With the baseball season starting to heat up and the NBA finals approaching, I thought I'd write a column about sports. Of course the "Greatest Sports Movies" and similar themes have been done to death, so I thought I'd do something a little different. I've compiled a list of the best sports scenes – or at least a scene involving a sport – in a non-sports movie.
Was there nothing he couldn't do on that bike?
PEEWEE'S BIG ADVENTURE
For those who may have forgotten, the movie opens with a dream sequence. Pee-Wee's on his bike of course, and racing in the Tour de France, albeit in an area that looks nothing like the hills of France. Pee-Wee wins but just before he gets his prize, his alarm clock goes off.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
There are two great sports-related scenes in this one. In the first one McMurphy organizes a patient versus orderlies basketball game where the Chief dominates. In the second one, after having been denied by Nurse Ratched the chance to watch a World Series game, McMurphy sits in front of a blank TV screen and commentates on what he thinks could
possibly be happening in the game. Soon all the other patients join him and everyone noisily and excitedly "watches" the game.
Of course he caught a ball
FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF
In addition to everything else they do, the gang goes to a Cubs game ("Suh-wing batta batta") where Ferris naturally catches a foul ball. They're sitting in the left field stands not too far from where Steve Bartman's infamous catch would happen a mere seventeen years later.
Willie tries to teach the kid (I love how he doesn't have a name, just "the kid") how to fight so he has him boxing against Marcus the midget. Marcus isn't happy about it and, not surprisingly, the whole thing ends with everyone getting punched in the balls.
While Neidemeyer screams at the new recruits, Otter and Boone are causally preparing to tee off. Eventually one of their golf balls hits Neidemyer in the head while another smacks his horse causing it to gallop away.
John Candy. Girls in bikinis. A mud-filled wrestling ring. 'Nuff said.
Shirtless men frolicking in the sun while Kenny Loggins' "Playin' with the Boys" plays on the soundtrack. If a more homoerotic game of volleyball has ever been captured on film, I don't want to know about it.
There are a few scenes of Miles and Jack playing golf but the best has to be when they have the group of impatient men behind them. Miles hits a ball back at them in retaliation and when they quickly drive their golf cart towards them, Jack sufficiently scares them by screaming and running at them as he brandishes a club.
Okay, I know Quidditch isn't a real sport but so what? In THE SORCERER'S STONE when Harry wins the match by catching the golden snitch in his mouth, I stood up and cheered. Well, not really, but I thought about it.
You may recall that the offensive suggestion came during a game of pool.
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
This movie is chock full of great bowling scenes but I think the best is where we meet Jesus, the over-zealous bowler/sexual predator
who has a taste for skin-tight purple jumpsuits and literally likes to taste his ball. Of course that moment gave us the famous quote which, if I'm not mistaken, is from the New Testament: "You don't fuck with Jesus."
At one point in this typical zany Jerry Lewis comedy, he attends an exhibition baseball game in Japan where he loudly – and hysterically – cheers on the visiting L.A. Dodgers, at the same time mocking the home team. Of course he ends up with a ball in his mouth and getting chased out of the stadium by a giant Japanese pitcher.
As Mr. Blume talks on a cell phone he approaches kids playing basketball. He quickly walks through the court just so he can block one little kid's shot.
THE NAKED GUN
Lieutenant Frank Drebin, under cover to protect the Queen of England, infiltrates the Angels game first as an opera singer then as the home plate umpire. In addition to feeling up all the players in search of a gun, he starts a bench-clearing brawl. But, thanks to a fat girl falling on Reggie Jackson, the Queen is saved.
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Thoughts, observations, conjectures, complaints about movies and mostly how they relate to me personally. If you're looking for something a little broader, try Ebert.
Born to write (literally – much to the displeasure of his mother, he emerged with a pencil clutched in one tiny fist), Tim spends most of his days crafting epic monosyllabic poems, new comical titles to his favorite Beatles' songs (Hey, Dude), and angry letters to local businesses that have wronged him in some way. He's really an okay guy once you get to know him.|
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