In honor of the Superbowl, we present a special edition of “Sunday Night Sports Flicks” featuring five of our favorite football movies of all time. Click the movie title and image for preview.
“Friday Night Lights” is the story of the Permian Panthers, a high-school football team in Texas, and their coach who strives to propel them to greatness through economic, racial, and emotional hardships. The film is based on the book by H.G. Bissinger and dramatizes the single minded focus of a town on the success of its high school football team and the toll that takes on its players. Billy Bob Thornton as the coach, Tim McGraw as an abusive alcoholic father, and Derek Luke as the star running back whose season takes a heartbreaking turn, are just some of the great performances in this movie.
In “Heaven Can Wait”, Warren Beatty stars as a Los Angeles Rams quarterback, accidentally taken from his body by an over-anxious angel before he is supposed to die. He comes back to life in the body of a recently-murdered millionaire and buys the team in order to quarterback them into the Superbowl. The movie also stars the always enchanting Julie Christie.
Directed by Cameron Crowe, Tom Cruise plays Jerry Maguire, a slick sports agent at the top of his game who snaps under the pressure. The love of a single mom, played by Renee Zelwigger, and her son inspires personal and professional redemption. The movie features some of the most quoted lines in movie history such as “Show me the money!” and “You complete me”. It also features the oscar winning performance of Cuba Gooding Jr.
Originally an ABC Movie Of The Week, Emmy Award winning “Brians Song” is the true story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears teammates played by James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. They became the first interracial roommates on the team and unlikely friends. When Piccolo is stricken with terminal cancer, it is the love and support of Sayers that helps him through the difficult struggle. “Brians Song” is still acknowledged as one of the movies that reduces grown men to tears.
Another true story and tearjerker, “Rudy” is the account of the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame, despite significant obstacles. What he lacks in talent and physical stature, he makes up for in drive and heart, and earns a spot on the practice squad. The coach grants his request to suit up for the final home game, and after chants from the crowd and his teammates, he is finally put in the game for the last kickoff of the season. In a dramatic climax, he sacks the Georgia Tech quarterback and is carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates.
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