The 9 Best Women's Sports Movies In Honor of The Mighty Macs
This weekend, Carla Gugino and Ellen Burstyn storm the multiplex with The Mighty Macs, an inspiring action drama about how women's basketball coach Cathy Rush (Gugino) trained a small Catholic college team to unlikely victory in the '70s. In celebration of this upcoming show of cinematic she-sportsmanship, Movieline has compiled (what we consider to be) the nine best women's sports movies.
National Velvet (1944)
Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Donald Crisp
Sport: Horse racing
Why It Is Awesome: A 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor stars as Velvet Brown, a spunky tomboy who comes into possession of an equally vivacious horse, Pie, and trains him for the Grand National steeplechase with the help of a hired hand, Mi (Mickey Rooney). After an unexpected turn of events, Velvet takes the place of her jockey and wins the race to the delight of the public who declares her a national treasure. Although Taylor's star-making film isn't as high-impact as the other sports films on its list, it features a fearless female willing to risk injury and exhaustion for victory for her precious Pie.
Ice Castles (1978)
Director: Donald Wrye
Stars: Lynn-Holly Johnson, Robby Benson and Colleen Dewhurst
Sport: Figure skating
Why It Is Awesome: Scoff all you want but if you can't be inspired by a beautiful, figure-skating heroine who must re-learn her passion after losing eyesight -- only to perform a flawless program thanks to the support of her loved ones -- then, I don't know what to do. Other than to say that a packed arena will probably never stomp their feet in unison to get you on the ice so that they can adoringly hurl flowers at you.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Geena Davis, Lori Petty and Tom Hanks
Why It Is Awesome: Comedy, drama, sibling tension, Tom Hanks playing an alcoholic, historical significance, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell in a skirt -- this charming Penny Marshall feature about the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League has it all. Even though we care more about spirit and fortitude on this list than actual "wins," it's worth noting that A League of Their Own is the most successful movie ranked here, having grossed over $130 million worldwide.