The movie business has a long-lasting love affair with the sports industry. Hollywood has given us memorable movies based on professional sports, gifting the world with fictional stars like Rocky Balboa. The Italian Stallion is even in the International Boxing Hall of Fame for his work done to promote the noble art.
The Rocky movies keep coming through the spinoff story of Creed, the son of Rocky’s former opponent Apollo. But the fight game isn’t the only presence sport enjoys in Tinsel Town. We often see baseball, American Football, soccer, tennis, and esports covered. Movie-makers also give horse racing the coverage it deserves, but that may come as a surprise.
There’s much more to the sport of kings than finding your best bets for the Kentucky Derby yearly. Behind the scenes, you’ll discover fascinating stories relating to cash-rich owners, the most fearless and ambitious jockeys, wise old trainers giving it one more shot, and, of course, the equine stars of the show.
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First time for everything
Horse racing flicks are less popular or easy to find than boxing or football titles. What was the last good movie you watched that related to horse racing? For most, that’s a tricky question to answer. Many of us have never seen such a film. But there’s a first time for everything.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. Our team of movie experts trawls through the archives, choosing our five favorite movies based on the sport of horse racing. There is a range of titles and themes, ensuring something for everyone, including the family. You’ll find our list below. Is your favorite present?
Arguably the most famous racehorse to ever live, Seabiscuit is undoubtedly the greatest racehorse movie. The stats support us, with the 2003 movie smashing all expectations at the box office. That was two decades ago. Feel old yet?
Nominated for seven Academy Awards, Seabiscuit tells the story of the people’s champion, a star born during the Great Depression. He offered a glimmer of hope and a rare reason to smile during one of the most challenging periods in human history. It’s an inspiring, feel-good movie, despite the setting.
The early 2000s gave us a few decent racing movies, with Seabiscuit helping to force open the floodgates. On the back of Seabiscuit’s success a year earlier, Hidalgo arrived, to the delight of millions of cinema-goers.
Hidalgo recounts the true story of a stallion by the same name who became a legend in 1890 when emerging from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to compete in the most challenging races, including the 3000-mile desert battle known as ‘Oceans of Fire.
Returning to slightly more modern times, Secretariat is a horse you may already know due to its fantastic racing career. It was a big-budget movie released in 2010 by Disney. It’s a family film but tackles some uneasy issues, as expected from its world-famous makers.
The movie focuses on the adhering story of Secretariat, a famous racehorse that won the Triple Crown in 1973 against all the odds. He made history as the first runner to win all three legs of the Triple Crown in 25 years. He remains one of only a few talented thoroughbred horses to achieve that feat.
After revealing the big three, finding racing movies worth a spot on this list becomes slightly more challenging. It’s not exactly a busy genre packed with contenders for the title. So, we were delighted when we stumbled across Dreamer, which is number four on our list of the best five.
A genuinely heart-warming story, Dreamer relies on a star-studded cast to entertain audiences. The movie educates most viewers on the remarkable story of Mariah’s Storm, who fought back from a crippling injury to achieve greatness.
The Killing (1956)
Last on our list is The Killing, which was released in 1956, making it the oldest movie we reviewed. But it’s a timeless classic, and we’re sure you’ll agree after watching it.
Stanley Kubrick directed The Killing, so you know it will be interesting. It’s film noir, so stay back if you’re looking for a family-friendly movie that’ll leave you all with a warm glow. As fast-paced and bruising as any race you’ll see this weekend.
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