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Blockbusters or box-office busts - here’s top 100 sports movies

SHARE Blockbusters or box-office busts - here’s top 100 sports movies

Two sports motion pictures made the American Film Institute's top 100 movies list of the century Tuesday. "Raging Bull" and "Rocky" certainly are worthy of the top 100, and we at The Post aren't surprised other sports flicks were excluded from the elite list.

The AFI gave you the best American-made movies of the century. The Cincinnati Post Sports Motion Picture Institute - aka The Post sports staff - is giving you the top 100 athletic films. We didn't limit our list to just American-made movies or those produced during a certain time pe-ri-od.Some are great. Some are average. Others are downright horrible. Then again, some are so bad, they're actually entertaining in their awfulness.

In a close vote, boxing's Italian Stallion knocked out home-run hitter Roy Hobbs as "Rocky" (Sylvester Stallone) topped "The Natural" (Robert Redford) in The Post's picks.

"Rocky" socked Apollo Creed and rocked America in 1976, showing us that fighting through adversity can boost you to the top. Rocky Balboa (Stallone) grew up on the poverty-stricken streets of Philadelphia, literally fighting to survive. Boxing at Mickey's gym was the thick-headed, deep-voiced Italian kid's only ticket out of the Philly ghetto and into heavyweight boxing's elite.

Like "Rocky," "The Natural" (1984) also is a story of suppressing a tainted past to reach stardom. Hobbs (Redford) develops into an extraordinary baseball player while growing up on the cornfields of the Midwest Plains during the early 20th century.

After a Chicago Cubs scout invites Hobbs to try out for the major leagues, the 20-year-old Hobbs goes in search of his childhood sweetheart, Iris Raines (Glenn Close). Along the way, he gets sidetracked by a pompous big leaguer and sportswriter - of all people - who question Hobbs' ability to play baseball.

Hobbs gets shot by a woman he meets on the train to Chicago. Needless to say, he didn't make the big leagues until 15 years later. And his famous "Wonderboy" bat helped make his rookie season a bang.

"Caddyshack" earned third-best sports movie of all-time. Certainly the most hilarious golf movie ever - sorry, "Happy Gilmore" - this 1980 film featured an all-star comic cast that included Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dan-ger-field, Ted Knight and the infamous gopher.

Fourth on the list is "Pride of the Yankees," the biography of Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper). This 1942 classic was higher on sentiment than in baseball accuracy, but it endearingly chronicled the legend's baseball career and bout with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, later known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Coach Norman Dale's pint-sized Hickory Huskers played giant-killer en route to the Indiana state high school basketball championship in "Hoosiers," which is fifth on the all-time list.

This 1986 film loosely depicts the "Milan Miracle," a name given to Southeast Indiana's tiny Milan High School after it miraculously won the 1954 state championship.

Hickory's Jimmy Chitwood could drain a jumper like another Indiana schoolboy in the early '70s. You can't help but think of Larry Bird when watching.

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The top 100

1. Rocky

2. The Natural

3. Caddyshack

4. The Pride of the Yankees

5. Hoosiers

6. Field of Dreams

7. Jerry Maguire

8. Raging Bull

9. Chariots of Fire

10. Bad News Bears

11. Bull Durham

12. Major League

13. Slap Shot

14. Bang the Drum Slowly

15. Hoop Dreams

16. Breaking Away

17. The Longest Yard

18. Eight Men Out

19. Brian's Song

20. A League of Their Own

21. Rocky II

22. One on One

23. The Sandlot

24. The Hustler

25. Fear Strikes Out

26. White Men Can't Jump

27. Tin Cup

28. Karate Kid

29. Heaven Can Wait

30. When We Were Kings

31. Days of Thunder

32. Rudy

33. Happy Gilmore

34. The Color of Money

35. Karate Kid II

36. Knute Rockne,

All American

37. Rocky III

38. Damn Yankees

39. Mr. Baseball

40. Cool Runnings

41. Mighty Ducks

42. North Dallas 40

43. The Best of Times

44. Forget Paris

45. All the Right Moves

46. Jim Thorpe: All American

47. Searching for Bobby Fischer

48. Angels in the Outfield

49. Rollerball

50. Blue Chips

51. Victory

52. Kansas City Bomber

53. Requiem for a Heavyweight

54. Back to School

55. Space Jam

56. The Stratton Story

57. He Got Game

58. Karate Kid III

59. Rocky IV

60. The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

61. Kingpin

62. The Caddy

63. National Velvet

64. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings

65. The Babe Ruth Story

66. The Basketball Diaries

67. The Kid from Left Field

68. Jackie Robinson Story

69. Somebody Up There Likes Me

70. It Happens Every Spring

71. Follow The Sun

72. Paper Lion

73. Wildcats

74. Rookie of the Year

75. Don King: Only in America

76. Winning

77. Bad News Bears in Breaking Training

78. Ice Castles

79. Personal Best

80. School Ties

81. Semi-Tough

82. The Pride of St. Louis

83. Teen Wolf

84. Mighty Ducks II

85. Dead Solid Perfect

86. Johnny Be Good

87. Little Big League

88. Unnecessary Roughness

89. Over the Top

90. A River Runs Through It

91. Downhill Racer

92. The Great White Hope

93. The Great White Hype

94. Horse Feathers

95. Pumping Iron

96. Gentleman Jim

97. Wind

98. Maurie

99. The Bad News Bears Go to Japan

100. Rocky V

Compiled by The Cincinnati Post