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Top 10 Awesome Sports-Themed Films

Sport has lent itself to the movies in a unique way since the dawn of motion picture, and remains one of its most popular genres. There is something about the way cinema can expand and expound on the

Sport has lent itself to the movies in a unique way since the dawn of motion picture, and remains one of its most popular genres. There is something about the way cinema can expand and expound on the drama, the emotion, the triumph and tragedy of athletic competition that continues to make us laugh, cry, boo and cheer, all while chugging overpriced soda and devouring fake buttered popcorn. In thinking about it, I realize that some of the coolest films of all time have been sports-themed, or at least included a memorable sports scene that captured the public's imagination and in so doing became an indelible movie classic. Now, I'm not claiming that these are the best sports films of all time or that people won't take some exception to them, I'm just saying that for my money, they are some of the most enduring. Without further ado, I offer ten awesome sports themed films;

10 The Hustler

9 The Longest Yard

8 The Natural

7 The Pride of the Yankees

6 The Bad News Bears

5 Rocky

4 Brian's Song

3 Chariots of Fire

2 Raging Bull

1 Ben-Hur

Since I started with a film many might not consider sports themed, I may as well end with one. Simply say the words 'Ben-Hur' and anyone will tell you the one scene that sticks out in their mind is 'the chariot race.' This epic 1959 film traces the strained relationship between the Jewish Prince of Hur, Judah Ben-Hur (Charleton Heston) and his boyhood friend Messala (Steven Boyd) who returns to Jerusalem after many years away as Commander of the Roman Legions. After attempting to bribe Judah into betraying his people, his refusal enrages Messala who exploits a tragic accident against the new Governor to sentence his one-time friend to a Roman galley slave ship and imprison his mother and sister. Judah survives the ordeal by rescuing the ship's Consul (or Captain) Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins) after it's sunk in battle. In gratitude, Arrius takes Judah to Rome where he becomes a victorious charioteer in the Great Circus and eventually adopts him as his son and heir. When he returns to Jerusalem as a Roman Consul, Judah confronts Messala and demands the whereabouts of his family, only to be informed later by the woman he loves (at the behest of his mother) that they have died. This sets the stage for the dramatic showdown between the two antagonists in the fantastic chariot race. Filmed on an enormous set built outside of Rome, this scene is a masterpiece from a bygone movie era, unmatched for sheer film making splendor and excitement. No matter how many times you see it, the tension, drama and spectacular cinematography of this scene remains unparalleled and it's universally considered one of the best action sequences ever filmed. They just don't make 'em like this anymore, folks.

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Top 10 Awesome Sports-Themed Films