Top 10 Sports Movies of Eastside’s Dillon Rosenblatt (’11)

Dillon Rosenblatt ('11)/Eastside Editorial Assistant

1.      Million Dollar Baby (2004): Won four of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture. (Stars Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood, directed by Clint Eastwood) Swank plays a female boxer named Maggie Fitzgerald who is desperate for a trainer. Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) refuses to help a woman, because “Woman should not be in a boxing ring” he says. An ex-fighter of Dunn’s, Eddie “scrap-iron” Dupris, suggests that training Fitzgerald would be good for him, so he accepts and brings Maggie to the championship boxing match.

2.      The Wrestler (2008): Nominated for two Oscars: Best Actor in a Lead for Mickey Rourke and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Marisa Tomei. Rourke plays a character similar to his life as Randy “the ram jam” Robinson, with his toughest match up being his relationship vs. his own daughter (Evan Rachel Wood)

3.      Field of Dreams (1989): Teenage guys’ favorite baseball movie according to imdb.com, it stars Kevin Costner as an Iowa corn farmer who hears voices saying “if you build it, they will come.” Thinking these voices are telling him to build a baseball field on his farm and they referring to seven ghosts of players from the 1919 Chicago White Sox involved in throwing away the World Series game including Shoeless Joe Jackson. Nominated for three Oscars including Best Picture

4.      Rocky (1976): The first of six movies in this boxing series. Nominated for 10 Oscars winning three including Best Picture and Best Director (John G. Avildsen). Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is a struggling boxer living in Philadelphia, who tries to become one of the best boxers, but working in a meat factory just isn’t helping him out. When Boxing legend Apollo Creed comes to town an exhibition match is set up, this fight is Balboa’s only chance of a “nobody” to a become a “somebody” and no one thinks Balboa has a chance of winning, but he does.

5.      Remember the Titans (2000): In a segregated town of Alexandria, Virginia, one black school and one white school combine to become T.C. Williams High School. The Caucasian coach of the Varsity football team, Bill Yoast (Will Patton) gets replaced by an African-American coach, Herman Boone (Denzel Washington). Tensions arise when players of different races are forced together on the same football team and they are eased during a two-week training camp takes place in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As the Titans’ season progresses toward perfection, the team finds themselves and the city closer than ever before.

6.      Jerry Maguire (1996): Nominated for five Oscars winning one (Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Cuba Gooding Jr.) A typical sports agent, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is willing to do just about anything he can to get the biggest possible contracts for his clients, when one day he has an epiphany, which causes him to lose his job and all but his number one client, Rod Tidwell (Gooding Jr.) and new assistant/future wife Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger).

7.      Glory Road (2006): (Based on a true story). A 1960s ex High School girls’ basketball coach, Don Haskins (Josh Lucas) gets hired as men’s’ college basketball coach for Texas Western. Haskins went on a recruiting trail to find the best talent in all of Texas; black or white. Seven blacks and five whites were recruited for the historic 1965-66 team. They were an unknown team who went 23-1 during the regular season and went on to the NCAA tournament beating Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, Kansas in double overtime, (thanks to an out-of-bounds play by Walt Wesley) Utah on the way to the finals to play the number one Kentucky Wildcats coached by all time great Adolph Rupp (Jon Voight) with star player Pat Riley. Texas Western started five black players becoming the first team in NCAA history to do so. They went on to win the game 72-65. Hastings said after the game, “I really didn’t think about starting five black guys. I just wanted to put my five best guys on the court.” Those five players were led by point guard Bobby Joe Hill.

8.   61* (2001): Nominated for 12 Emmys winning two and nominated for one Golden Globe. Although this movie premiered on television, it is still a top sports movie of all time. It tells the true story about the then-record of the most homeruns hit by a single player in a season. 1961, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle are on pace to break the single season homerun record held by Yankee great Babe Ruth (60). Maris is the bad guy in this situation: sports writers minimize his talent, fans cheer for Mantle over him and the baseball commissioner says the record will stand unless broken within 154 games because that is how many games it took Ruth to hit 60. The film follows the stresses on Maris, his frustration with the negative attention, and his desire to play well, win, and go home. He does break the record but in this final game of the 1961 season.

9.   Caddy Shack (1980): Danny Noonan (Michael O’Keefe) is a young caddy at Bushwood Country Club, who has no idea where his future will take him. His best chance at getting his life on track is to earn a caddy scholarship from the owner, Judge Elihu Smails. Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) is a friendly golfer who helps Noonan figure out his real goals in life. All goes wrong in this great comedy/sports movie when Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) tries to buy out the Country Club leading to several conflicts with all characters. Also stars Bill Murray.

10.Seabiscuit (2003): Nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture. The true story of the Depression-era horse (Seabiscuit), who won races that not only brought cheer to the crew, but it won the hearts of all those who watched. The film relates a moving story of dedication in rehabilitating the main characters’ fractured lives as it combines the interactions between horse, jockey, trainer and owner. Seabiscuit became the heroic figure to help fans forget the trouble they were living in. Stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, William H. Macy and Elizabeth Banks.