A year ago at this time, some people were out spreading the virus, but a lot of us were staying close to home, making Netflix ridiculously profitable. (It’s true that Blockbuster Video, at the start of its downward slide, could have bought Netflix for only $50 million.)
Anyway, now that sports are back for real, you no longer have to watch sports movies on a streaming service. But since you did, let’s see how you do on this sports-film quiz:
1. Three people have won Best Acting Oscars for portraying boxers. One was Wallace Beery in the 1931 film The Champ. Name the other two.
2. Name three sports movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture. (Two hints: None of the winners involves baseball, football, basketball, or hockey…or horse racing. And one of the winners is a true story about a guy named Harold Abrahams.)
3. Only three baseball movies have been nominated for Best Picture (but didn’t win). They are Pride of the Yankees, Field of Dreams, and Moneyball. Somewhat surprisingly, an equal number of movies involving football have been nominated for Best Picture. (None of those won, either.) Name them.
BONUS: Two of the films had people win acting Oscars for their performances—a Best Actress and a Best Supporting Actor. Name them.
4. Name the sports-based TV series that was nominated for a Best Drama Series Emmy and actually won a Peabody Award for excellence. And what is the famous motto of the team on the show?
5. The movie that is generally credited with being the best film ever about sports did NOT win the Best Picture Oscar. It actually lost to a mundane drama directed by Robert Redford and starring Mary Tyler Moore. See if you can name the sports movie and the Mary Tyler Moore movie.
6. Two movies about racing with vehicles have been nominated for Best Picture. One starred a very-young Dennis Quaid. Name them.
7. This mini-series about a sorta-sport, and starring an Argentine-British actress, was all the rage last year among pandemic homebodies. Name it.
8. What’s the biggest money-making sports movie of all time? See if you can provide the answer for the one that took in the most money at the time of 2009 release and the 1976 film that has the money lead when adjusted for inflation.
1. Robert DeNiro won for portraying Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull and Hillary Swank portrayed paralyzed boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby.
2. The original Rocky won Best Picture. It actually holds up pretty well after all these years and, off the top of my head, I can probably name 20 Best Picture winners to which Rocky is superior. The aforementioned Million Dollar Baby also won Best Picture. And the true story about Harold Abrahams is Chariots of Fire.
3. The three football movies that were nominated for Best Picture are Jerry McGuire with Best Supporting Actor Cuba Gooding, Jr.; The Blind Side with Best Actress Sandra Bullock; and Warren Beatty’s reincarnation comedy, Heaven Can Wait.
4. The criminally underappreciated drama series Friday Night Lights is widely considered to be one of the best drama series in the history of television. The team’s motto is “Clear Eyes. Full Heart. Can’t Lose.” Killer.
5. The Martin Scorsese-directed classic Raging Bull lost out to Ordinary People.
6. Ford v. Ferrari was nominated a couple years ago. And there’s also the wonderful coming-of-age dramedy Breaking Away, about white-bread Bloomington, Indiana teenager Dave Stohler who somehow believes that he’s Italian. Not Italian-American; actually from Italy and he wants to be part of the Italian racing team that competes in the Tour De France. This movie has so much heart.
7. The Queen’s Gambit, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, was an absolute sensation. It’s one of the highest-rated streaming series ever (and the highest-rated scripted Netflix series ever) and was the most-watched miniseries in 62 countries. It also sparked a chess frenzy. Google searches for “chess” are at their highest level in 14 years. Sales of chess sets increased by as much as 1,000% in some countries.
I’m not generally a binge watcher, but I watched the whole thing over a 24-hour period. Taylor-Joy is amazing and, while it is such a cliché, she’s great at walking the tightrope between genius and madness (which, apparently, is a pretty common thing among chess grandmasters).
8. The Blind Side took in over $300 million (on a budget of only $29 million). Adjusted for inflation, the original Rocky is a runaway winner in this category.
This is why the internet is such an abomination (at times). Google “biggest money-making sports movies of all time” and Wikipedia gives you a list that is topped by The Fast and the Furious, The Hunger Games, and Gladiator.