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Sports movies are motion pictures where a certain sport, a sporting event or an athlete represents the theme of the film. Sometimes the sport itself is not the main concern but the struggle, drama or funny situations that arise from engaging in sports. The target audience is not necessarily sports fans but sports fans will have a huge respect for sports films. The sport involved will mainly be the main force behind the motion picture’s plot or resolution. There are a lot of subgenres in this category involving sports drama, sports comedy or sports biography that would usually involve either a little bit of the drama or the comedy. These subgenres will use the setting of the sport, the matches, the interaction between different players and the struggles athletes go through to reach their goals. If you want to find good sports movies to watch you will be able to find a number of various options.
How did the genre start?
Most sports features started out as documentaries that would feature different sports that were popular during that era. Sports silent feature pictures are as old as the cinema industry itself where there were motion pictures talking about different sports that used the sports theme as the plot line behind the film’s setting. One of the earliest projects is the American picture“Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph”. It was shot in 1894 to show the fight between two acclaimed boxers James Corbett and Peter Courtney in a specially arranged boxing match that would be recorded and displayed in cinemas. It consisted of 6 parts to represent the 6 rounds of the boxing match. Although it feaured no dialogue, it was one of the earliest films that would revolve solely on sports and sports related events. This project is available on the internet if you want to find free sports movies online because its copyright has expired. “Baseball and Bloomers” is also one of the earliest American short sports films and was produced in 1911. Although the picture is presumed lost now, there is some information available about it. It focuses on a teacher who wants to take her class to a new challenge. Since her young ambitious athletes are not satisfied with tennis and basketball, she decides to organize a baseball club. The club tries to challenge another school in a baseball game. The boys first laugh off then they decide to accept the challenge and it turns out that the girls are not as good at the game. But to their luck two baseball stars from Harvard University decide to join the girls’ team and they manage to win. The girls finally reward each one of them with a kiss on the cheek. This was probably one of the first movies that used sports as means to create the plot, the climax and the resolution.
How did the genre evolve?
As the cinema industry became more advanced and more complicated, so did the sports motion pictures. They were made to include the sports as a main plot theme while the events would evolve in a comedy or drama concept. The earliest creations didn’t have much depth, usually focusing on the merits of the funny events that would happen during a sports event. With the introduction of voice pictures, the sports genre became more popular and more complex as people loved watching pictures talking about their favorite sports, famous sports events or famous athletes. One of them is “Maybe it’s Love” that is also known as “Eleven Men and a Girl”. It is an all-talking American comedy musical that was produced in 1930. The film is based on a play that was previously shot and made into a silent movie. It is about the president of Upton College who is about to lose his job since Upton College usually loses the annual football match to Parsons College. His daughter decides to help him with the help of her friend who happens to be an acclaimed football star himself. She changes her appearance and attempts to seduce different players to join the team by pretending that she will interested in them if they choose to do so. As the team understands the scheme they pretend to be drunk just before the game to teach her a lesson, but eventually they decide to forgive her and win the game. In the 50s and 60s there was more focus on the humane side of sports that was widely evident in the cinematic projects produced in that era. The genre kept on evolving with motion pictures that would later be nominated for the Oscars. One of the most acclaimed sports films is “The Hurricane”, a 1999 biographical sports drama that starred Academy Award winner Denzel Washington who played the role of Rubin ”The Hurricane” Carter, a middle weight boxer who was charged and convicted with a triple murder. It was based on the autobiography written by Carter himself after spending his time in jail. It talks about Carter’s life, his arrest and trial and how he was saved and relieved by a teenage boy and his Canadian foster family. The movie highlights the theme of racism that was later believed to be the main reason why he was convicted. The movie was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for Denzel Washington.
How did the genre evolve in other countries?
The sports genre evolved in other countries as fast as the cinema industry itself. In France the motion pictures “A Gentleman of the Ring” is a sound motion picture that was produced in 1932 and is a remake of silent project of the same title. In other countries like China, sports motion pictures were actually the only way that allowed the traditional practices and sports become more popular across the world. Bruce Lee, the Hong Kong and American martial artist, is one the reasons in changing the way Asians were featured in the American cinema by becoming a pop culture icon of the 20th century after starring in motion pictures like “The Big Boss” and “Fist of Fury”, both produced in the 1970s. They represent an on-going influence on martial arts lovers all over the world and are great options if you want to watch sports movies online.
If you are a cinema lover then you will be interested to watch other genres. You can enjoy a lot of biographical films that feature the real live events of different characters that left an impact on the world. One of them is “Jackie” that talks about the live events of Jackie Kennedy. You can also watch free online documentaries like “City of Ghosts”, who follows a group of activists and journalists who leave their homeland after Raqqa was taken over by ISIS in 2014. If you want to find some interesting war movies to watch, you will find a lot of options online that talk about the events of different wars that changed the face of the world in the 20th century including World War 1, World War 2 and the Vietnam War. One of these is “Saving Private Ryan”, an epic American war drama that follows the quest of a military squad that is determined to bring Private Ryan, the last surviving brother of 4 servicemen, back home to his mother. The internet is full of amazing creations for cinema lovers who want to find something interesting and exciting.
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