Movie night: the five best racing films | Sports

There is something about racing films as a genre that makes them iconic of the films as a whole and of life in general. At their most basic level, races all have beginnings, midpoints and ends, with participants all competing to be the best. I’ve found that the best running movies not only capture what it means to be a champion, but also emphasize the importance of travel to getting to that satisfying time and use that as a lesson in the sacrifices required to reach the top. With those criteria in place, here’s a look at five films that best capture the racing genre in its essence.

Honorable mention: “Préfontaine” (1997)

One of the great things about races is that they can take place in any form and the setting for this movie just happens to be an athletics stadium. But make no mistake, this true story of the 1970s phenomenon Steve Prefontaine is a quintessential racing film.

The film follows the life of the man, whose closest friends called him “Pre,” from his high school years to his college career in Oregon and finally his efforts to compete in the Olympics, with several highlights. good measure Pre-track victories.

Even more than the top spots, you feel Pre’s relentless motivation, determination and obsession to be the best, which pushes him to become a cult figure in racing circles and a tragic hero outside of them. Even though Steve Prefontaine never became an Olympic champion, he sort of became something bigger than that: a legend. This film captures that perfectly from the start to the end of his journey.

5. “Cool races” (1993)

Bobsleigh is different from other types of racing in that instead of running against people you have to race against time. Besides the obvious dangers of the bobsleigh profession, lugers have to finish the race not knowing how they fared against their competitors and eagerly await their results. “Cool Runnings” manages to reduce the tension inherent in a sport like bobsledding and offers a story filled with equal parts comedy, drama and action.

Based in part on the Jamaican bobsleigh team who qualified for the Calgary Olympics in 1988, “Cool Runnings” is that classic underdog story that everyone seems to love, but it’s told in an unusual way. After all, there aren’t many films about obscure winter sports like bobsleigh, let alone bobsleigh teams in tropical countries.

If this movie was about how successful Jamaica was at the Winter Olympics, it wouldn’t even have made the list as Jamaica failed to win and continues to seek their first medal in the Winter Olympics. But after the events of 1988, Jamaica managed to gain the respect of its competitors and was taken seriously by the international community as a whole. And for that, “Cool Runnings” deserves a place on this list.

4. “Biscuit de mer” (2003)

On its surface, there isn’t much that separates “Seabiscuit” from other horse racing movies, like Secretariat. In fact, comparing the careers of the two horses, no one would go so far as to say that Seabiscuit would do well against the former Triple Crown Secretariat winner. Believe it or not, those same conversations took place in 1938, the date of the events of this film, when Seabiscuit was set to face off against the previous year’s Triple Crown winner and favorite War Admiral, but he did. beaten down.

Seabiscuit is another outsider story, just like “Cool Runnings,” but the sheer magnitude of the incredible odds Seabiscuit has been faced with extends the outsider trope to its extremes. It’s one thing to face War Admiral, one of the most iconic racehorses of the 20th century, but to do so as an undersized horse in the midst of the Great Depression makes Seabiscuit’s description of life in. 2003 simply inspiring.

3. “Cars” (2006)

Stepping away from biographical features, the next entry on this list goes to the opposite end of the spectrum and into the world of animation and anthropomorphic cars. But more than being goofy and the setting for some recurring gags, the Cars universe offers a place where important lessons, not easily found in the real world, can be learned, including how fair play is always more. valued that performance and how it takes teamwork to make the dream work.

Flashy Lightning McQueen is like any other confident star: self-centered, patronizing, and likely to take things for granted. However, at the end of his journey, both in the Piston Cup and at the end of the movie, he releases a better car. One can only imagine how different things could have been had McQueen had this internal change earlier in the movie or hadn’t changed at all, but then again, life is a highway and so much as you roll it, you can only go cheeky.

2. “Le Mans” (1971)

From Lightning McQueen to Steve McQueen, it makes sense that one of the two films above “Cars” on this list is the film that “Cars” was inspired by. “Le Mans” is not only a great racing film, but a pioneer in the film industry as one of the first fictional films shot in the documentary style. The decision to make a documentary-type film makes sense, as it gives a glimpse into the madness of the mind to be prepared to endure the craziest. 24 hours in endurance races.

Without spoiling the film, the result of the famous “24 Hours of Le Mans” race described in the film does not go as planned for the protagonist of the film. In a genre where it’s almost necessary for the main character to win for the ending to be satisfying, “Le Mans” not only doesn’t need that cliché ending, but thrives without it.

1. “Chariots of Fire” (1981)

To be the best racing movie, you have to not only exemplify the best the genre has to offer, but simply be better at the things your contemporaries do best. Not only is “Chariots of Fire” the best film of the racing genre, there is serious debate regarding its place among the best films of all time. Like some of the other entries on this list, “Chariots of Fire” is based on a true story of the seemingly intertwined stories of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams and how fate seemed to familiarize the two as the Olympics approached. from 1924.

A common trait connecting all of the racing films discussed, whether mentioned or not, is the main character’s motivation to be the best, from Steve Prefontaine to Lightning McQueen. Liddell and Abrahams are no different, but “Chariots of Fire” broke a new frontier in the racing genre by discussing giving up his dreams, in this case a chance to win Olympic gold, in order to pursue something. something bigger than his own ambitions. It’s an idea that “Chariots of Fire” managed to perfectly encapsulate in the film and, because it’s such an uncomfortable dilemma to solve, one that hasn’t been repeated since. For that, “Chariots of Fire” has to be the best racing film of all time.

I just missed the cup: Secretariat (2010), Senna (2010), Speed ​​Runner (2008), The Love Bug (1968), Grand Prix (1966), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Days of Thunder (1990)


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