PS: Favorite Oscar-Nominated Best Picture Sports Movie?

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Which of these Oscar-winning Best Picture movies with a sizeable portion of the plot dedicated to a sports*-related story line is your favorite?

*Sports is defined as any individual, team or equipment competition against another or others of physical and/or mental skills superiority for entertainment, pride or monetary gain.

See the partial list of Oscar-winning Best Picture Sports movies here: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls045219042/
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urbanemovies

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Posted 8 months ago

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ElMo

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Dammit, I thought I had suggested this one (but no, only winners)
Not sure for Ben-Hur, Around the World or Mash, it's not exactly the sport that drives the narrative and I'm pretty sure there are other non-Sports nominee that feature a sport or a game at some point. Having these two removed wouldn't hurt the poll that much but at least the remaining movies would be legitimate sports or game-themed movies.
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ElMo

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I don't know, for me a Sports film is a film where the protagonist plays or is involved in a sport or a game or any form competition, that's all, but it's got to be in more than one instance, sports must be part of the his or her life, Jerry Maguire is about sports business, it fits the definition. 

Now, I wouldn't just label Ben-Hur as a Sport movie, it's an epic, a historical drama, a swords-and-sandal movie but I've never heard nor read anyone calling it a sports movie though I agree it features one of the greatest, most iconic, most heart-pounding sports sequence in history. 

If that's enough to qualify, fair enough, but then you should also consider these movies where a sport/game/competition drives the plot significantly:

Deliverance (rafting)
Babe (sheepherding competition) 
Gangs of New York (bare-knuckled boxing)
127 Hours (hiking)
American Graffitti (car racing)

or maybe...
Apocalypse Now (surfing)
Spellbound (skiing) though sport doesn't dominate these movies.....
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ElMo

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That said after a second thought, "Around" can qualify since the whole plot revolves around a wager... I'm also having second thoughts with "MASH";..
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urbanemovies

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I would agree those others would be questionable?  I can see a bit of a case for each of these, but none check all the boxes like these other movie do. I wouldn't claim any to be a "sports movie" Most of them are more recreational, rather than a stakes-based or an organized league. As well as, it is hard argue they are central or significant portion to the plot, with the exception of Deliverance. I would include it, other than the fact the competition is more of a Man vs. Nature type. But, if someone else called it a sports movie, I might disagree, but don't think I would call it a stretch. 

I can respect your not being able to view Ben-Hur as a sports movie. I just think the case is as compelling it is. I don't think you would argue the chariot race is central to the Ben-Hur movie. It is often called the greatest scene in film history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben-Hur_(1959_film)#Chariot_race_sequence

I think the real issue is you are viewing the movie, as someone who lives in the 21st century. Regardless, the modern day equivalent called harness racing is not disputed as a sport, while not nearly as popular as chariot racing was in its day. I don't see any difference between the popularity of Gladiator Games/Chariot Racing as being the the top two sports of the Roman era as Soccer aka Football/American Football are today in the modern world. Nor do I see any difference between the arenas that host those sports,The Colosseum (capacity  50,000 and 80,000) and Wembley Stadium (capacity  75,000 and 90,000). Neither were built for knitting classes, both were built to host the premiere sporting competition of their times.
(Edited)
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ElMo

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I don't think I would go as far as saying Ben-Hur is NOT a sports movie, ironically, I wrote this in my review:

"If 1925 had the race and the thrills, the 1959 one had a bigger scope, bigger budget, the colors, the talking and all the determination of a big studio like MGM to prove a 50's audience that TV wasn't yet the pinnacle of spectacular entertainment. When I hear my Dad talking about going to the movies, like "Ben-Hur", "Spartacus", "Guns of Navarone" or "Taras Boulba" you would think he went there, inside the screen. And right now, I can't imagine the eyes of people staring at the screen during the chariot race, there comes a moment where you stop watching the moment as a plot element, but as a real race, and it never, never suspends your disbelief, it's like at any new viewing, Messalah can finally win."
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urbanemovies

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 I agree it would likely fall in the fifth to seventh genre (near the end) I would classify it as after these: Adventure, Drama, History, Christian. Again, all of these movies as Oscar contenders, the sports in all them serves more as a backdrop for the real story and as a genre they are probably fit the mold of couple other genres before claiming they are a "Sports" movie.
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urbanemovies

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Poll Header Corrections

Which of these Oscar-nominated Best Picture movies with a sizeable portion of the plot dedicated to a sports*-related story line is your favorite?


*Sports is defined as any individual, team or equipment competition against another or others of physical and/or mental skills superiority for entertainment, pride or monetary gain.

See the partial list of Oscar-nominated Best Picture Sports movies here: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls045219042/
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urbanemovies

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Award Season  2019 bump
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TheMovieSmith

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Blind Side or Ben Hur
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urbanemovies

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Two excellent choices. I like how sports is just the backdrop of both movies or vehicle used to drive the Oscar-nominated story line and performances.
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urbanemovies

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