Thursday, March 23, 2017
Thursday Movie Picks: The Underdog
For the fourth week of March of 2017 as part of the Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. We go into the subject of the underdog as it’s something that is kind of happening for anyone paying attention to the NCAA basketball tournaments where underdogs would upset heavily-favored colleges all over the U.S. This is a subject that obviously touches the heart of people where it’s always about someone or a team that seem like the kind of people you wouldn’t think would win anything but end up becoming something that we root for. After all, it took the Chicago Cubs more than one-hundred-and-seven years to finally win a World Series against another underdog team who hadn’t won a World Series in sixty-eight years in the Cleveland Indians. Here are some films that truly capture that spirit of the underdog:
One of the great sports films ever made is set in a small rural town in Indiana where a former college basketball coach is given a chance to coach a high school team that definitely seemed like they’re destined to go nowhere. Yet, it has something that is engaging not just in its rural values of hard work and doing the best you can but also use what you have. It’s that idea is what makes the film unique where it doesn’t follow any real sense of narrative formula expected in underdog films while giving the audiences to care about as the film feature iconic performances from Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper.
Another film that is directed by David Anspaugh and written by Angelo Pizzo who both did Hoosiers is also inspired by a true story but it is about a real-life person in Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreams about playing football for University of Notre Dame. While it’s a film that does take a few dramatic liberties, it is still an inspiring film about a kid who worked hard to play as a walk-on for the school he has always supported and would finally get to play a game in its final moments. It’s a film that has so much to offer as it’s filled with rich imagery and a great cast led by Sean Astin in the titular role as it’s my father’s favorite film.
3. Survive and Advance
From the ESPN documentary series 30 for 30 is a film about real-life underdogs that can’t be scripted on a narrative feature. The film is about the 1983 college basketball team from NC State under the guidance of its coach Jim Valvano. It’s a film that is told by the players of that team who were going through a lot of bad luck and moments where they were close but unable to get the job done. It’s a very somber film as it is told thirty years after the championship win but also twenty years since Valvano’s passing from cancer as the team talks about what they had to do to make it to the NCAA championship and go against the much-heavily favored University of Houston that featured future basketball legend Hakeem Olajuwon.
© thevoid99 2017