Kurosawa or the more action oriented ones.  

Just finished watching "Sword of Doom" (1966).  Wow!  Lots of bloody action from a movie made 44 years ago.  Today's video game kids might even like it.  The main character is a sociopathic Samurai played to perfection by Tatsuya Nakadai

His brooding expresions convince you of the absolutely evil nature of his character.  Plus this actor has clearly taken many many fencing lessons. 

His performance reminded me of the relentless killing machine played by Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" (2007).  There were plenty of good things in No Country but Bardem absolutely made that movie for me.

Proving once again that if your villian is not convincingly evil your action flick is dead in the water.

{;-) Dan in Miami


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