4.) Breaking Away (1979)
Maybe one of the lesser know films on the list, but I'm very glad to have it this high. My only regret is that I sold my copy to my brother after a brief phase of trying to sell possessions and give the money to the poor. (yeah, didn't last too long, now my lack of possessions is due to my lack of money) And cycling? Yes. Raw business. This has Daniel Stern and Dennis Quaid. Just the epitome of the outsiders against the cool kids and the whole "what am I gonna do with my life?" theme. I love the biking scenes, especially the classic one of pacing himself against the semi-truck, but I believe the scene above is a better indication of why the movie is so good. It's not really about the sport itself, but how sports have the possibility of raising one up over circumstances, over environment, and higher than those supposedly better than you. It's a way to get back at everyone else who is thought to be better than you or at least how you believe it will do that.
The scene in the college dining hall is great, and of course the little 500 is awesome and emotional. Dave falls off the bike. The others give up except for Moocher, then his effort makes them keep going, and then Dave has his feet taped to the pedals. And they win. And his dad accepts his choice of sport. And the frat boys are beat. Pretty much everything you want.
And the whole Cutters thing is great, the whole class divide idea. I think freshman year I I saw a group of four girls dressed for halloween as the Cutters, bikes and everything. I was super excited, pretty much the best costume ever.
3.) Rocky (1976)
Tagline: His whole life he was a million-to-one shot.
No explanation needed here. Rocky is what all other sports movies are measured against. It even won an oscar for best picture. Wow. Really there's nothing I can say that you don't already know and that is why Rocky is so good. I don't need a video. And the best part?