Robert Redford starred in three movies released in 1969: the politically charged drama Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here; the great Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; and the riveting Downhill Racer, in which Redford plays a cocky skier who butts heads with the U.S. ski team's coach, played to crotchety perfection by Gene Hackman.
Watch a trailer for Downhill Racer.
Easily one of the funniest movies ever made about professional sports, Slap Shot stars Paul Newman as the player-coach of a minor league hockey team that gains fans and fame when the players abandon the nuances of the game for an almost cartoonish brand of on-ice violence.
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The Cutting Edge might be filled with sports-movie clichés—a rich, spoiled figure skater (Moira Kelly) partners with a tough, plain-spoken ex-hockey player (D.B. Sweeney) to try to win Olympic gold—but the movie still works, largely because the two leads breathe some real life into a so-so script.
Watch a trailer for The Cutting Edge.
When lawyer Gordon Bombay (two brands of gin—get it?) is sentenced to coach a mediocre peewee hockey team after getting busted for drunk driving, heartwarming hilarity ensues. Of course the Ducks will make it to the championship game. But will they win? It's worth watching to find out.
Watch a trailer for The Mighty Ducks.
Based loosely on a true story, Cool Runnings follows the exploits of Jamaican sprinters who, after blowing their chance to compete at the Summer Games, decide they'll aim for bobsledding at the Winter Olympics instead. If not quite world-class cinema, this is still a surprisingly sweet-natured look at big-time sports.
Watch a trailer for Cool Runnings.
The underdog story of all underdog stories, and a tremendous winter sports film. Kurt Russell is brilliant as Herb Brooks, the prickly, unconventional coach of the young U.S. hockey squad that beat the powerhouse Soviet Union team at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid—and lifted the spirits of an entire nation.
Watch a trailer for Miracle.
While part of the movie's plot feels forced—our science-nerd heroine, played by Michelle Trachtenberg, seeks math-based ways to improve skaters' routines—Trachtenberg herself is genuinely charming, and helps turn what could have been a completely forgettable film into surprisingly engaging entertainment.
Watch a trailer for Ice Princess.
It should come as no surprise that a movie starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as two male Olympian rivals who end up skating together in a pairs competition (never mind how) is absolutely ridiculous. It is also a wonderful, quite funny, and refreshingly tasteless spoof of uplifting sports movies.
Watch a trailer for Blades of Glory.