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The 50 Greatest Sports Movies
We rank the very best sports films

Back Page 25 of 50 Next
26

Escape To Victory (1981)

DIRECTOR John Huston
STARS Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Max Von Sydow, Pele, Ossie Ardiles, John Wark

John Huston's gloriously bonkers World War 4-4-2 movie, in which an Allied POW team comprising some retired greats of the game (most of the then-Ipswich Town side) an overweight Michael Caine and – as the worst goalie in the history of the game – Sly Stallone, takes on the German national side for little more than pride (but secretly to cover up an escape attempt), has become a staple of Bank Holidays. Football's a game that, perhaps due to the ever-fluid nature of its movements, hasn't really translated well to the big screen, but Huston does better than most, with his coterie of real players flicking, tricking and kicking to their heart's content. The game itself, a 4-4 belter with a last-minute equaliser, ain't half bad either.
Read Empire's review

QUICK POLL
Should Escape To Victory be higher or lower on the list?
Higher
Lower

The Stats
THE SPORT
Football. Proper football. OK, soccer is, technically speaking, a British term, but we're talking jumpers for goalposts.
THE TEAM
An Allied XI
DOCUMENTARY?
We wish
DEFINING MOMENT
It's a toss-up between Stallone's penalty save and Pele's overhead kick. Given that we suspect the latter was a nonchalant one-take deal and the former may have taken around 193 attempts, we'll plump for Sly, whose ego back then was reportedly so big that he wanted to score the winning goal. Despite being in nets.
KEY TACTICS
Give the ball to Pele. Failing that, give it to Ossie. If that goes tits-up, give it to anyone who's not Michael Caine.
Back Page 25 of 50 Next

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Have your say Agree with the list? Which sports movie would you add to the list? Register or login now to have your say.


Your Comments

1 Underdog film
Dodgeball certainly remains one of the classic underdog films, not just for its inspirational value, but its usual comedy, too. And perhaps some of the others could make this list too: http://www.ranker.com/list/best-movies-about-underdogs/ ranker-film Read More

Posted on Wednesday June 18, 2014, 18:51 by Imperion

2 See Also
Karate Kid, The Waterboy, The foot fist way, Hot rod, Caddy Shack, The mighty ducks, coach carter, blades of glory, mean machine, leatherheads, the ringer, nacho libre, kicking and screaming, baseketball, remember the titans, brians song, don king: only in america, cinderella man, million dollar baby, somebody up there likes me, the boxer, knuckle, bend it like beckham, fever pitch, zidane Read More

Posted on Saturday September 15, 2012, 18:42 by bnicholson50

3 RE: What the Hell!?
l largely an excuse for Chaplin to show off his legendary slapstick skills and rubbery physical abilities while poking fun at sports clichés and underdog stories, but it's still more entertaining than most of the films it skewers. ow exactly does Chaplin, in 1915, skewer films that are very very far from being made and poking fun at sports clichés that do not yet exist? Read More

Posted on Wednesday July 25, 2012, 00:42 by Evil_Bob

4 RE: Rocky - third place
BASEketball should totally be in here. Okay it's not a real sport, but it is a sport movie. And it's funny as shit wise a pretty damn solid list. (Rocky 2-4 should be included as well, but maybe that's being a bit greedy...) Read More

Posted on Tuesday July 24, 2012, 13:55 by Whistler

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