One of the main factors that attract so many of us to sports films is that they usually have a happy ending.
While the sporting action itself can often be hit-and-miss, more often than not, the good guy succeeds and the right team lift the trophy.
From the classic sporting pictures such as Chariots of Fire to the more modern efforts like Draft Day, we’re taken on a journey that usually sees the star overcome some type of turmoil on the way to a triumphant victory.
The actors playing the roles might not always get it spot on in terms of replicating those sporting superstars they are portraying, but these films are about so much more than picking apart Adam Sandler’s back-swing or Matt Damon’s mauling technique.
Let’s have a look at some classic sports films in which the recurring theme of success appears.
Rocky: When it comes to sporting movies, you have to really begin with Rocky. Starting from humble beginnings on the mean streets of Philadelphia, our hero goes on a brutal journey to the heavyweight championship of the world. The series even recently spawned a seventh film in Creed. Sylvester Stallone’s portrayal of Rocky Balboa not only made him a household name, it also played a huge part in boxing’s huge popularity throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. With Creed making waves with both the box office and the critics, we might not have seen the end of Rocky Balboa’s iconic cinematic career.
Moneyball: Covering the Oakland Athletics’ trials, tribulations and then success in the 2002 MLB season, Moneyball is another film that combines the drama involved in sport both on and off the field of play. Telling the story of general manager Billy Beane’s bid to assemble a team capable of mixing it with the best, Moneyball profiles a 2002 season in which the Athletics lost a host of star names and built a team of lesser known players that led the team to the American League West title in one of the most iconic seasons in the club’s history. With Oakland’s glory days now nothing but a distant memory, and the franchise priced as long as 66/1 with the likes of the Bet365 betting odds as of the end of January, this is a perfect trip down memory lane for those beleaguered Athletics fans.
Happy Gilmore: Hey, come on now, this is a *great* movie. OK, it’s a decent movie with some very funny bits. Adam Sandler plays Happy Gilmore, who is a short-fused good guy with a remarkable talent that makes the move from the brutal arena of ice hockey into the traditional and stuffy world of golf. Needing to raise money in order to save his Grandma’s home, our maverick hero wins the Tour Championship in frankly unbelievable scenes. He walks away with the title, the girl and the money. The legitimacy of Happy’s speedy journey from novice to champion might have more holes in it than the course at Augusta, but it doesn’t stop this from being a very enjoyable way to spend 92 minutes.