Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Top 10 Most Authentic 'Racing' Movies

There is Oscar buzz for Rush.  To honor the brilliance of Ron Howard and his newest flick, it seems like a good time for a top 10 movies list.

Rush is a racing movie, in case you haven't heard.  So, this top 10 list provides some of the most authentic racing movies of all time.

10) Days Of Thunder (1990). It's classic Tom Cruise.  His name in this movie was Cole Trickle.  I enjoy reviewing the names of the characters he portrays.  Good enough popcorn faire of stock car racing, but not good enough to crack the all-time Cruise movie list.

9)  Downhill Racer (1969).  I don't remember the whole movie, but I know that Robert Redford was a good pick for a hotshot playboy U.S. skier in tough competitions.

8) Chariots of Fire (1981).  It won the Oscar for best movie and is most noted for its music. It was a period piece done on the Olympics of tempestuous relationships among teammates of England's national track team.

7) Hidalgo (2004).  I fell asleep many times during this movie, but its been shown on AMC enough that I think I saw all of it or most of it and it's a good flick about a cross-country horse-race.

6) Prefontaine (1997).  What I remember most about this movie is that it was solid.  A great biographical tearjerker on the life of one of America's most famous distance runners.

5) Let It Ride (1989).  A great cast of characters delivers funny lines and scenes.  It's a bettor's movie at the horserace track and he keeps losing.

4) Cannonball Run (1981).  This was Burt Reyolds in his prime in a cross-country car race.  It's rerunning at times on AMC.  Catch it if you can.  It will make you laugh and it just looks and sounds so early 80's.

3) Rat Race (2001).  This movie gives some belly laughs.  A cross country race, getting there any way possible, is set up and the characters get involved in some ridiculous scenes.  It's dumb, but fun.

2) Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006).  Talk about fun and dumb.  This stock car racing flick takes the audience on a ride of Ricky Bobby's psychological problems and Will Ferrell delivers.

1) Breaking Away (1979).  A true underdog masterpiece.  It's up there with Rudy and Rocky.  Great plot, sub-plots, character development and based on true events of Indiana bicycle racing.

There are plenty of racing movies out there.  I'm still waiting for the Affirmed/Alydar movie, although ESPN put together a wonderful documentary.

I heard that Bobby Deerfield with Al Pacino and Black Beauty from the classic book were both good movies, but never got around to seeing them.  And, I never saw Speed Racer, either.

Originally published Sept/2013

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