Football has long been a favorite subject of movie-makers who want to entertain us, make us laugh, or give us something to think about.
In terms of inspiring football movies, which titles will have Marlins fans dreaming of glory?
The Longest Yard – 1974
There have been several versions of this comedy drama made, with the 2005 film starring Adam Sandler perhaps the best-known of them. However, we need to go back to the 1974 original with Burt Reynolds to find the most inspiring version.
Reynolds plays former NFL star Paul Crewe, who is sent to prison and is then persuaded to play in an exhibition game of guards vs prisoners. Crewe plays as quarterback while a number of pro football players were also among the cast.
The team of prisoners is losing heavily after being betrayed by Crewe, who accepts a deal for them to lose by at least 21 points. However, he has a change of heart and leads a stirring fightback that sees them beat the guards. The Longest Yard has received mixed reviews, with the mixture of brutal play and sharp comedy among the best points.
Undefeated - 2011
This documentary film follows the fortunes of Manassas High School in Memphis. Their football team isn’t particularly successful and they aren’t known for achieving high levels of academic success either.
All that changes when new coach Bill Courtney joins up and helps to show the players a new way of looking at the world and at the sport. Shot on a low budget and with basic filming equipment, it is a fascinating look at how the right attitude can turn a team around.
Undefeated has received excellent reviews and you will be gripped by the action as the Manassas team attempt to reach their first-ever playoff win.
Mark Wahlberg plays Vince Papale in this movie that is based on a true story. He is a substitute teacher who loves to play football but whose personal life is in disarray. He ends up working as a part-time bartender but is encouraged to go to a public tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles.
He performs well and is invited to a training camp. Despite a difficult start to his pro career, Papale is shown leading the team to success before going on to play for them for three seasons. While the movie doesn’t exactly mirror real life, a lot of the events in it are based on what actually happened.
Invincible has received mainly decent reviews and is seen as a positive movie with a simple, inspiring message. If you like to see the underdog win against the odds, this is a movie that you should enjoy watching.
The Blind Side – 2009
This movie is partly based on the book of the same name, which tells the real-life story of NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher, who struggled through a difficult upbringing to eventually play pro football.
His adoptive parents play a big part in his eventual success, as they look after him and inspire him to fulfil his potential on the field and also at school. In real life, Oher joined the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 draft before enjoying a solid career that lasted for 8 seasons in the NFL.
The Blind Side was a commercial success, becoming one of the highest-grossing football movies of all time, and Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for her role as the adoptive mother. As for Oher, he later stated in a book on his life that he wasn’t happy with the movie’s portrayal of him as lacking intelligence and not being familiar with the sport.
There you have it, some interesting movies to inspire for the next season. If you want to look for more check out the top 20 best football movies of all time here.