Sport lends itself perfectly to the movie industry, with its unpredictable nature making it the ideal fodder for film producers to sink their teeth into.
At the heart of every great sports movie is the back story, which generally focuses on the struggles the central characters faced to be successful.
As recently highlighted by an insightful Betway blog, the major leagues in North America often provide the best subject matter for movie makers.
With that in mind, we look at three ice hockey themed films that are amongst the greatest sports movies ever made.
This classic movie tells the true story of Herb Brooks, the inspirational coach who led the United States team to an unexpected gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
The tale captures the essence of the ongoing Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, which provided an intriguing backdrop to the tournament.
Brooks defies convention by assembling a team of college kids and transforming them into a team who achieved one of the greatest ever feats in sporting history.
Kurt Russell delivers a truly remarkable performance as Brooks in a movie that will have you dangling on the edge of your seat – even if you know the outcome!
Paul Newman already had a successful sports movie on his CV with Cool Hand Luke, and he added another one with the 1977 classic Slap Shot.
Newman plays Reggie Dunlop, the player/coach of the Charlestown Chiefs who are in danger of being forced to fold if the local mill closes.
Desperate to save his hockey career, Dunlop formulates a plan to increase interest in the team in the hope of securing a possible takeover.
He decides that ‘goon hockey’ is the way forward and acquires the services of the Hanson brothers – a hard-hitting trio who galvanise the Chiefs’ working-class fanbase with some hilarious antics.
Dean Youngblood (Rob Lowe) is offered a trial with a team in Canada, but he lacks the toughness needed to play the game the Canuck way.
However, the Hamilton Mustangs are in desperate need of some new talent and take a chance that Youngblood’s skating skills will keep him out of trouble.
He soon comes to the attention of Racki (George J Finn), a tough enforcer for the Thunder Bay Bombers who is eager to take the ‘pretty boy’ to task.
With the coach’s daughter also putting Youngblood in her sights, he faces a major battle to fulfil his dream of making it to the big leagues.