Has Super Bowl fever got you feeling like you need more football? In no particular order, here is a short list of some of the best football movies ever made.
The Longest Yard
Some fans only like the 1974 original, others only know the 2005 remake. Our advice: Watch them both and decide for yourself. Both versions are about a former NFL quarterback who is sent to jail. Once inside, he earns the trust of his fellow inmates when he organizes a game against the guards. Stars: Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Chris Rock, Michael Irvin, Steve Austin, Bill Goldberg, William Fitchner, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter.
Memorable quote: “You could have robbed banks, sold dope or stole your grandmother’s pension checks and none of us would have minded. But shaving points off of a football game, man, that’s un-American.”
-Caretaker to Paul Crewe
Heaven Can Wait
Warren Beatty wrote, directed, produced and starred in this 1978 comedy. Beatty plays a football player who, after being killed in a collision accident, is sent back to earth in the body of a millionaire. In movie, the L.A. Rams and the Steelers make it to the Super Bowl. A year after the film’s release, the two teams really did make it to the Super Bowl.
This is the second time Keanu Reeves has played a quarterback from Ohio State. In the 1991 action film Point Break, his character is an FBI agent, Johnny Utah, who played for the Buckeyes.
In The Replacements, Reeves fails as a quarterback in college but is given a second chance when recruited by the Washington Sentinels to play quarterback during an official players strike.
Notable cameos: John Madden and Pat Summerall.
Any Given Sunday
Directed by Oliver Stone, “Any Given Sunday” has an all-star cast that includes Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Jaime Foxx, Cameron Diaz and James Woods. Worth noting, Foxx didn’t need a stuntman to play him — his moves are real. As a high school player, Foxx passed for over 1,000 yards in a single season.
Check out Pacino’s most memorable, inspiring soliloquy.
Friday Night Lights (2004)
The film, and the TV spinoff, is based on the true story of the 1988 Permian High School football team in Odessa, Texas, and their historic run for the state championships. Billy Bob Thornton leads the ensemble cast.
When you hear people shouting “Show me the money!” — that quote is straight out of Jerry McGuire. Welcome to the world of athletes and agents. This 1997 film stars actor Tom Cruise and launched the career of Cuba Gooding Jr. Renee Zellweger plays a single mom and provides a nice respite from all the ballin’.
Jerry McGuire was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Gooding won for Best Supporting Actor, and Cruise won a Golden Globe for best Actor.
In this 1932 Marx Brothers romp, Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo play college football pklayers who come up with a creative way to reach the end zone in the film’s finale.
The Blind Side
The 1996 movie is based on the book about the life of Baltimore Raven, Michael Oher. Sandra Bullock won an Academy Award for her role as a Southern suburban mom who takes in a high school football player, played by Quinton Aaron, after she realizes he has no where to sleep.
Memorable quote: “You threaten my son, you threaten me.”
In this comedy, Adam Sandler stars as Bobby Boucher, the socially inept, stuttering water boy, who discovers he has a knack or tackling and joins the team. He’ll remind you of Sandler’s ‘Canteen Boy’ on Saturday Night Live.
Remember the Titans
It’s 1971 and Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, is coach of the newly integrated program at TC Williams High School, Based on a true story, Remember the Titans is an inspiring film, and while it has been accused of being predictable, it’s so well done, it doesn’t matter.
Memorable quote: “We will be perfect in every aspect. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You make a fumble, I will take you and break my John Brown’s foot up your ass and then you will run a mile. Perfection.”
-Coach Herman Boone
Brian’s Song is near, or at the top of every one of these ‘best football movie’ lists, and for good reason. Brian’s Song was the best known and most enthusiastically reviewed made for TV movie in the 70’s.
This 1971 film chronicles the life of Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo, his battle with cancer, and his friendship with teammate Gayle Sayers. The cast includes James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden and Bernie Casey. Don’t let the small screen TV label turn you away. Warning: You won’t get throught this movie without crying.
The American Film Institute ranks ‘Rudy’ as one of the most inspirational movies of all time. Everyone loves the underdog, and Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, the 5’6″ dyslexic kid who dreams of playing football for Notre Dame was the perfect personification. The 1993 film stars Sean Astin.
Memorable quote: “You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’ and you have nearly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football team in the land for 2 years. And you’re gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself.”
-Fortune, to Rudy
North Dallas Forty
North Dallas Forty offers a peek inside the seamy life of a professional pro football player and his team: the drugs, violence and sex, what happens off the field, before and after the game. The 1979 movie stars Nick Nolte, Mac Davis and G.D. Spradlin. The movie was made back in 1979, so some of it may seem a bit dated.
Please let us know your favorites. Enjoy!