Top 10 Greatest Sports Movies

Here is the first Berry Family Column which will go under the name of “Berry Interesting Times”, or BIT. We’ll see how long it lasts. Just as long as no one gets their knickers in a twist, it’ll be okay. As the Bowery Boys might say: “it’ll be copacetic.”

The 10 greatest Sports Movies of all time.

I will list them with commentary, and make some brief remarks on those films you think have been on the list, but simply rise to the Maynard G Wiz standards. Here goes: we’ll slowly ascend to the number one, and there will be the drum roll before it.

  • 10.– Field of Dreams; a nice movie, dramatic, the hero’s journey, he’s a laughingstock all that, too metaphysical. Kind of dopey that way. Ridiculous if you have this any higher up than 10.
  • 9.– Million Dollar Baby; solid film. Clint and the actress who plays the boxer are fantastic. A little too melodramatic in a sad sack way towards end, and there’s an obvious PC Hollywood agenda relating to euthanasis. Hard to go wrong with Clint, the raspy-voiced, official icon of American street wisdom. 
  • 8.–Hoop Dreams- very gripping documentary. Documentaries count, but a real sports movie is fictional. Very fine film, though.
  • 7.– When we were Kings— about Ali’s rumble in the jungle. Love this film, and the socio-historical weirdness that sticks to it. Best sports documentary of all time.
  • 6. —Somebody up there likes me— Paul Newman throws out the finest all-time performance in a sports film. Oops, I forget about fast Eddie, oh well. Oh, well, if I do a list of this kind sometime in future, I’ll remember to put it on. Hey, I’m family right, so don’t be critical. Be nice even if you have to fake it. Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale– what a body puncher. What a rugged world, and Newman shows depth in this role. Hey, he is better than Fast Eddie. More vulnerable.
  • 5. — Rush– This is a completely engrossing film about two fiendishly obsessed rival race car drivers. Unforgettable. Great racing scenes. See it!
  • 4. Hoosiers—  I’m an honorary hoosier. I love the state. Hackman and Dennis Hopper are fantastic. The little team that could. Cheezy as hell, but they serve cheeze in Heaven, or I think they do. This is heavenly cheeze. You don’t doubt this film– it sticks to your ribs like a good BBQ sampler’s plate. If you haven’t seen this, it’s a must. See it again if you’ve seen it before!
  • 3. Rocky– A lot of people make fun of this film, but they’re suffering from rectal cranial inversion syndrome. The Rockies went down hill like Elephants on roller skates, but the first Rocky rocks. It’s all the slice of Philly kind of accoutrements that make the film. Hero’s journey, and formula, but this movie sings its own unforgettable, unique tune. For being so obviously mythic, it’s so perfectly real.
  • 2. Coach Carter— magnificent film. Samuel Jackson plays a very old school, guy who turns a basketball team around in Richmond, California. Jackson’s performance is his finest. Forget about Tarentino and all that. He’s Coach Carter for all time. The fundamental things apply in the coach’s world, and, of course, they always apply.
  • 1. Remember the Titans and McFarland . Don’t throw anything at your screen, it’ll be okay. I know! I know! I did one of the worst things a human being can do. I created a tie for first place! Still, I had to. Both of these films have to be number one.  Denzell in Titans is other-worldly good. His best role, though Training Day might tie for that. The Titans film is the all time feel-good sports film of all time, with great characters, situations, Denzell, the works. Based like Coach Carter on real life. McFarland is a huge winner. Kevin Costner plays the saintly coach, and the kids are beaten down Latino kids who live in small town near Fresno. A very emotional film. My kids in the film class adored this film.  It’s the best Latino cinderella story outside of Stand and Deliver. The teacher in that film, Olmos, delivers a Hall of Fame performance.

Okay, I’m tired typing. Hope you enjoyed first BIT. Wasn’t too wordy. WQ is about 58.  Remember, this is the FINAL WORD! Oh, yeah, there are some films that are contenders, but they didn’t make the list, so screw em!