The Olympic movie that all others must live up to, 1981’s Chariots of Fire is the true story that follows a Christian (Ian Charleson) and a Jewish runner (Ben Cross) who are competing in the 1924 Games. The film’s unforgettable beach scenes and a legendary theme song by composer Vangelis have solidified its place in sports movie history.
Blades of Glory
There hasn’t been a great pairs ice skating movie since The Cutting Edge … and then Blades of Glory skated its way to greatness. With their ridiculous costumes and outlandish routines, Will Ferrell and Jon Heder get a 6.0 for their memorable roles as the outlandish Olympic hopefuls.
The 1997 film about American middle distance runner Steve Prefontaine starred Jared Leto as the famous Olympian who died in a car crash at the age of 24. The documentary-style character development presented in the film highlights Prefontaine's struggle to win, culminating in the 1972 Munich Olympics, where he placed fourth.
“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time!” The 1993 comedy chronicling the zany adventures of the first-ever Jamaican Olympic bobsled team is based on a true story.
The Cutting Edge
Toe pick! What happens when a spoiled figure skater (Moira Kelly) is paired with a washed-up ice hockey player (D. B. Sweeney) to complete in the Olympics? Rom-com sports movie magic.
The Jesse Owens Story
The 1984 TV movie that starred Dorian Harewood may be one of the best underdog sports stories ever, following the Olympian's journey to gold. The project won a 1985 Primetime Emmy Award, and was nominated for two others.
One of the best sports underdog stories to ever make it to the big screen, 2004's Miracle follows the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey on its uphill journey to the gold medal. Kurt Russell stars as coach Herb Brooks, who leads his team to victory over the heavily favored Russian team.
The 1978 drama starring Tatum O'Neal, Christopher Plummer and Anthony Hopkins was the long-delayed sequel to 1944’s National Velvet. It follows orphaned heroine Sarah Brown (O’Neal), who is shipped off to her aunt's (Nanette Newman) British home. She begins to ride a horse named Arizona Pie, and aspires to make the British Olympic team, and grab herself a Gold Medal at the Games.
Personal Best follows three aspiring track-and-field stars bound for the 1980 Olympic Games. The 1982 film was critically acclaimed at the time, but hasn't aged well. Nothing gets you into the Olympic spirit like frank discussions about bodily functions.
Walk, Don't Run
Walk, Don't Run may not really be about Olympic athletes specifically, but since it marks Cary Grant's final appearance in a feature film and takes place during the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, we're putting it on the list. The comedy, directed by Charles Walters, follows three people who are forced to share a small apartment due to the housing shortage caused by the Summer Games. One of them (Grant) plays matchmaker to the other two.
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