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Top 5 Films
Season 2010/11

City on the Oscars: Moving Pictures

  • 24 February 2011 16:00
  • Posted by David Clayton

As part of our Oscars celebration, we look at five of the best sports movies of all-time.

You might not find Cool Runnings or Blades of Glory here, but you will find a selection of films that have stood the test of time, or will do in years to come.

As with any list, it’s subjective and not necessarily a list of pictures that swept all before them I terms of awards and critics’ reviews. Here goes…

The Hurricane (1999)

The moving biopic of Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, a gifted boxer who overcomes a troubled youth to become one of America’s most outstanding contenders at middle-weight level. Carter’s dreams are destroyed when he is wrongly accused and convicted of a vicious triple murder that sees him sent to prison for life. It’s only when a young boy stumbles across Carter’s autobiography years later that a chain of events begin aimed at winning Carter his freedom. With Denzel Washington at his brilliant best, this is a film well worth hunting out in your local DVD store.

The Damned United (2009)

Though the book sold by the bucket-load and the Clough family derided the picture, Michael Sheen’s portrayal of Old Big ‘Ead himself, Brian Clough, is both impressive and mesmeric. David Peace’s fictional account of Clough’s disastrous 44-day reign as Leeds United manager is entertaining and, whether factual or not, captures the spirit and essence of the greatest manager England never had. As Cloughie once said, “I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one.”

The Hustler (1961)

Paul Newman’s portrayal of Fast Eddie Helson, a brilliant pool hustler living in the shadowy world of darkened pool halls with dreams of becoming the best in the country. His quest for glory means toppling nemesis Minnesota Fats – but his prize comes at a terrible personal cost. The sequel, The Colour of Money, would appear more than 25 years later, but failed to capture the slick edginess of the original.

Raging Bull (1980)

Arguably Robert De Niro’s greatest acting performance, Raging Bull is the story of prize fighter Jake LaMotta and his battles in and outside of the ring.  Filmed in black and white, Martin Scorsese’s classic tale of a champion boxer whose private life is as violent as his professional life, won De Niro Best Actor Oscar is a painfully honest and brutal account of a man suffering from paranoia and intense jealousy that gradually begins to destroy him. The fight scenes alone will leave you feeling battered and bruised. Watch with a bucket of water and a sponge to hand.

Chariots of Fire (1982)

A film that won the 1982 Academy Award for Best Film, Chariots of Fire tells the true story of track stars Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams and their journey to Olympic gold in the 1924 Paris Games. A British triumph about a British triumph – you don’t get too many of those to the pound and a film that possibly has one of the most famous film scores courtesy of Vangelis.

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