Who goes down in history? – Those, who break the stereotypes and bears the palm. The following movies tell the stories of people who somehow changed the lives of others, broke the prejudices or proved that nothing is impossible. These movies grab, teach and motivate. Here is the list of the best inspirational movies about sportsmen.
1. Cinderella Man
“A life-long fight”
Fate doesn’t always favour us. It can change success to failure overnight, joy to disappointment. The same happened to the main hero of the film – heavyweight boxer Jim Braddock.
Having suffered several defeats in a row, he is forced to quit the sport. During the Great Depression, Braddock searches for any chance to get money and takes on any job to feed his family. However, he still hopes to return to the ring. And once he is given a second chance: he becomes a favorite of the public once again. At the last minute he replaces another boxer and enters the fight with the contender to the world title…
I highly recommend everyone watch this magnificent film. It’s not just the pleasure of spending time watching a great drama, but the movie inspires and gives hope for the future. It also shows the importance of showing love to our closest family. You’ll be looking forward with more anticipation and positiveness when dealing with life’s trails, the ups and downs – the bumps in the road we all encounter.
“The true story of a sport’s legend”
In one of the interviews Harrison Ford (he starred as Branch Rickey) said – “Baseball is a metaphor for America”. But this film is not just about a game or a sport, it is a story about 2 men, a baseball coach and executive Branch Rickey and a baseball player Jackie Robinson, who started changing the world.
Jackie Robinson was the same as most other baseball players: capable, sporty and crazy about the game … The only difference is was that he has a different skin color. But his talent and perseverance allowed him to lead the way in the destruction of racism and segregation in sports and in society in general.
“42” – is a film about many things. About perseverance, ability, honesty, justice, equality, baseball, love … Jackie Robinson was different because of the color of his skin and his tremendous ability to play. He played better than others. And he was able to survive the press of those who were disgruntled Number 42 – is an immensly powerful drama full of spirit, showcasing the powerful will of a man with real enthusiasm and resolve.
“How a bold dream… led to a sensational victory!”
Having lost his wife and a job 30-year-old bartender Vince Papale decides to realize his dream. He is given the chance to take part in a contest sponsored by the coach of an American professional football team, the “Philadelphia Eagles”. The head coach, Dick Vermeil,invited anyonethat wanted to tryout for the Eagles team – the so-called “walk-on” tryout. Papale had not played football in high school or college but the Eagles’ Coaches were hugely impressed with his natural, God-given talent. He was a miracle of sorts, as professional sport athletes go.
This film evokes strange emotions – a feeling of a warmth with a bit of jealousy, because you realize that the emotions of the Eagles’ players cannot be shown through the camera lens and you are struggling to feel the same emotions they were experiencing. Marg Wahlberg managed to show internal doubts and worries that tormented the main hero. But when the team enters the stadium and starts the last game, everything vanishes, because the only thing that matters is to win.
«Do you believe in miracles?»
The events described in the film took place during a difficult time for the United States. The country’s economy was going through a painful crisis and revelations about then-President Nixon and his personal knowledge of the Watergate scandal. The situation in the country is was not encouraging, and the general mood was reflected in the field of sport. The U.S. Olympic hockey team not only was not a contender to win; in fact it was not even a competitve team failing to make it into the top 5 ranked world teams. And then, a middle-aged former coach of “Pittsburgh Penguins” was brought in to lead the team. He declared that he knew how to win the gold medal for the U.S.
The team is was in poor condition so Herb Brooks’ statement seemed strange, to say the least. What can he could he possibly suggest? He decided to make a new team of young players from various university teams.U.S. Olympic officials were dubious about his judgement and whether his bold scheme would work. But they had no alternative. Herb Brooks started his “affair”, and after six months training his team in the Olympic Village at Lake Placid, NY, people witnessed the event which became known as the “the miracle on ice.”
5. The Fighter
«Every dream deserves a fighting chance»
It’s incredible story! Micky Ward’s real life path to the junior welterweight crown in boxing really did have all the twists, turns and drama that was turned into a great movie! Ward’s story is quite similar to the legendary Rocky Balboa character played by Sylvester Stalone. A common man, working class guy all the way. He takes a hiatus from boxing working construction, gets some surgery done to repair his hand and comes back to boxing stronger than ever!
Having experienced a series of defeats due to the bad hand, Mickey managed to get back into the ring, where his coach was his half-brother Dicky Eklund. Dicky was a former boxer whose career had been cut short due to drug addiction. The help of his brother, the love of a waitress named Charlene, the care of his mother and his own indomitable will to win allowed Ward to reach the highest heights of the sport.
6. The Express
“You can reach everything, but…”
This is the story of Ernie Davis, the black man who was a true natural athlete and could achieve results and be a champion in any sport. He chose American football where he excelled at Sryacuse University. This film is not only about sports, but also about the life of the African-American people in in the U.S. in the 1940’s and 1950’s; about the difficulties they experienced in the community and how much more effort they had to exert in order to overcome prejudice and to prove their worth as human beings . This is a real story about a guy who was able to escape and cope with everything except for his own destiny. There are way too many movies about racism in the US, but this true-life story, amazing camera work and increadible direction makes this one of the best sport dramas of all time. Sadly Ernie the first black man to win the coveted college football Heissman Trophy in 1961 , never played a professional game. He had been drafter by the Washington Red Skins, traded to the Cleveland Browns but had his career and life cut short by leukimia passing away in 1962.
7. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
«The Mystery. The Life. The Love. The Legend»
The film tells about the life and work of the martial arts master, the creator of a new style of combat – Jeet Kune Do, and the creator of a new genre of movie – “action”, where the main things to focus on in the films is are the fights.
This movie doesn’t show the life of a star, but the life of a common man; his character, habits, and problems. We see how a person grows – from a little boy who was sent to training in Wing Chun in his formative years. He went on to create his own style of martial arts Jeet Kune Do (which means The Way of the Intercepting Fist) with thousands of students and followers.
This fine film offers you love, sport, injury, overcoming hardships and friendship. Bruce set very high goals for himself and achieved mightily. A beautiful story of a brilliant person who you want to model yourself.
“Do what you must, come what may”
The 1970’s, Planet Earth and it’s the Golden Era for Formula 1 Racing. The cars: Streamlined shape, lightening fast, quick turning which all could lead to disaster. The fans, the groopie-girls who gave freely in bed just to say they slept with a particular driver, the bottle of champagne at the finish line. Two great rival in this sport: First, a charming playboy Englishman named James Hunt and the discipilined perfectionist Austrian Niki Lauda – both bring themselves to the limit of physical and psychological endurance to get the adulation of the fans. Winning Formula 1 Races was their crack cocaine – the rush of being at the top of the sport.
Winning was hard and if you made a mistake? Well as long as you didn’t kill yourself there was the next race or next season. These two gents were great competitors and lived Formula 1 to the max! And now to that wonderful champagne…
“I believed in myself and I believe in the goodness of others”
Muhammad Ali is a great America hero and an idol all over the world, and at the same time, one of the most underrated people of the XX century. Fighting for civil rights in his native country during the tough years when high-profile political and social events radically changed the outlook of people, Ali defended the oppressed and gave people the new hope. History made him a living legend, and now there is it’s hard to find at least one person on the planet who has not heard the proud name of Ali.
«To overcome a great way to find yourself»
Cheryl Strayed is a novelist, memoirist and essayist and feminist-activist who is best known for her book “Wild – From Lost to Found On The Pacific Crest Trail” about her 1,100 mile walk from L.A. to the Canadian border. The film is slow but has it’s moments of livliness and is frankly, really sweet and speaks to the heart. Reese Witherspoon played Cheryl in the film version and did it perfectly! The message from Chery’s book is brought to life by Witherspoon in an inspiring story. You just want to go walk with Cheryl and you know it will be a great adventure.
This is not an actual sports drama but the metaphors are the same. Sport can help us overcome hurdles in life and sometimes it’s an inner fight we wage to achieve a dream that’s bigger that we are.
The meaning of each of these stories has a common thread: overcoming your inner fears and self doubts to survive under difficult conditions, to find your sense of purpose in life, to never give up despite all the adversity and difficulties you encounter on your quest. You should always try to live it to the max and always push yourself just a bit harder to achieve your dreams.