Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks-Underdog films


We have all felt like the underdog at one time or another and that's why these films appeal to us so much. We root for the people who seem to have everything and everyone against them which we not only see in films but have seen in real life as well. Have you ever felt like the underdog? Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the other film buffs have chosen. Now, here are my 3....

1.  MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON-1939


1939 was the best year in movies...books have been written about this year alone, I know because I own 2 and this film is one of the classics. James Stewart gave an Oscar worthy performance as a young senator who idealistically wishes to buy some land for a national boys camp. The problem is that this same land is wanted by a manipulative man who wants it for a dam but is really a graft scheme. The corrupt a-hole has a big senator, much admired, in his pocket. They think the young, innocent senator will be a pushover but they are strongly mistaken. Jean Arthur plays the disillusioned love interest who helps the young senator learn some of the tricks. James Stewart gives one of his best performances here where he actually took swabbed his throat with mercuric chloride (Yikes!) to make his voice hoarse in the climax of the film. It is a must film to see.

2. THE BAD NEWS BEARS-1976


I love this film and it is much better than the remake with Billy Bob Thornton. It Stars Walter Matthau as a drunken has-been who is given the task to shape up these misfit kids into some sort of baseball team. These kids are the typical freaks and geeks who truly suck at the game until they bring in a young gal who has a killer arm and pitches deadly baseballs. He also brings in the juvenile delinquent who is considered the best athlete. This is politically incorrect film, my favourite kind, with some great music from Bizet's Carmen  that just enhances the scenes all the more.

3.  SEABISCUIT-2003


I had no idea about this famous horse until I watched this film. This horse grabbed national headlines during the 1930's  because he was considered an underdog that won many titles. The horse is not the only underdog, Tobey McGuire  is the jockey who is blind in one eye. The Trainer is old and considered beyond his work years and the owner has of Seabiscuit is a lost soul after his son dies. They all find salvation in this horse and the horse finds it in them. The rest of the people, ravaged by years of the Great Depression feel redeemed by this horse. This film deeply touched my heart and really shows how one can never give up.

All of these films speak about never giving up and to stick to our dreams no matter what so this is why I end this with this song....




64 comments:

  1. I've seen and enjoyed all three films. I liked Seabiscuit so much I went out and bought the book. Good choices.

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    1. Glad you saw these...how was the book?

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    2. I really enjoyed the book. Lots of information.

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  2. I haven't seen your first pick but I have seen the last two. I don't remember much from Seabiscuit though, except Maguire being really skinny.

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    1. He was and it shows a bit what the jockey goes through

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  3. I've seen two of them.
    Will go with a sports movie - Major League.

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    1. I haven't seen that film but it is popular today

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  4. These were all good. Of course Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a classic.

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  5. And let's not forget 2007's Underdog

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    1. Hahahaaa....yes that is a good one but I haven't seen it but I have seen the cartoons

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  6. I've always loved Jimmy Stewart, even in his surprising (and early) role as the murderer(!) in After the Thin Man.

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    1. I know! This one and the one where he plays Jeanette MacDonald's brother in Rose Marie..also not a good guy....strange to say the least

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  7. I haven't seen any of those. Heard of 'em all though.

    Rocky, Stand and Deliver, Miracle.

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    1. I have never seen Stand and Deliver. I have successfully avoided Rocky and I really enjoyed Miracle

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  8. I haven't seen any of these. I need to see Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

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  9. I knew of Seabiscut just because of all the allusions in cartoons from the era. Go back and look at some of those cartoons. That horse was ubiquitous.

    I don't think I've seen the first movie (well, bits of it, I'm sure). Bad News Bears was out when I was a kid, so I saw it a few times on TV. Ah, the late '70s. There are several movies from then that I loved that probably didn't hold up all that well.

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    1. I have to see some of the old cartoons because I don't remember Seabiscuit from then. There are some films that won't hold up well but others will.

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  10. I didn't see the last movie, but I did see the other three. I especially loved Seabiscuit. The book is amazing. When I read it, I felt like I could hear the hooves thundering down the track Well, well written and highly recommended.

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    1. Oh...good to know about the book. The last snippet is more about the song since I never saw the movie but I did see it on stage.

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  11. Seen all three at my sea, good ones indeed. Never knew about Seabiscuit either until I watched it. Major League and Hot Pursuit popped in for me.

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    1. Major league seems big this week. I have never heard about Hot Pursuit so need to look this up.

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  12. BIRGIT ~
    I love the theme! And your choice of 'MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON' is absolutely E-Ticket! A "must" on any Underdogs movie list.

    I would add that first 'ROCKY' for sure. And also 'RUDY', without a doubt.

    So, there's my three. If I could sneak in a fourth, I think it would be 'THE BLACK STALLION'. A fantastic "Underhorse" movie with gorgeous cinematography. (In fact, I recently posted a review of it on my 'REVIEWS...' blog.)

    ~ Stephen
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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    1. I thought you would like Mr. Smith and how could I not include this great, great film. I have to say I have successfully avoided Rocky...never had a desire to see that film and not much for Rudy either. I do want to see The Black Stallion and one day I will see it

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  13. LOVE Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, such a brilliant pick for this theme! One of my all-time favorite films... can you imagine the corrupt politicians were the villains and the good guy politician actually won? WHAT A WORLD!! I still think this should be required viewing for all American children (and politicians, too)!

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    1. Isn't it a great film! I love it and so wish we could see this now instead of what is happening in the States

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    2. It IS(!!!) what "is happening in the States". But I guess it would take an American to know.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Check out my new blog @
      (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

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  14. I've seen all of these. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorites.

    Love,
    Janie

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  15. I've only seen The Bad News Bears. What a brilliant movie, that is. I've been avoiding Seabiscuit since it came out. Just looks way too cheesy.

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    1. Seabiscuit is not cheesy. I was scared it would be when I first watched it but it has layers in this film and may touch one's heart but it does it intelligently. I hope, one day, you can give it a chance

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  16. I've never been crazy about Bad News Bears, though it is far better than the very crappy remake, but I LOVE the other two.

    Jimmy Stewart is the linchpin of Mr. Smith but wow is he surrounded by a gaggle of the best actors working at the time. I think that's what helps keep the film so entertaining. I have a soft spot for Seabiscuit not only because I enjoyed it but it's one of the few films I saw in the theatre with my Dad. He loves the ponies and always talked fondly of Seabiscuit so when the film came out I was able to convince him to go and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. For an inspirational it had some really harrowing plot points, in particular concerning Toby character and his family.

    There's tons of choice this week so I just went with three favorites, my last one of my very favorite, films.

    Little Miss Sunshine (2006)-Young Olive (Abigail Breslin) has a dream shared by her grandfather (Alan Arkin). She wants to compete in the Little Miss Sunshine contest but that requires a road trip with her dysfunctional family, inventor dad Richard (Greg Kinnear), willfully mute brother Dwayne (Paul Dano), suicidal Uncle Frank (Steve Carell) and flustered mom Sheryl (Toni Collette). At first it looks doubtful but then they all pile into the van and go on a bumpy road to give Olive her chance despite the odds. Just quirky enough to be charming without wearing out its welcome thanks to a great cast all doing terrific work. Arkin won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

    Miracle (2004)-The true story of Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) the hockey coach who took the rough material that was the US hockey team and whipped them into Olympic gold medal winning shape. Wonderfully detailed with athletes rather than actors as the team mates, though they perform their lines well, and a powerfully convincing lead performance from Russell, one of his best. Despite the known outcome the film is quite involving and the end exciting.

    October Sky (1999)-Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is just another backwoods teen in a slowly dying coal town in the 50’s until he witnesses Sputnik flying by one night. Filled with the wonder of space and encouraged by his young teacher Miss Riley (Laura Dern) he convinces his friends O’Dell & Roy Lee to work with him to try and build rockets. Enlisting the school outcast and brain Quentin they plunge in against many obstacles, including the stubborn resistance of Homer’s good but pigheaded father (Chris Cooper). Meeting with some success they determine to enter the national science competition in pursuit of college scholarships. A great film with tremendous performances full of determination to succeed against seemingly insurmountable odds and all around American can-doism with one of the most beautifully evocative and fitting scores ever.

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    1. I had to go with Jimmy since he can play the underdog in so many films. love your picks. Little Miss Sunshine is so quirky and fun and I love her talent edition near the end of the film. Miracle is an excellent film and one of the few sports films that I like. Kurt Russell was excellent. I love October Sky and almost chose that film as well. It is beautifully written and shot. The acting is great and who knew where these men of science came from eh?

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  17. Seabiscuit is the only I've seen on this list. Great movie.

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  18. Hi, Birgit!

    I have seen all three of these pictures. The clip you provided for Mr. Smith features one of Jimmy Stewart's greatest film speeches. I am attracted to idealistic underdogs and Stewart played them to perfection (see also Anatomy of a Murder).

    I tend not to like sports movies about athletes or teams that win the big game against all odds, but Mrs. S and I loved Seabiscuit.

    (I'm pretty sure I know which film you are using for the letter "Q" because I featured it on SDMM recently and it's a favorite, dahlink. :)

    Thanks and have a super weekend, dear friend BB!

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    1. Jimmy Stewart could play this character well. I think The Spirit of St. Louis would fit as well.I am with you about sports films especially boxing films unless it is more of a character study (Cinderella Man is excellent). Now I must go Darlink to get my feather boa and venture to my sister's wig shop:)

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  19. I have actually watched all three of these films and agree that they are all great. In the horse racing genre, there is also Secretariat, which I also loved.
    That's Purrfect

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  20. Oh my gosh, I had no idea that Jimmy Stewart did that to make his voice sound like that. That is some dedicated acting right there! It's like when actors add/drop weight for films. You're so spot on about the original Bad News Bears. Some movies just don't need to be remade. They're good just the way they are.

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    1. I am surprised he did this but I remember him talking about it because he wanted the right effect. The remake was not that good but the original Bad news Bears is so great.

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  21. I think I might have seen Seabiscuit, but not sure. I know I saw Secretariat, but your synopsis of Seabiscuit sounds more compelling as an underdog.

    My mother wasn't even born in 1939, so my knowledge of the old films is a bit lacking. I would LOVE to see this one with Jimmy Stewart, though.

    From your clever synopses, I really enjoyed these classics you chose.

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    1. My dad was born in 1913 and loved movies so I would question him about the movies and the stars and then we would weatch movies together. There would often be Movies for a Sunday afternoon and so many classic were on there and then the great Elwy Yost hosted a program on Saturday night called Saturday Night at the Movies. It would always be a double feature and in between films he would interview some of the great people from that time

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  22. Is Mr. Smith goes to Washington the one where he Phillibusters? If so I saw it, many years ago. Also saw Sea Biscuit. Was a tad disappointed as it was more about the depression than the horse.

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  23. Seabiscuit was such a good movie. I enjoyed it very much.

    www.ficklemillennial.com

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  24. Who doesn't love an underdog?
    You always choose so well.

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  25. Same here. I had no idea about this famous horse. But despite the epic length of the film, Seabiscuit was a film I could get behind. I also really want to see Mr Smith!

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  26. Birgit, it seems like we watched, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington years ago at my in-laws. Jimmy Stewart was a remarkable actor. I don't know if we've seen The Bad New Bears before but I love Walter Matthau. He was so genuinely funny! I know we have seen Seabiscuit but it's supposed to be a good movie. It just doesn't seem like a flick we'd enjoy but we've been wrong about these things before. Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend!

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  27. Haven't seen Seabiscuit, but now you have me wanting to see it. Walter Matthau was a sexy-looking guy with all those laugh wrinkles. Seriously, Birgit, I'm not kidding.

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  28. I have heard of all of these- but have only seen (and loved) The Bad News Bears. I must have watched it a million times growing up. Haven't seen it in a while, but I was happy to be reminded of it here. Lots more movies for me to see! Great list!
    ~Jess

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  29. Haha. Poltically incorrect and the 70s go hand in hand. I have never seen Mr Smith but I know its its influence and how iconic the film is.

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  30. Good grief, I had no idea Jimmy Stewart swabbed that stuff in his throat!
    Hope you had a great weekend in spite of the weather.

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  31. I've seen all of these except Seabiscuit. I read that book and decided I'd not see the film. I'm thinking that nothing has changed since the 30s and that Mr. Smith could go to Washington today and have a very similar experience. :-)

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  32. The Bad News Bears was such a fun movie. And you just can't beat Walter Matthau.
    Hope you're feeling better, my friend.

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  33. I haven't seen any of these but Sea biscuit looks crisp enough to engage the viewer. I like horses.

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  34. Great picks, Birgit! I guess mine would be the original Karate Kid, any of the Rocky movies, and Lucas.

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  35. Sea Biscuit was a fabulous film - great choice, Birgit. :)

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  36. Great movies. Haven't thought about Bad News Bears in a long time, but I agree with your take on it. I always love movies about the underdog, and for some reason, though I am not an athlete, Sports Underdog movies really get to me. Just loved Rudy for that reason.

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  37. That song is the perfect ending. Wondrous.
    Hope your evening is restful and tomorrow is pain free.
    Hugs,

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  38. I just watched the Bad News Bears clip. So much fun! I and my family loved that movie when it came out. I had no idea, or I forgot, that Tatum O'Neal was the secret weapon. Very cool. Thanks for posting that one. The others are good too, but Bad News Bears is very nostalgic for me.

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  39. Birgit,
    Glad you are better and hope tomorrow you are better yet.
    Hugs,

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