…and Action! “Goaallllll”

“You can’t explain a human being with one Freudian term. On ‘Raging Bull’ I said let’s take all that out. I don’t want to do any of that. As you know, I was totally resistant to that picture…Yet De Niro was very, very persistent about ‘Raging Bull’, despite my misgivings. I had had a lot of problems with myself on ‘New York, New York’ and I wasn’t even sure I should work with him again at that point. It wasn’t a matter of what he did, it’s a matter of how I was feeling about the whole actor-director process. I had wanted to do ‘Mean Streets’, ‘New York, New York’, ‘Taxi Driver’. And the next picture I felt strongly about was making ‘The Last Temptation of Christ.’ And so I felt, Can I do this? Can I go through this process?…” (Martin Scorsese, 2011)

Martin Scorsese gave voice to above concerns about Raging Bull to Richard Schickel while his interview on Signature-Reads.com. As his common-consent greatest work, Raging Bull is considered as not only a sports/boxing movie but also a masterpiece on drama and biography, portraying Jake La Motta’s rage and paranoia that made him middleweight boxing champion as well as destroyed his life. In this regard, sports movies, in general, project the nature of sports that has already sui generis stories from human life as such in Scorsese’s work of art. Of course, there is a reason why the phrase ‘in general’ is used in the thesis. This is because of Space Jam! As is known to all, it is an animation movie whose theme centres upon Michael Jordan’s initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his comeback in 1995 by featuring the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. Above all, Space Jam is a movie that made a generation completely basketball fanatic. 

Looking at crews, there are a large number of well-known directors and stars from Edward Zwick, Oliver Stone, Drew Barrymore, Luc Besson, Clint Eastwood to Al Pacino, Emma Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Rachel McAdams, Brad Pitt, Jessica Alba, Tom Cruise, Leonardo Di Caprio. What’s more, a number of actors and actresses have set out their stalls as directors with high-graded sports films. For instance, Angelina Jolie directed ‘Unbroken’, depicting the survival tale of Louis Zamperini who was a former Olympic athlete and then an army officer survived in a raft for 47 days after his bomber crash-landed in the ocean during World War II and be jailed in a Japan camp as a prisoner of war. 

Within the scope of this dashboard, 154 sports films, which got at least 25,000 votes on IMDb, are examined by various parameters such as year, IMDb rating, box office, sports type, genre, Motion Picture Rating (MPAA) and runtime. While the size of the pies – in the chronological tables – represents Box Office of the movies, colour scale – from grey to yellow – classifies their IMDb ratings. On the other hand, the study does not only cover Hollywood movies; a number of Bollywood’s productions – such as Dangal, Paan Singh Tomar, Chak de! India and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – are also listed in the analysis. 

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