“Maybe out of all of the dog poisoning, gay bashing, unfinished venue and paltry accommodations will emerge a gripping and uplifting story that becomes a movie to be found on a list in 15 years or so. “
With the complete cluster that has been the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter games thus far; I thought it would be a nice change to remember the actual Olympic Spirit through the magic of cinema. Perhaps to take a break from Russia bashing for a bit-even though it’s become pretty fun and has actually united the world in a different manor.
Here’s a look at my top 10 Olympic movies of all time, in no particular order. Maybe out of all of the dog poisoning, gay bashing, unfinished venue and paltry accommodations will emerge a gripping and uplifting story that becomes a movie to be found on a list in 15 years or so.
I dare you to not get fired up watching one of the biggest sports upset stories unfold in this 2004 movie starring Kurt Russell as USA Hockey Coach Herb Brooks. It details the story of the underdog 1980 USA hockey team made up of college and amateur guys up against a goliath unbeatable Russian team. Well, you know the rest. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Chariots of Fire
Admit it. You’ve done the whole running in slow motion across the beach while singing the theme music from this 1981 classic. This four-time Oscar winning movie is based on a pair of athletes from the 1924 Olympics Eric Lidell and Harold Abrahams, who were determined to overcome prejudices.
This Steven Spielberg film is heavy but important. It tells the story of the Israeli plan to hunt down and kill the terrorists responsible for the attack at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich where 11 Israeli athletes were killed.
Blades of Glory
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder star as enemy ice skaters who become a pairs team in this ridiculous movie filled with glittery outfits, feathered hair and hilarity. Their hijinks result in being banned from the 2002 games.
While these are two separate movies, they contain the same subject and were both done very well. Steve Prefontaine was a University of Oregon distance runner who died tragically in a car accident at age 24, cutting short a promising career after competing in the 1972 Olympics. Both movies do the runner justice and feature amazing 70’s porn ‘staches.
This 1993 movie about the misadventures and triumph of the Jamaican bobsled team who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics is always good for the human spirit and a laugh. John Candy delivers an excellent comedic performance in this cult classic. Of note- the Jamaican bobsled team is returning to the winter games after a 12-year hiatus in Sochi.
Mariel Hemmingway stars as a woman trying to qualify for the US track and field team in 1980, which was eventually boycotted by the Americans for political reasons.
The Jesse Owens Story
This made for TV movie was based on the life of Jesse Owens, an African American track star who won four events at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The docu-drama won a 1985 Emmy and was actually nominated for two more.
This obscure film stars Robbie Benson (remember him?) as Billy Mills, a man who was raised on a reservation and became an elite distance runner. He was just the second American Indian to win an Olympic gold medal, taking it in the 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in a huge upset.
The Cutting Edge
This 1992 flick features a hockey player and a figure skater who team up to compete as a skating team pushing for Olympic Gold. It’s no surprise that they eventually fall in Iove after fighting for most of the movie. It was 1990’s a romantic comedy after all.