This is an interesting challenge this week because I am so far removed from this..namely, sports and combat. Actually, I watch a lot more combat movies and documentaries than I would ever watch sports. That being said, I realized I have seen quite a few films that meet this theme. Wandering Through The Shelves chose another great theme this week so let’s get on with the show.
1. THE LONGEST YARD-1974
I really love this movie and first saw it when I was a kid and found it hilarious. This is the best version although Adam Sandler’s film is not bad, just not as good as this original that stars Burt Reynolds as a disgraced football quarterback who winds up in a Southern prison run by a corrupt warden, played by Eddie Albert. The warden decides to pit the guards up against the prisoners and puts Reynolds in charge of developing a team. He does and uses many unique ways to give it to the guards which just made me howl. I love some of the character actors in this film like Richard Kiel (Jaws from the Bond films) which makes this film more gritty but without losing the fun. There are some sad moments in the film but that's what makes it even better and how can one not love those cheerleaders.
This is about hockey when bashing each others' face in and not wearing any helmets was the way it was. It stars Paul Newman ( who, I had read, said this was his favourite film) as an over the hill player who loves to drink and play. He rolls his eyes when these 3 young dumbf%$×s are brought on board to play until he sees how they play which is using elbows, fists, body crushes etc...to win the game. It's hilarious and, you don't see blood spurting all over like some Godfather movie, but just fights etc all with a twinkle in their eye. I love Strother Martin as the manager of this team and how can one not love Paul Newman in 70s garb. My brother still needs to do a write up on my blog about this movie.
Seriously, you can't get more combat sports than this. We all know how the Romans just loved watching gladiators slay each other for sport or be pitted against animals. I bet you any money that it would still make big business today. In this excellent movie, Russell Crowe is a general who leads the Roman army to victory against the Barbarians with Richard Harris, the King, calling him the son he wished he had. Evil Joquin Phoenix hears his daddy say this offs his dad and has Crowe arrested and be put to death. He underestimates Crowe who survives and tries to make it home before the Roman's only to be too late. His wife and son dead, he is knocked out and brought to Oliver Reed ( his final role, who died before his scenes were completed) to be a slave who must become a gladiator and combat others in irder to stay alive. Crowe becomes valued and famous before coming to Rome and the coliseum. There he reunites with Joaquin and now who will truly win. This won several Oscars including best actor for Crowe. I love most of the movie except for the saccharine ending which makes me roll my eyes a bit but, overall, it's a great movie and one of my hubby's favourites.
Which combat sports movies would you pick?